bad science coronavirus empathy deficit

The Politics of Spite: Right-winger refuses to get vaccinated to “trigger the libs”

There’s an episode of Seinfeld in which the titular character tries to return a jacket to a high-end boutique. When asked why, he answers “for spite” — he doesn’t much care for the salesman to sold it to him in the first place. That doesn’t go over well with the staff at the boutique and they refuse to take the jacket back.

At times it seems like right-wing politics today is about nothing but spite. Donald Trump spent his four years in the White House trying to undo virtually every one of Obama’s accomplishments; his followers try to “trigger the libs” by refusing to wear masks indoors in the middle of a devastating pandemic.

Now a right-wing activist has written a little spitist manifesto for a reactionary America First publication called American Greatness in which he admits straight up that “I Won’t Take the Vaccine Because It Makes Liberals Mad.”

Peter D’Abrosca begins with a cursory run-through of some of the legitimate and quasi-legitimate medical reasons some cite as the reason they’re not getting the vaccine.

I will never allow myself to be injected with Big Pharma’s mass-produced mystery juice, in part because it was rushed out of the lab and into the manufacturing line like a replacement for a Honda Civic’s recalled airbags.

Never mind that the various vaccines have been thoroughly tested and serious side effects have been vanishingly rare.

But possible side-effects aren’t what’s driving his decision.

“But in truth,” he writes,

I’m not really avoiding the vaccine due to potential medical complications, or because of the speed with which it was produced.

And he’s not doing it because he’s some sort of libertarian fanatic.

Personal liberty is not the reason I’m avoiding it, either. I’m not a member of the “don’t tread on me” club.

No, the real reason is, to put it plainly, spite.

My primary reason for refusing the vaccine is much simpler: I dislike the people who want me to take it, and it makes them mad when they hear about my refusal. That, in turn, makes me happy.

Maybe it’s petty, but the thought of the worst people on planet earth, those whom I like to call the Branch Covidians, literally shaking as I stroll into Target vaccine-free, makes me smile. …

So I have decided that because the vile political Left, which I despise in the abstract, wants me to take their coveted vaccine, I simply will not.

None of this would matter if it were only D’Abrosca who would be hurt by his decision. If he wants to gamble with his life — he describes himself as “a healthy 29-year-old” whose chances of dying from COVID are “practically nil” — that would be fine by me. I honestly don’t care if he gets COVID or a piano falls on his head.

But by not getting the vaccine he puts others at risk; everyone who doesn’t get the vaccine makes it harder for the population as a whole to reach the “herd immunity” that makes viruses stop spreading.

And as long as some unvaccinated people are passing the illlness on to other vaccine-refuseniks, newer and potentially more deadly strains of the virus are more likely to develop — and some of these strains might be different enough to render our current vaccines moot.

If you want to know what it might look like if significant numbers of Americans refuse to get vaccinated, take a look at India today, where a lack of vaccines is sending the country into crisis. The US now has more vaccine than it needs; we need to help India out both because it’s the right thing to do and because it will help us too. If we don’t, we’re really no better than D’Abrosca.

I can’t help but think of that HuffPost piece a couple of years ago “I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People.” Because I don’t know how to do that either, and if our country is going to be able to move on from the current pandemic (and survive all the other crises to come) we’re got to learn how to make people like D’Abrosca care, at least a little bit.

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57 replies on “The Politics of Spite: Right-winger refuses to get vaccinated to “trigger the libs””

[H]e describes himself as “a healthy 29-year-old” whose chances of dying from COVID are “practically nil.”

On the Interwebz, nobody knows you’re a 50-year-old guy with a smoker’s cough who got both vaccines, thank you very much, also to trigger the libs, because it’s a known fact that they want all right-wingers to die and he chooses instead to stick around and trigger libs for a long, long, long time. That article is forthcoming.

You know what else triggers the libs? Donating all your spare money to pro-LGBT causes and charities.

And yet, should he get sick and require intubation, a healthcare professional will take care of him. Even if he screams and curses at them, calling them liars because he can’t POSSIBLY have COVID.

Just how are the Target liberals (snerk) supposed to know he’s unvaccinated? I guess not wearing a mask and constantly wearing a MAGA hat would do it, but if he’s just in regular people clothes, the spite isn’t going to work.

Also, I think this is literally cutting off his nose to spite his face, when one of his unvaccinated buddies gives him the disease and he either dies or gets long Covid.

@Kat: Exactly. David said “if he wants to gamble his life, that’s fine by me.”

