Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Measles outbreak prompts political debate over vaccinations

An outbreak of measles has revived a latent but potent political debate over whether the government should mandate vaccinations and to what extent. - Washington Examiner

President Obama, in an interview over the weekend with NBC News, encouraged parents to vaccinate their children — but stopped short of saying such a vaccination should be compulsory....

As a candidate for president in 2008, Obama struck a very different tone on the issue than he now does.

“We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Obama said. “Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. ... The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

Is #VaccineGate a Distraction from the Root Cause of America’s Measles Outbreak? - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Back in 2000, the Americas were cited as an example of how to effectively eradicate measles infections by prestigious medical journals; who would have thought that 15 years later, the vaccination for this disease is poised to become a topic in our upcoming presidential race?
Dr. Carson on Vaccines: ‘We Should Not Allow’ Diseases to Return ‘By Foregoing Safe Immunization’ - MRCTV
Carson prefaced his remarks with a commitment to individual and parental rights: “Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society.”

Another doctor and likely Republican presidential candidate, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was skewered on CNBC for his statement that “vaccines are one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that we’ve had, but that for most of our history vaccines have been voluntary” and that “I guess I don’t understand... why that would be controversial.”

Rand Paul Snaps At Hostile CNBC Host: ‘Slanted… Full Of Distortions’ [VIDEO] - Daily Caller

Vaccine mandates, individual liberty and elite failure - Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner @TPCarney

Liberal commentators and mainstream reporters have begun suggesting that opposition to vaccines is a Tea Party phenomenon, thus opening the door for pious lectures about the dangers of “anti-government” sentiment.

This is the standard nonsense of the political debate....

Data suggest that most vaccine opposition comes from wealthy, white, secular, liberal enclaves. But Rand Paul’s comments — that vaccine mandates are a "liberty" issue — suggest a strain of vaccination skepticism is present on the Right....

Vaccine opposition also finds roots in a dislike of government micromanaging our lives. Government tells us what light bulbs we can have, it forces us to buy health insurance, it requires permits and inspections before we can erect a Rubbermaid toll shed, it makes our showers and toilets weaker, and it bans large soft drinks (except at 7-Eleven).

When government weighs in on these matters, where it has no legitimate role and little or no scientific basis, it fosters a skepticism and opposition to government interventions. That skepticism persists even when the science and the moral authority are present.

The elites — through overreach, cronyism and incompetence — have lost the public trust. One casualty might be public health.