In support of others

Sometimes we have to put our own differences aside and stand with others. There is absolutely no chance that this will not happen to you. At some point, you will go in the ‘damn the torpedo’s’ direction and give support to those who fight the good cause. This is where I found myself when I was confronted with ‘Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back). First of all, there is no way anyone could support trolling, no matter what the cause is, and in the second degree there is the need to stand up for the issue at hand, it is our health and those of our children, it is important to make a stand.

Now we get to a side that is important. I am in favour of vaccination to a degree, I fully support children vaccination. I also support the bill to eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations. I saw it in the Netherlands, the place where for religious reasons vaccinations were rejected, that place is where there was an outbreak of whooping cough, not something you want a child to experience ever. Other places we see the renewed introduction of measles. All issue that could have been prevented. As such I support that side of vaccination. So when we are introduced to the naturopath Elias Kass, his statements at the Senate committee and five days after his brief testimony, he had compiled a photo gallery with hundreds of screenshots of abusive comments, largely through anti-vaxx Facebook pages. It becomes worse, when we see the quote “an online ecosystem rife with anti-vaccine misinformation, thanks in part to Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising” we see how complete the failure of Facebook is at present. We also see the accusation of “partially instigated by Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth, two anti-vaccine activists who have built large Facebook platforms“, it comes with the added statement “Cook has gained notoriety as a full-time anti-vaxxer who has raised nearly $80,000 on GoFundMe to pay for fear-mongering anti-vaccine Facebook ads which he targets at mothers. His Facebook page, Stop Mandatory Vaccinations (SMV), has about 130,000 followers, while the related closed SMV Facebook group has more than 150,000 members“. A system that sets close to 250,000 guns aimed at a single target and that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

There are two sides to nearly every story, yet the danger of not vaccinating is just too high to contemplate. People are directed through lies and these anti-vaxx people start it with ‘Vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary for vibrant health‘ (at http://www.stopmandatoryvaccination.com/), A small part is seen when we consider a source: “Measles is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000“, it is worse when we consider ‘Measles Elimination in the United States‘ (The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 189, Issue Supplement_1, 1 May 2004, Pages S1–S3). Here we see two parts that are a direct setting. In the WW1 era we get “an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases)“, 2.6% of the population would dies of the disease and those were the lucky ones. The rest was rewarded with extras, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year. An estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year, and that is merely the US, in Europe that number would be higher. So when the website gives us: ‘Vaccine Free Living: The Unvaccinated Are Not A Problem‘, we see what I consider to be a lie, the non-vaccinated are the problem, plain and simple, as we see the ‘return’ measles, polio and other diseases, the claim that unvaccinated are not the problem is pretty much blown away. In the Netherlands there was a resurgence of polio in the Bible belt area (no vaccinations through religious convictions) and the impact was huge, 71 people ended up with polio, 71 people confronted with the risk of paralyses. And in the end only 10 recovered, two died and the others ended with paralyses, 59 sitting mostly in a chair not able to move, so parents need to consider the real sources and those who are merely claiming to know the truth. I am not telling you to trust or believe me. I am telling you to go to an educated person, your GP, or an actual a medical professional. The fact that in the last outbreak only 14% recovered from the disease, only 14%, the rest ended up in a bad place, we see that vaccination was essential and there are more diseases where this is the case. And that does not exempt the 14% group, they will optionally face complications down the time track.

When we see the numbers and the statistics on the impact of these diseases, the position of Elias Kass makes perfect sense as does the bill to remove philosophical objection. When we consider the associated press last week with: “Of the 63 cases confirmed in Clark County, 55 were not immunized against measles, immunization status couldn’t be verified for six cases, and two cases involved a child who had received only a single dose of the MMR vaccine“, we see a direct danger when we consider the impact as it was, when the measles get a revitalisation through stupidity, we need to take another look at the site, and we need to set the stage where we can hold Larry Cook, Kelly Galagher and Julianna Pearce financially accountable for the inflicted damage they catered for. In this case ‘freedom of speech’ should not apply, not when it endangers the lives of children; that needs to be a first. Larry might be standing there with a big smile, but he is not laughing. Another blog (at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2019/02/larry-cook-scared-his-financial-misdeeds-will-be-exposed/) gives us a few points. The piece refers to a piece with a journalist who took an investigation on the money trail. The blog gives us: “Cook told the group he knows the article will paint him in a very negative light. His assumption is probably accurate given his shady background of soliciting money from his followers“, whilst his open response (on that page) includes “She made it seem like it is illegal to earn money online in any way, shape or form” here we see the issue, as he is not denying that he was making money, yet is he an educated and graduated medical professional? He is allegedly making money on the backs of gullible people, in addition, it is a path that endangers the lives of children and that is where parents need to wake up and get the right information, from the right people, not some activist, not a blogger (me), but from a trained medical practitioner.

And the blog gives another part. With: “Two weeks ago Cook opened a new GoFundMe campaign titled “Save Vaccine Exemptions in the USA.” He started the campaign due to the growing pressure in Washington to stop personal exemptions for vaccines. Initially, he said the money would help the parents affected in the area, but he decided to change the fundraiser days later to support the ‘nation.’“, the setting of a changed formation of funding gathering is one that is debatable even under the most positive views.

And Facebook is facilitating this dangerous path; indeed, it is possible that Google facilitates this as well as most video’s use YouTube to get as wide an audience as possible.

We have to be in support of others at times, and when the debate on the actions are optionally endangering children, those who supported that path need to be put into the limelight and the world needs to be made aware that their efforts endangered the lives of children, it is the only way to get the truth out. This was never about some finger pointing at pharmaceutical industries, I know, because when I was inoculated (the first post WW2 generation) I saw the impact, I was almost never ever sick, I avoided the diseases that plagued some, but I remained healthy, and in those days pharmaceutical industries did not have political power, not to the degree they have today. Perhaps I was lucky, perhaps not. I only know that the child vaccinations were effective, when we see that the 50’s had 542.000 cases reported, and we now see that this number has been diminished to 0.1%, we see that the vaccination was a success and vaccination was essential to get there. To have a disease that covered 1% of the population and diminish it to 1 per 100,000, we know that vaccination was the only way to get there. The same for polio, where it once ruled the lives of half a million cases to a mere 22 reported cases in 2017, we need to see another side. As the anti-vaxx people are so intent on blaming greed driven pharmaceutical industries (not entirely unwarranted), we see that the inventor of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk did not make a penny out of it, he never patented it and gave the cure away, the act of something that would have made him richer than Bill Gates and Larry Ellison combined, his act instigated the option to truly eradicate a debilitating disease from this world.

And all this comes with a second side as well, can we allow for the freedom of speech to continue when it endangers the lives of children, more important, when a non-medical professional makes claims that pushes mothers to endanger the lives of their children, is it freedom of speech or would it optionally be negligent homicide?

 

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