Washington is currently in the midst of the largest measles outbreak in decades. That’s because rejecting vaccines is relatively commonplace in the state. It’s one of 17 states that allows people to avoid vaccines for personal reasons in addition to medical ones.
That’s why legislators are considering changing the rule to make it more difficult to obtain a vaccine exemption. While exemptions would be allowed for medical or religious reasons, personal preferences would no longer be enough. It’s sensible, it’s smart public policy, and hundreds of people who don’t understand anything I just said decided to protest that legislation during a public hearing on Friday.
An estimated 700 people, most of them opposed to stricter requirements, lined up before dawn in the cold, toting strollers and hand-lettered signs, to sit in the hearing, which was so crowded that staff opened up additional rooms to accommodate the crowd. Many gathered outside afterward for a rally.
Anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine conspiracy theorist, claimed that health officials are covering up vaccine dangers. Some said their children had been injured or sickened by immunizations. One falsely said the majority of people diagnosed with measles have been vaccinated.
So all those protesters were demanding that their legislators put even more citizens in harm’s way… not exactly a winning argument, but everything’s backwards in their world. They likely see themselves as heroes.
The legislators should ignore them and save them. Do what Democrats had to do with the Affordable Care Act and fight back against the critics who didn’t realize the legislation was actually in their best interests. You No one deserves credit for celebrating a conspiracy theory.