Is getting vaccinated a crime like the Holocaust? That’s what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reportedly told a crowd before a screening of the film Trace Amounts earlier this week. This comes after the California legislature is considering passing SB 277, which eliminates the “personal belief” clause that allowed parents to not vaccinate their kids. The Golden State saw itself become the epicenter in the renewed war over vaccinations. Whatever (inane) reasons you may have for not vaccinating you kids, can we at least keep the Holocaust out of it (via Sacramento Bee) [emphasis mine]:
Wednesday afternoon will see the first hearing for a bill eliminating the personal belief exemption parents can cite in order to avoid vaccinating their kids. Senate Bill 277 was prompted by soaring exemption rates in some schools districts and outbreaks of long-dormant diseases like measles and whooping cough.
Kennedy has credited the film Trace Amounts with helping to persuade lawmakers to halt a vaccination measure in Oregon. Advocates offered free Trace Amounts tickets to every California lawmaker, visiting offices in the State Capitol on Monday to drop them off. Three rows cordoned off for lawmakers sat empty on Wednesday evening, though some staff members attended.
The overwhelming scientific consensus supports vaccine use and dismisses any serious side effects. Multiple studies have rejected any link between the mercury-containing chemical thimerosal and autism. Nevertheless, vaccine manufacturers have removed thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccines (some influenza vaccines are the exception) and a California bill further barred thimerosal content.
In light of those facts, SB 277’s author called Kennedy’s continued activism disingenuous.
“I think it is dangerous that he is spreading misinformation about something that’s very important for public health,” Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a pediatrician, said in an interview. “Autism rates have continued to rise even though we are not using thimerosal in vaccines for children,” he added. “We still haven’t figured out exactly what causes autism. We do know it’s not vaccines.”
But some parents fear information about the hazards of vaccines has been suppressed, largely because of what they call the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over health officials. Many parents believe their children have been damaged by vaccines. When Kennedy asked the crowd of a few hundred viewers how many parents had a child injured by vaccines, numerous hands went up.
“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” Kennedy said. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”
Christine covered the recent widespread measles outbreak that was traced back to Disneyland in January. It sparked a renewed national dialogue about vaccines, where some still cling to the findings of former Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who first published the link between vaccinations, specifically the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella,) vaccine, and autism. As The New York Times reported, Wakefield’s work has been thoroughly debunked; the British Medical Journal called the study “fraudulent.” The medical journal that published Wakefield’s findings, Lancet, retracted the piece, and Mr. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license in the UK.
Yet, how can we have a conversation about vaccines if we invoke Holocaust comparisons? It’s just not serious. As you already know, the Holocaust was genocide against the Jewish people perpetuated by the Nazis.
This is the UN definition of the heinous act:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
In other words, vaccinating your kids isn’t the Holocaust–so can we retire this rather obnoxious comparisons? And that goes for both sides when it comes to pretty much anything.