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EDITORIAL: The anti-vax epidemic: A deadly myth persists thanks in no small part to leaders who should know better

The New York Daily News - 3/7/2019

March 07-- Mar. 7--When will a pernicious myth finally die? The largest peer-reviewed study yet shows no link, none, between vaccines and autism. Scientists in Denmark looked at more than 650,000 children born over a decade and confirmed that even in children with enhanced risk factors, getting the shot for measles, mumps and rubella was in no way linked to increased likelihood of developing the disorder.

Which will not stop anti-vaxxers, as they're known, or the pro-plague movement, as we'd rather have them called, from spreading baseless mythology that hikes children's risk of contracting real diseases.

A measles outbreak is now spread across 10 states. Washington's governor has declared a state of emergency. More than 100 kids are infected in Brooklyn, as are another 75 in Rockland County.

The messages from the top matter. Which is why Donald Trump should feel shame for having repeatedly fed the ignorance beast. As should legislators in 20 states who are pushing bills to give parents more power to opt out of basic disease protection.

As should Sen. Rand Paul, a medical doctor. "For myself and my children I believe that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweighing the risks," he declared in a hearing this week -- before claiming that "mandatory government vaccination" impinges on liberty.

Debilitating illness takes away far more liberty, senator.


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