Category: Vaccines

A thousand points of pseudo-science.

Corrigendum. The Week in Review for 02/26/2017.

I get the month right. Mumps cases, like an infected parotid gland, grow. Acupuncture graduates will not have gainful employment. Hypno-Reiki. The one true cause of all disease. And more.

/ February 26, 2017
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro at the antivaccine "challenge."

Prove the scientific consensus and win a prize: A time-dishonored PR ploy used by cranks, quacks, and pseudoscientists (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. edition)

Last week, antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. teamed up with Robert De Niro to issue a challenge to provide one scientific study that proves thimerosal in vaccines is safe, with a cash prize of $100,000. They thus joined a long line of antivaxers, creationists, and climate science denialists offering money to "prove" the scientific consensus. Science doesn't work that way.

/ February 20, 2017
Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Andrew Wakefield, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

In 2017, are antivaxers winning?

The election of Donald Trump as President has emboldened antivaxers, because they quite rightly sense that he is one of them. His inauguration as President, combined with other trends, have led observers to ask the question: Are antivaxers winning, or will 2017 be the year of the antivaxer?

/ February 13, 2017
Yale University

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. promotes an awful epidemiology study linking vaccines and neurological conditions from…Yale?

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has never seen a lousy study linking vaccines to bad things that he didn't like. This is no exception. Oddly enough, this study was funded and carried out by a lawyer and an investment banker, with the help of an eminent Yale pediatrician. Of course, the study doesn't show what RFK Jr. thinks it shows.

/ February 12, 2017
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Battles over non-medical exemptions to vaccination festering in state legislatures

Bills to eliminate, as well as to add, non-medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements are pending in state legislatures. Some bills make harder to claim an exemption. Others discourage vaccination by requiring “misinformed consent" and weakening public health officials' ability to act.

/ February 2, 2017
A_galactic_maelstrom duty calls

Corrigendum. The week in SBM for 1.22.2017

Not every article and study that pops up my feeds in the world of pseudo-medicine is worthy of a complete blog post. But they need to be noticed and commented upon: Liver toxicity from herbs. Popped lungs from acupuncture. Chiropractic does not help scoliosis. Yoga is just exercise. There are eight kinds of wind: Great Feathery Wind, Scheming Wind, Hard Wind, Great...

/ January 22, 2017
No wonder antivaxers feel emboldened.

Trump Meets with RFK Jr. To Discuss “Vaccine Safety”

Trump and RFK Jr., both with anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs, met to discuss forming a presidential panel on vaccines and autism. The exact outcome is uncertain, but the possibilities are frightening.

/ January 11, 2017
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

The Medical Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute spewed antivaccine misinformation last week. Why is anyone surprised?

A social media firestorm erupted over the weekend after Dr. Daniel Neides, Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, posted an article full of antivaccine misinformation. The Cleveland Clinic promptly disavowed it, but shouldn't have been surprised that one of its "integrative medicine" leaders is antivaccine. If you "integrate" medicine that teaches that "toxins" cause disease and "detoxification" is the cure, antivaccine...

/ January 9, 2017
Trump is OK with pseudoscience

“Donald Trump’s presidential election win stuns scientists”

Scientists in the U.S. and from around the world are weighing in on Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the most powerful country on earth: Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had . . . The consequences are going to be very, very severe. Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in...

/ November 10, 2016
Measles Alert

Measles More Deadly than Previously Thought

One of the common tropes of the anti-vaccine movement is that vaccine-preventable diseases are not all that bad. Perhaps the most direct manifestation of this is the self-published children’s book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, by Australian author and anti-vaccine activist Stephanie Messenger. Throughout the book Messenger claims that measles is nothing to be frightened of and in fact makes the body stronger. This...

/ November 2, 2016