The libs get all thrilled at the possibility RWNJ will get Covid and die. Man, they love that idea. If the right-wingers get their shots, then they’ll live and so will their friends. It’s so triggering of the libs if they know a guy like him isn’t going to die soon.

I’ll take yours if you don’t want it!!

But seriously. Enough people do this, and it’ll endanger those who can’t get vaccinated, or who have to wait longer because they have fewer options. My boyfriend has an immune condition and can only take the Pfizer or Moderna (or any that are the mRNA kind, but not the ones that have a bit of live virus). So hopefully he doesn’t have to wait a longer time once our age range is eligible.

Anyway, I should stop worrying about things I can’t control. And that “making liberals mad” guy should realize…

Maybe it’s petty

It is. It really is.

@epitome of incomprehensibility

And that “making liberals mad” guy should realize…

Maybe it’s petty

It is. It really is.

But the Petty Ocean is the one in which he and his school of right-wingers swim.

@GSS ex-noob


Abbreviating an ableist term doesn’t make it less ableist, it just makes you look like you know that it’s wrong and you’re trying to fly it under the radar. Just don’t.

I would be completely triggered if he posted a YouTube/Instagram/TikTok of himself shooting up with bleach.

It’s amazing isn’t it? During the whole pandemic, the right wingers have complained about how they don’t want to do masks, social distancing, deal with things being shut down. Now we have the one thing that will end all that, a vaccine, and they don’t want to take it. Just because liberals and leftists want to take it. It’s fucking absurd.

At times it seems like right-wing politics today is about nothing but spite.

Right-wing politics has never been about anything else. Always it is about hoarding things and privileges for members of some in-group and keeping them away from everyone else. The left’s goal is to keep anyone from lacking something that they do deserve, and considers it worse for a deserving person to go without than for an undeserving one to get something. The right’s goal is to keep anyone from having something that they don’t deserve, and that it’s worse for an undeserving person to get something than for a deserving person to do without, and the “moderate” right (which includes most liberals) pretends to some kind of meritocratic criteria for who is deserving and who is not, but deep down all right wingers actually use an in-group/out-group criterion; the “moderates” just pretend not to.

Watch them, though, go through mental gymnastics to justify excluding someone who meets their meritocratic criteria but is in an out-group; say, a black Ivy League graduate whose surname may or may not rhyme with “Adama”. “Moderate” conservatives will resort to all manner of special pleading to put someone like that on their “naughty” list, and equally to put a white man from an upper-class background on their “nice” list even if multiple eyewitnesses avow that he facilitated, if not outright took part in, gang rapes as a fratboy; said white man may or may not have a given name that rhymes with “fret”.

In fact, when an out-group member manages to pass all of their meritocratic tests, the resentment is palpable. The spite becomes obvious when the “moderate” conservative finally gets a viable excuse to deny this person something and they do it with great glee. And those who don’t pretend to be moderate spare not a drop of vitriol when any out-group member passes their “moderate” fellow-travelers’ tests and attains a high position despite their gatekeeping. The right wing meltdown over a certain President that started in 2008 and seems to have never ended, or the way they talk about Greta Thunberg, or etc. shows this. And of course it always ends up with strongly implied threats of violence, targeted to whichever out-group their target is in. So with Obama there were nooses left in various places as mute threats; with Thunberg, the infamous X-Site sticker; Limbaugh’s shut-shaming of Sandra Fluke; and so on.

It’s all driven by spite. “But those people are undeserving!” is their whine any time someone who isn’t a white man from a privileged background gets the skin off a grape. Exclusion is the first, last, and only concern of right-wing politics, sometimes overtly and sometimes somewhat disguised. The only variation is in how far they will take the politics of exclusion. Denying a group welfare and ripping them off financially at every opportunity? Also denying them decent housing or educational opportunities or health care? The far right would deny them freedom. The full-blown Nazi would deny them life.

There is an interesting essay at Patheos about this:

But the usual function of fences is either keeping people out or keeping them in, and that doesn’t seem like an always benign, or neutral, or wholly random function for illustrating Chesterton’s point. … Chesterton might have chosen some other pre-existing construct, like a bridge or a road or a well. But he didn’t. He chose a fence. And the more one thinks about it, the more one realizes he had to choose a fence because none of those other things would have worked to make his point. The “use of it” isn’t in question when looking at a bridge or a road or a well. And, in any case, the “reformers” Chesterton was railing against weren’t usually in the business of clearing away bridges or roads or wells. They were, rather, in the business of clearing away fences just as he was in the business of defending and maintaining them.

