Before the pandemic, antivaxxers likened concern about childhood diseases to mental illness. In the age of COVID-19, Dr. Vinay Prasad accuses medicine of “legitimizing” irrational anxiety and says we should treat COVID like the flu—with one telling omission.
An old school “vaccines cause autism” antivaxxer hosted new COVID-19 antivaxxers at an antivax conference last month. Although one new antivaxxer, Geert Vanden Bossche, was discomfited and pushed back against old antivax tropes, the rest joined Del Bigtree in spewing longstanding antivax tropes.
Efforts to hold COVID-19 disinformation-spreading physicians accountable are leading to increasing calls by cranks for a “debate” with them. This is a disinformation tactic, not an honest call for debate.
At the Defeat the Mandates rally on Sunday, RFK Jr. invoked Anne Frank in an antivaccine speech. Then he apologized. Shorter RFK Jr.: “Oops, I did it again!” Why is anyone surprised? This has always been RFK Jr.’s MO.
A month ago, Dr. Robert Malone announced the “Defeat the Mandates” rally on Joe Rogan’s podcast, to be held this Sunday. I sensed many echoes of Jenny McCarthy’s 2008 “Green Our Vaccines” rally, although what’s different is even more disturbing than the antivaccine misinformation that’s the same.