Samantha Bee does a typically hilarious take on the dumbshits who are killing us because they won’t vaccinate their children. (Her visit to Kurdish women soldiers is even funnier.) But with some yeshivas lying about compliance and spreading measles wider and wider, the New York Department of Health isn’t laughing: It has now threatened to close noncompliant yeshivas.

This is a real win-win. Closing yeshivas that lie about their sick students makes children everywhere safer. And simply by virtue of being free of New York’s many substandard ultraorthodox yeshivas, students will almost certainly be able to set out on an actual education. Indeed the shameful noncompliance of some of these schools is shining a much-needed light on their scandalously low standards. Good.

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12 Responses to ““Maybe it IS bad to get diseases from the Middle Ages…””

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    This will be another interesting wedge issue in 2020.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: A very tricky one – I’m thinking most pols will stay away from it. First because it’s hard to get regular folks really to take in issues like overuse of antibiotics and anti-vax stuff. People understand opioids because they see addiction and overdose firsthand, and because it’s easy to grasp the sordid behavior of pharma in the matter. But disease from drug-resistant illness and from non-vaccination remains abstract to most people. And I’m afraid what remains concrete – I remember this from vaccinating my own kid – is the actually kind of scary needle-full of stuff you’re asked to put in your kid – more than once – at a very young age. That’s really graphic.

  3. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    I am thinking of it as a pure emotional play: Evil gurvmint vs. People of Faith (r)(c)(tm). Worked a treat in 2016 and now extending beyond the Christian base.

  4. charlie Says:

    According to an ABC report in January of this year, those that opt out of vaccinations are the more affluent and better educated. Growing portion of the top 10% distrust vaccine efficacy….

  5. David Foster Says:

    “According to an ABC report in January of this year, those that opt out of vaccinations are the more affluent and better educated.”

    My sense is that these people are mostly those who believe in such things as magical crystals, homeopathy, the evils of GMO, etc. They will often describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”

  6. Anon Says:

    Anti-vaxxers draw from both the whackadoodle left and rightwing nutjobs. It’s not just the religious/spiritual, but also anti government, anti establishment blah blah types. Unless they’re in very safe seats, politicians won’t touch the issue because they’re bound to offend at least some of their base no matter what they say.

  7. charlie Says:

    Anon, please. Yours is a puerile characterization of a growing number of people who don’t agree with the efficacy of vaccines. Whatever you may think, they have access to alternative information. Dispute that, and leave name calling in the playground….

  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Anon: That’s an important point – the teenager interviewed by S. Bee (he also testified before Congress) seems to have as a mother a new age type, and they’re definitely over-represented among the anti-vaxx people.

    The short clip Bee provides in her piece – an interview with a seemingly highly educated woman who simply chooses not to believe in the germ theory of disease — speaking of medieval — is the most disheartening thing in her report.

  9. charlie Says:

    Y’all heard of Alton Ochsner?

  10. charlie Says:

    I guess not. Dr. Ochsner was a renowned New Orleans surgeon working out of Tulane University. In the mid 50s, the Salk polio vaccine had been developed. Then, as now, questions were raised as to its safety. Ochsner was a proponent of wide spread innoculation, and to end the debate, he gave the vaccine to his grandchildren. The result was that his granddaughter contracted polio, the grandson died.

    Point wasn’t the efficacy of vaccines. Rather, it was a question of the quality of the product. Obviously, it didn’t work, and Dr. Bernice Eddy, who did the animal tests on the vaccine, knew they weren’t safe. Precedent exists as to why pharmaceutical aren’t always what they’re claimed to be. To question the quality doesn’t make anyone a nutjob or political ideologue…

  11. Margaret Soltan Says:

    charlie: Yes, that did happen, and it was a nightmare and a cautionary tale. But anti-vaxxers aren’t questioning the quality of vaccines; they are opposed to vaccines as such, and they believe vaccines give people all sorts of other diseases. Questioning quality is fine; portraying yourself as equivalent to a Jew in the 1940s poisoned by Nazis because people insist in 2019 that you vaccinate your children is not only nutty but depraved. Obviously not all anti-vaxxers are like this – but in their irresponsible deafness to science all deserve condemnation, and, yes, ridicule.

  12. charlie Says:

    Fortunately, I haven’t come across anyone as you describe. Having taught hs, I have had quite a number of students who haven’t received inoculations. The arguments against vaccinations they’ve given me have been to the poor quality of testing regarding many pharmaceuticals, including current childhood vaccinations. My students, and their families, are not nutjobs, nor political ideologies. Granted, it’s one high school, in one Oregon school district. My response was to those that would claim they were…

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