That is, maintaining existing out-group distinctions, and exclusions applying to those out-groups. It goes on, eventually, to:

Would-be “reformers” don’t need to propose “destroying” an existing fence, they only ever need to propose that the fence-builders stop rebuilding it.

And conservatives must always attack any such proposal. This is why they get so livid at any expansion of inclusion, or anything that might even lead to such an expansion, such as a pride parade. This is why they are obsessed with bathroom laws and, back in the day, why it was such a big deal when Rosa Parks sat in a “whites only” section of a bus. Their obsession over the southern border fits as well: here we have a literal fence being regularly transgressed and among their ideas is to not just maintain it but turn it into a huge, physical wall. That’s why they are so focused on ensuring nobody considered to be undeserving ever gets anything, even if that means the deserving sometimes go without. Because the fence will erode away, and sooner or later people will notice that the world hasn’t ended and realize it was never needed, and why are we budgeting a bazillion dollars a year for its upkeep again? Aren’t there bigger spending priorities, like things that can end the world, like climate change?

It’s a siege mentality, with the undeserving hordes battering at the gates. Their worldview, so focused on absolute exclusion of certain people from at least some things, breeds paranoia, and of course paranoia breeds a repeated bugbear around here: conspiracy theories. It also breeds real actual bona fide conspiracies, like that of January 6, or Watergate, or Iran-Contra. A siege mentality also means “all’s fair in war” applies: they must not lose, no matter what the cost. That means conservatism, even “moderate” conservatism, inherently will undermine democracy. They will cheat and they will find a way to justify it to themselves. It won’t always be as overt as the GOP shenanigans in blue districts of red states, to be sure, but they will be compelled to cheat. And they will be spiteful, again, whenever someone from the other side wins. Indeed, the other side will be regarded as another out-group, this one undeserving of political power. The less-moderate among the GOP have made no secret of how they view the entire Democratic Party, despite that party actually being largely composed of moderate conservatives, rather than genuine leftists.

Spite toward everyone who’s not perceived as “one of us” is what drives all this. It’s always been about spite. For the (at least) six thousand years that hierarchical societies have existed, conservatism has been about spite. Who does the guy on the 2nd-bottommost tier of the ziggurat hate? If he’s conservative, the people on the bottom tier, out of fear that they’ll gain enough that he himself will then be on the bottom tier with them, and not the pharaoh up on the apex lording it over everybody else. He aspires to be the pharaoh, after all, so that would entail hating himself.

A conservative grades life on a curve. It does not matter if their absolute position improves or worsens, if they get a nicer house or better food; it does matter whether there’s anyone below them in the hierarchy. The worst thing is to have no one below them. So they begrudge anyone they perceive as on a lower tier any kind of gain or benefit, and to ensure that they never see themselves as on the bottom tier, they define the tiers by immutable traits as much as possible: race, gender, socioeconomic status at birth. Nouveau riche are looked down on by the aristocratic old guard for that latter reason. They rose above their immutable station. Resentment. Spite. But they are just faking it. Deep down inside they are still losers with a capital “L”. Their uncouth mannerisms prove that. Their lack of an education.

Once everyone has their immutable station, fixed at birth, any upward mobility by anyone below one warrants spite, as does any downward mobility of oneself. Which is why widespread “degentrification” of the middle class, actual or threatened, breeds militant right-wing movements, up to and including full-blown fascism. The dangerous juncture America has reached was predictable as soon as the ink was dry on 2008’s financial and homeownership statistics. The spite is driven by genuine fear of becoming “one of them” and leads to such hate of “them” as to potentially lead to genocide. Or, if their own middle class tier is to be consigned to non-landownership, then the tier below them, the white working class, shall have to remain worse off, and so shall be denied housing entirely and forced to live in their car in the parking lot of the place where, by day, they ask if you want fries with that. And the tiers below the white working class … well, at the very least they will have to be denied freedom and bodily autonomy, to keep the hierarchy intact. To jail with them! Let any who resist eat lead! And we get mass incarceration, racially-biased, and biased police shootings, if not fenced-off ghettos and camps.

Conservatism is the politics of spite. At the best of times, in an economic updraft, it leads to inequality and mass exclusion, as with the whites-only seats on that bus. At the worst of times, in an economic downdraft, it leads to fascism, mass imprisonment, and sometimes genocide. But always, it is driven by spite, and most of all by spite for those who have the least to be envious of.

Is there a fix? Sure. Raise a whole generation of people not to grade life on a curve, not to see things in terms of winners and losers, but instead in terms of haves and have-nots, where it’s possible to have while someone else haves as well. And, of course, make sure this view is perpetuated to future generations as well.

