Anyone who has ever talked to an anti-vaxxer knows that they are not about to be swayed by facts. They have decided that children who are diagnosed as falling somewhere on the Autism Spectrum were somehow damaged by vaccines and no one is going to tell them otherwise.
Anderson Cooper experienced the frustration that comes from trying to educate such people on the facts about vaccine safety earlier this month when he spoke with former Republican congressman Dan Burton of Indiana.
As a congressman, Burton held three years of hearings on the supposed link between vaccines and autism, inviting such discredited luminaries as Dr. Andrew Wakefield whose 1998 study which was later determined to be completely fraudulent ignited the controversy.
Burton began his campaign after his grandson was diagnosed as falling on the Autism Spectrum shortly after receiving a vaccination, leading him to conclude that the vaccination was the cause of the boy’s disorder.
Speaking to Cooper, Burton insisted that there is no difference between Thimerosal, the ethylmercury eliminated from nearly all childhood vaccines before he began his crusade, and methylmercury, the type found in fish which led the FDA to recommend that consumption of fish be limited.
When Cooper pointed out that Thimerosal has largely been eliminated from childhood vaccines, due to “an abundance of caution,” Burton was quick to take credit, although it had occurred before his hearings ever took place.
“Well, it was removed primarily because we raised so much Cain about it in my hearings,” Burton gloated.
Although Burton and his fellow travelers believe steadfastly that there is no quantitative difference between m-mercury and e-mercury, there is a huge difference. The main reason that we are advised to avoid eating large amounts of fish is that m-mercury accumulates in the body building greater toxicity as more is accumulated. E-mercury does not accumulate and Thimerosal is e-mercury.
No matter how many times Cooper tried to explain it to him, Burton continued to smugly smile and assert his superior knowledge on the topic, insisting that he had heard from medical professionals from all over the world who support his views.
“Well, I did research for three years. Unfortunately, you haven’t had the opportunity to research it for three years,” Burton said. “Before you refer to these studies as being completely accurate, you’d better look at all the studies, and not just the ones that were submitted to you.”
Watch the conversation in the video below.