Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has apparently decided that riding the antivax wave is his key to the GOP nomination. This wouldn’t have represented a viable strategy if the GOP hadn’t become the antivax party over the last decade or so.
Antivaccine beliefs occur at the same prevalence on the left and right, only the GOP promotes policies to make opting out of vaccines easier. All over the country, Republican politicians are opposing making school vaccine mandates stricter, proposing laws to loosen vaccination requirements, and falling for antivaccine pseudoscience.
Contrary to the stereotype of antivaccinationists as hippy-dippy left wing granola crunchers, in actuality antivaccine pseudoscience is the pseudoscience is the pseudoscience that knows no political boundaries. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that both parties are equivalent. Unfortunately, thanks to the co-opting of conservative activism by antivaxers, the Republican Party in 2018 has become the antivaccine party.
Ill-advised right-to-try bills are spreading like kudzu through state legislatures. Now federal legislators want to insert right-to-try language into the bill that funds FDA drug approval. Given the support of powerful Republicans for right-to-try, is it too late to stop this juggernaut and protect patients?