I’ve noted elsewhere that anti-vaccination sentiment is more likely to be found on the right, despite the common misperception that it is primarily leftwing phenomenon. If we want to know why this is the case, we have to plumb the depths of the fever swamps of the right (pun intended). By way of Wonkette (I’ll link to Wonkette, not crazy sites like WDN), World Daily News describes what Rightwinghole™ and radio talk host Michael Savage thinks about the influenza vaccine:
Asking listeners to put aside his political orientation for a moment, talk-radio host Michael Savage questioned the federal government’s recommendation that citizens get a flu shot.
“Did Harry Reid take a flu shot? Did Barack Obama take a flu shot? Did Barack Obama’s lovely family take a flu shot? Did Joe Biden take a flu shot?” Savage asked.
“Which of the mandarins took the flu shot?”
We break here to turn things back over to Wonkette:
We don’t know which of the mandarins took the flu shot, but all the Obamas did so in 2009, back in the good old days where flu shots just gave you AIDS and bisexuality.
That is treating Savage with the seriousness he deserves–which is to say, none at all. Back to Savage:
“The flu vaccine?” he asked. “No, I wouldn’t take it.”
Savage noted “not everything your government tells you is true.”
“So it’s good to have a cynic in radio who questions authority,” he said.
Savage argued that Centers for Disease Control authorities have to guess what the vaccine should be made of.
“So they choose five strains out of 250-plus strains of Influenza A, and if they don’t choose the right one, you’re going to get sick,” he said.
“So you’re putting your faith in the CDC’s ability to guess the one that might be a pandemic.”
He said that this year, the CDC guessed right on two of the strains and wrong on one of them.
He acknowledged that many people calculate that the risk of a side effect is one in 1 million against the one-in-10,000 risk of being hospitalized or dying.
“But I believe the risks outweigh any benefit,” Savage said.
Hard to know what outweighs death, but we digress again. Savage:
The vaccine, he pointed out, contains formaldehyde and thimerosal – an organic compound containing mercury, which impairs the neurological and immune systems – along with detergents, antibiotics and allergens that cause infertility.
The CDC itself, he noted, lists some of these ingredients on its own website as harmful, though it insists the amounts in vaccines is negligible.
Someone may well say, Savage acknowledged,” Well, I took the shot and it didn’t kill me.”
But when you’re older, he argued, “and you get ALS or Alzheimer’s disease or MS, or you watch your kid develop seizures, or your kid becomes autistic, God forbid, what are you going to say?”
The relationship between the vaccine and any one person acquiring these diseases can’t be known for certain, he said, “But why increase the chances of inducing such illnesses in yourself and your children?”
How is this any different than the woo peddled by pseudo-liberal Arianna Huffingtion? Answer: it’s not.
Nor should this be surprising. Between the hucksterism that represents the terminal stages of the devolution of the conservative movement from TR’s Bull Moose to Glenn Beck’s Prion-Infested Downer Cow and the paranoia that gives rise to invisible light bulb vigilantes, a full throttled embrace of altie woo in some rightwing quarters is hardly unexpected.
Keep in mind that Savage wouldn’t spout this nonsense if his audience wasn’t partial to this crap. These are fertile grounds he’s plowing.
It’s not just a bunch of damn dirty hippies any more (not that it ever was).