April 22, 2008

BHO Gets Stoopid

It's every bit as offensive as pandering to the "intelligent design" crowd. And now Barack Obama has done it too: like John McCain, he's suggested on the campaign trail that vaccinations for childhood diseases can cause autism -- a genetically-inherited trait.

I'm not saying, as the WaPo article I linked to suggests, that if you don't hold a terminal degree in a particular subject area you should just shut the hell up about it. I am suggesting, though, that when the overwhelming mass of scientific evidence comes down decisively on one side of a debate, and there is functionally no scientific evidence on the other side, you ought to leave the "lone wolf" theorizing to, well, the lone wolves. Instead, both candidates are pandering to people who are willfully ignorant of science.

...Make that all three candidates. Money quote from HRC: "I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines." So that's all three candidates who have now gone out of their way to suck up to this not-very-powerful but somehow astonishingly vocal lobby of the deliberately self-misinformed.

I think this testimonial adequately explains why you should vaccinate your children and why neither Presidential candidate ought to be suggesting anything to the contrary:
The baby was 9 months old, his birth weight was 8 lbs 5 ounces. At six months he weighed just shy of 20 pounds. Today he weighed 15 pounds - he was a skeleton and he was dying.

Mom had brought him in after treatment by his naturopath had failed. Constant coughing had made it impossible for him to take in adequate nutrition and starvation, coupled with a raging bacterial pneumonia were conspiring to shortly end his very short life.

We worked feverishly. Intubation, IV boluses, major antibiotics, vasopressors. All futile.

At 9:03 pm, after 30 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation we pronounced him dead.

This boy had pertussis. His mother choose not to vaccinate him. I won't enter that debate. Anyone who has ever watched a child die or become permanently disabled from a preventable illness supports vaccination.
Hat tip to Angry Professor for the testimonial.

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