An anti-vaxxer who’s married to a top White House official said she wants to “bring back our childhood diseases,” like the measles.
Darla Shine is the wife of White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine (a former FOX News executive). She was apparently responding to a CNN report on the measles outbreak in Washington and how local politicians were trying to restrict who could be exempt from getting vaccines.
In complete denial mode, Darla Shine claimed on Twitter that the report was “fake” and a result of mere “hysteria.” She ended her inflammatory tweet with, “Bring back our #ChildhoodDiseases they keep you healthy & fight cancer.”
— Darla Shine (@DarlaShine) February 13, 2019
Spoiler: Measles don’t fight cancer. Neither do other childhood diseases. But measles and those other diseases can kill you before you get a chance to achieve adulthood if you don’t get your vaccines.
There were actually a total of 110,000 measles-related deaths around the world in 2017, even though safe and effective vaccines were available, according to the World Health Organization.
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. Before the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963 and widespread vaccination, major epidemics occurred approximately every 2–3 years and measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year…Accelerated immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. During 2000–2017, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths. Global measles deaths have decreased by 80% from an estimated 545 000 in 2000* to 110 000 in 2017.
It seems that mocking a treatment that saves the lives of kids — in a way that might persuade gullible conservatives to avoid the shots — didn’t go over so well.
Shine got massive blowback on Twitter for her rant, with a ratio of roughly 13 responses for every like. This did not deter her, however, as she continued to attack vaccinations in a followup tweet.
“Was waiting for the left to come after me,” she wrote. “As soon as I retweet a fact about #Vaccines they come after me. Bring it on!”
That’s plainly not true, because Darla Shine isn’t tweeting facts about vaccines. You don’t get to claim 2 + 2 = 5, then cry “persecution” when people point out how you’re wrong. It’s tempting to think someone in the White House would try and correct the record, but given that her immediate circle of friends includes a FOX News executive and everyone else inside the White House, that’s not going to happen. That crowd would gladly put children at risk if it means satisfying the conspiratorial tendencies of Donald Trump‘s base.