Just how are the Target liberals (snerk) supposed to know he’s unvaccinated? I guess not wearing a mask and constantly wearing a MAGA hat would do it, but if he’s just in regular people clothes, the spite isn’t going to work.

He needs to wear the Star of Covid. I hear it’s the latest hot fashion accessory with this sort of people.

Biontech (the inventors of the first vaccine, the one being produced by Pfizer) can hardly be described as “big pharma”.

@Policy of Madness

Abbreviating an ableist term doesn’t make it less ableist

To be fair, I had to google it to figure out what it meant in the first place, because I’m not up on the acronyms, and the urban dictionary answer says it either means the ableist thing or “right wing Nazi jerk”. I haven’t been paying attention to know if it’s been a problem before, but could be gss meant the second one?

So here in the netherlands they have currently halted vaccinations because of a panic that the AstraZeneca vaccin would cause increased chances of thromboses (about 4-5 in one million). It seems unlikely that this risk is greater than the risk involved in not getting a vaccin because apparently getting COVID (aside from all the other ‘fun stuff’ COVID gives you) has a larger chance of causing these same thromboses.

Apparently the one group where this could legitimately be a higher risk than not getting vaccinated is your people between 20-30. Which is not the group they were currently vaccinating (we’re still in the ‘starting with the chronically ill and elderly’-phase). Maybe I’m callous, but I find this halt very frustrating because from where I stand it looks unnecessary . and more dangerous.

This jackass from the article can go swim in a bucket of used syringes as far as I’m concerned.

right wing Nazi jerk

I think this is the most likely, from what I’ve seen of GSS’s other comments on this site.

One of the many things on my ever growing to-do list is an article on the association of meat eating and right wing politics.

I’ll have to hurry up though, as now “meat eating to own the libs” is going mainstream.

Biden is also under fire for pushing ‘plant based beer’. You know, as opposed to the stuff brewed with pork rind.

@Alan and other vegetarians and/or vegans – can’t remember if I mentioned this before (I might have – apologies if I already did!) but if not, some of the conversation in this may be of interest:
It’s about a half-hour video, but the tldl could just be: mass production of meat from either only a handful of animals or none at all (depending on the meat in question) may be technologically and legally closer than we think. An order of magnitude less consumption of water, land and energy, and carbon footprint.
Ugh, I have a sneaking suspicion I probably did link it before but I’m just not sure (>.<)

@OpposableThumbs: Should that become a thing, I welcome it. I don’t know if I’d eat it, vegetarianism is a habit by now, but I’m definitely in favor of such products. Preferably without animals being involved at all, but a massive downscaling of the animal abuse is most definitely an improvement.

All I can think of about that “plant-based beer” thing is that Kudlow vaguely remembered someone talking about avoiding non-vegan beers, and missed the point. It used to be common for brewers to use animal products (isinglass or gelatin) for the “fining” process, but apparently this is a lot less common now, so most beer is vegan (apart from the ones with honey added).

If American conservatives got the idea that their vaccine doses will be sent to India if they don’t use them, would they decide that they’d rather spite brown foreigners than American liberals?

If American conservatives got the idea that their vaccine doses will be sent to India if they don’t use them, would they decide that they’d rather spite brown foreigners than American liberals?

On Twitter, I’ve seen it pointed out that some Americans aren’t even aware that the vaccine is free of charge. This should be explicitly pointed out in all public communication, since it’s apparently highly counterintuitive for people operating under the US healthcare model.

Also, apparently/likely the vaccine won’t be free any more once the pandemic emergency is officially over. In other words, any halfway competent marketing organization should be urging people to GET THEIR SHOT NOW!!!!


Hope they’ve done something about the texture – the bit of lab grown I tried a couple years back were rather disgusting. Still, early days and I really hope they get it sorted out.

Even if you don’t care about other, you would still take vaccine, both for you and because helping herd immunity is very low opportunity cost anyway. I know ; I am pretty misanthropic, but the idea of going out of my way to show it is much more effort than the vast majority of mankind is worth of.

It’s not that theses asshole don’t care about others. It’s that they want to actively inflict suffering and will take any opportunity to do exactly that.

Off-topic, I know, but it’s just been reported that Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins has died.

Not getting vaccinated for spite is stupid for the same reason that use of a biological agent in warfare is stupid. Biological agents and novel (to us) bacteria and viruses are nearly impossible to predict or control. Are spitesters simultaneously dissing and depending on science here?

