Last Friday, Bill Maher went full transphobe, repurposing old antivax trope commonly used to deny a predominantly genetic component to autism and claim vaccine causation in order to mock the idea that there is a biological basis to being transgender and claim its prevalence is increasing now because it’s “trendy.”
Autism quack Dr. Mark Geier recently won a $2.5 million judgment against the Maryland Board of Physicians for having violated his medical privacy by including the name of a drug he was taking in a public cease-and-desist order. Antivaxers are trying to spin this as some sort of vindication of his antivaccine quackery. Make no mistake, the board appears to have screwed up, but that has nothing to do with whether its revocation of Geier’s medical license was justified.
In 2010 I wrote about how I define “antivaccine.” Has my definition changed since COVID-19? Yes and no, but that’s why an update was needed. So what does “antivax” mean now, since COVID-19?
Yesterday, the FDA paused use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 due to a rare association with a very uncommon type of blood clot. Detecting one-in-a-million potential adverse events shows that our monitoring is working, but predictably antivaxxers are weaponizing this development to spread fear of COVID vaccines.
COVID-19 has radicalized the antivaccine movement. Unfortunately, that radicalization is metastasizing to encompass all vaccines.