Obama announced today that parents should vaccinate their children, in the face of a growing measles outbreak. Well, right on cue, here’s the right-wing to tell us that vaccines are “bad” and should be a “parental choice” — sentiments echoed by Senator and potential presidential hopeful Rand Paul on Monday.
It’s important to note that all uses of “parental rights” carry the same connotation as the modern “separate but equal” — that is, “religious freedom.” Which is to say, it’s something that sounds nice and admirable, but if you so much as scratch the surface, you find something really, really ugly under it (in this case, all the rights to the parents and no rights or protections for the children against their parents).
Paul, trumping Chris Christie’s views on immunizations, told talking head Laura Ingraham that he felt vaccinations should be “voluntary:”
I’m not anti-vaccine at all, but particularly, most of them ought to be voluntary. What happens if you have somebody not want to take the smallpox vaccine and it ruins it for everybody else? I think there are times in which there can be some rules, but for the most part it ought to be voluntary.
One of the shots he felt unnecessary was the hepatitis B immunization for newborns. He otherwise noted that he staggered the vaccinations for his children overtime, rather than all at once, and added that “While I think it’s a good idea to take the vaccine, I think that’s a personal decision for individuals to take and when they take it.”
Paul has ties to a crank right-wing group of doctors called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, who promoted a number of debunked or conspiratorial medical theories. Anti-Vaxx is right up his alley; the AAPS opposes mandatory vaccinations and is one of the idiot agencies that posts studies that show “alarming evidence” linking autism and certain vaccinations.
Recall that Paul isn’t he best source for medical information; after all, this is the same guy who feels HIV is less contagious than Ebola. Since he doesn’t understand how either of those viruses work, why on earth would anyone trust him for understanding how any virus works?
Later, the Tea Party idiot doubled down on his comments in a CNBC interview claiming:
“I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.’