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Giorgio: The Politics of Disease

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 

Paul Giorgio

Just before this Fall’s Congressional elections, most people were frightened to death of the spreading Ebola Virus that was going to destroy America. It did not matter that not one case of Ebola was actually the result of anything that occurred in our country. A man who visited Africa brought back the disease and it was transferred to a healthcare worker and in other cases it were doctors who were treating patients in Africa who contracted the disease and were themselves treated here. No, the right wing used that to whip up anti-immigrant sentiments. Since the election, there hasn’t been one word anyplace about Ebola. Health crises averted, because one did not exist accept in the minds of right wingers.

Now Comes the Measles Crisis.

In an outbreak that started in Disneyland, 166 cases of measles in 18 states have been reported in the United States. Measles had been eliminated in this country, because of a concerted effort to vaccinate children before they go to school.

The right wing is once again blaming  illegal immigrants as the cause of this outbreak. That is just stupid. Unless anyone thinks that people are crossing the border just to go to Disneyland.  Maybe they are, but it takes about a year’s salary just to visit the place for a day.

No the real issue here are the anti-science nuts and their anti-government sidekicks. They are traveling on parallel paths. The anti-science folks who tend to be better educated and with a higher socio economic status, believe that we should not vaccinate, because the science hasn’t been proven.

Some also claim that there is a link between childhood immunization and Autism.  A British study, released several years ago made this claim. That study has been debunked and proven to be fraudulent. But it is still out there on the internet.

According to the CDC there is no correlation between the measles vaccine and Autism.

Then you have the anti-government TEA Party folks whose position is if the government is for it, it must be wrong.

Anti-Science

Several states grant parents an opt out on vaccinations based on moral and political grounds.  This is foolish.  We are now dealing with a medical crisis because of the political posturing of elected officials in several states…This is not just limited to conservative areas.  Marin County, California allows parents to opt out as does Idaho.  This is an interesting juxtaposition of ideology.

The protection of our public health should be a priority in this country.  Eradicating diseases that are preventable also should be a priority.  When I was growing up, everyone contracted the measles, chicken pox, and the mumps. Children also were afflicted with polio.  We have up until recently eliminated or at least minimized these diseases.

Do we really want to see a resurgence of polio and all the lives it destroyed?  Because that is road we are on.

Let us end the liberal elitism of places such as Marin County and the anti-government fervor of places like Idaho.

Believe What You Want

If you want to drink milk that is organic and unpasteurized that is fine.  If you want to only eat organically grown food that too is fine.  If you want to believe that the government is deliberately poisoning us-go to it.

But there does come a time when public health takes precedence over personal beliefs.

Childhood immunization and the elimination of the spread of disease is one such time.

 

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