[SaneVax: Finally! Here is an author with a common-sense approach to those who question vaccine safety. Research Director for the Consumer Policy Institute, Toronto says, “Identify the vulnerable populations, the skeptics say, so that all can be confident when vaccines are administered. For this, they deserve our appreciation, not our ridicule.” Thank you Lawrence Solomon!]
Why the Press Shouldn’t Dismiss Vaccine Skeptics
By Lawrence Solomon
Those who question vaccination programs are kooks or quacks, the press repeatedly tells us. The Globe and Mail, CBS News, Mother Jones and even scientific journals likeNature label skeptics as “vaccination deniers,” much as global warming skeptics are called “deniers.”
Slate magazine, citing the medical journal Vaccine, deplores “the global anti-vaccination movement [as] a loose coalition of rogue scientists, journalists, parents, and celebrities, who think that vaccines cause disorders like autism – a claim that has been thoroughly discredited by modern science.” Commentary, a serious publication that covers politics, refers to skeptics as “vaccination truthers.”
This wholesale demeaning of vaccine skeptics defies explanation. Granted, kooks and quacks exist in the vaccination field, just as they exist elsewhere. But why taint the skeptics as a whole, and fail to respectfully report dissenting views? No journalist would have had any difficulty finding dozens of distinguished skeptical scientists for the very few “rogue” scientists that the press has vilified.
How hard, for example, should it have been for the press to notice the views of Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National Institute of Health, the former head of the American Red Cross, and the former Chair of the White House Cabinet Group on Biotechnology, one of several White House positions she held in service to three U.S. presidents.
Dr. Healy criticized the public health establishment for being “too quick to dismiss [vaccine concerns] as irrational…The more you delve into it, if you look at the basic science, if you look at the research that’s been done in animals, if you also look at some of these individual cases, and if you look at the evidence… what you come away with is that the question [of vaccine safety] has not been answered.”