Important Update: The Vaccines Issue: Satire, or Politics Imitating Satire?
While the statements (below) by Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Christie and Dr. Paul on vaccinations are an important public service, perhaps the most authoritative word on this critical issue comes from none other than Senator Joni Ernst (R.-Iowa).
Today at the New Yorker, Andy Borowitz released the text of a letter by the good Senator giving the American people invaluable advice on how to protect our children during the measles outbreak.
In her letter, Ernst first destroys the notion pundits have that politicians should not have opinions about vaccinations because they are not scientists: “Excuse me, but that’s like saying people shouldn’t have opinions about flowers because they’re not bees,” Ernst writes.
She then outlines a perfectly viable alternative to vaccinations “that’s cheap, readily available, and totally safe.”
Readers can see the entire informative letter here. The following are the most insightful passages:
Take a look at a bread bag. It’s made out of plastic, which means that no microscopic virus can get through it, unless there’s a hole in the bag. That’s why, every morning, my parents sent me to school with bread bags on my hands.
You see, measles are a hand-borne virus. You can only catch them through contact with someone’s measles-infected hand. If every child in America would go to school with bread bags on their hands, why, before you know it, measles would go the way of the Macarena (a dance that used to be very popular but has pretty much disappeared).
Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Maybe because there’s big money behind vaccinations but not behind bread bags. No one makes money on bread bags. They just come with the bread.
Ernst concludes: “So do Joni a favor. Tomorrow, send your kids to school with bread bags on their hands. As my mom used to say, ‘Joni, if there’s a problem bread bags can’t solve, it’s probably not a problem.’”
But Ernst cautions in a P.S.: “Important! This will only work if there are no holes in the bags.”
When presidential wannabe Michele Bachman claimed in September 2011 that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine might cause “mental retardation,” many on the left ridiculed her.
Although Bachmann has no medical background or expertise to make such prognostications, the fact that she is married to Marcus Bachmann, a therapist who became (in)famous over whether or not his clinic practiced “reparative therapy,” or so-called gay-to-straight counseling, should give her some say in the matter.
More important, the fact that a woman came up crying to Bachmann after the September 2011 presidential debate and told Bachmann that the woman’s daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine, should have settled the matter.
Fast forward to Monday, February 2. As an outbreak of measles spreads across the country, another presidential hopeful, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said that parents “need to have some measure of choice” about vaccinating their children against the virus.
This set off another round of derision against the governor, even as he visited a facility in the London area that makes a nasal flu vaccine, and even though Christie was dressed in an impeccable, white medical lab coat and was sporting some impressive-looking protective plastic goggles.
OK, people can be forgiven for doubting two politicians who do not have an impressive medical or scientific background.
But all those doubts and misgivings should have come to an abrupt end today, as a renowned doctor-turned-politician had the final word.
According to the New York Times, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took a firm position Monday on the side of people who say vaccination is a personal choice, saying “the state doesn’t own your children” and that “profound medical disorders” sometimes occur after vaccines.
“I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he said.
As an eye doctor and a past member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that “advocated a link between vaccinations and autism, among other conspiracy theories,” the good doctor should know.
Those who believe this is political satire can sleep well tonight.
The others, I don’t know.
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