None of us are really safe from Covid until all of us are. Altruistic behavior is adaptive for our species. I feel like when we got to the threshold of having enough individuals to produce libertarians, it was almost a death knell for our species.

@ opposablethumbs

Thanks for the link. That whole thing though reminds me of the Arthur C Clarke story Food of the Gods.

I’m at the state where I physically can’t process meat because of the changes to my gut biome. Also I have a revulsion to the mere thought. Scildy explained it to me in terms of how new neural pathways form.

It is an interesting branch of research though. And I’d be very much in favour of lab grown meat replacing animal sourced products.

@Moggie: That said, Waffle House apparently released a bacon-infused beer last year. (Beer is usually uninteresting to me anyway, and that even more so.)

Here I thought that the bacon in everything trend had died.

@Threp, apparently several companies reckon they’re making significant progress wrt texture/mouthfeel, even if there’s a way to go. Possibly drawing on 3D printing technology to print ‘muscle fibre’ for tuna steaks (no plans as yet for anything with a bone in it, though – too complicated, so no ribs or chops) 🙂

@Alan, yes – it’s not so much directly relevant to those who like you are already vegan or vegetarian, as to those who want an alternative form of meat. But hopefully there’s potential for significantly reducing environmental impact and cruelty even in the current context of huge world demand, and capitalism. To be honest, the thing that makes me feel hopeful about it becoming a practical reality relatively soon is the fact that a growing number of companies reckon they can get rich :-s

@ opposablethumbs

a growing number of companies reckon they can get rich 

Indeed. I get sent a lot of investment and finance stuff. That’ll teach me to click the ‘notifications’ button. But it’s very interesting. Lots of advice to dump animal-ag and invest in plant based. So when we say “The future is vegan”, it’s not just us, it’s the market.

There’s an irony that the two biggest societal disasters here recently, Brexit and Covid, have done a lot for animal rights. With Brexit the fishing industry is on the verge of collapse, animal-ag is really struggling, no live exports, and lorry drivers can only take vegan food across the channel. Seriously!

And with the Covid there’s been a big uptick in people eschewing meat and replacing with plant based. That’s for self interest health reasons rather than ethical; but I’m not bothered why people reduce animal product consumption. Just happy when they do.

Unfortunately, some people like this have kids, and the U.S. still has this shitty system where parents have an Inalienable Right to stop “their” kids from getting any health care whatsoever, including vaccines. And then kids of folks like those featured in this post interact with people with immuno-deficiency.

Speaking of Seinfeld: The jerk store called, and they’re running out of Peter A’brosca!

Bleah on the Politics of Spite. The Politics of Dancing sounds like a much more fun conversation to have.

ETA: uhm, isn’t most beer made from plants? At least the base of most beer recipes are made from grains? Or did I miss something here?

I abbreviate because “Right Wing Nazi Jackass” is too long to type out regularly. But thanks for the bad faith assumption.
(Thanks, Bookworm!)

A non-plant based beer would be… I’m not sure, but if not impossible, then really gross.

I would love it if lab-grown meat was a thing. I wish the current fake burgers didn’t have so much salt in them.

@Moggie: interesting thought — do they hate foreigners more than liberals?

Redsilkphoenix, the vast and overwhelming majority of beer is plant-based, which is what makes Kudlow’s attempt at fear-mongering so hilarious

I remember how the warcraft 2 orcs were supposed to drink beer made from pig blood.

It’s fitting for theses alt right. They have about the same depth of personality and bloodthirst as theses.

[note for younger people : in warcraft 2, unlike the later War3 and WoW, orcs *were* entirely brutish killers, whose motivation to invade Azeroth was that they killed each and every human on their home plane and needed more blood]


Er, what? There were never any humans on the Orc homeworld of Draenor, and the Orcs didn’t drink human blood. The Orcs invaded Azeroth after being corrupted by drinking the blood of a demon, to wipe out the native population and colonize Azeroth, not to harvest blood.

@Allandrel : the small part is that I mean “the orc need more blood” as metaphorically ; they wanted to conquer and exterminate another country. They only used pig blood for beer, I don’t remember a clear mention of anthropophagy or ennemy blood drinking. Also, you confuse the story of warcraft 2 and the story of warcraft 3, who retcon quite a bit of war2.

Warcraft 2 is clear on that draenor was populated by human. We see the head of one in the manual next to the fluff explaining they killed the last draenei, and a half-orc half human was with them, too. Mannoroth didn’t exist at all back then, only Kil’jaeden (who however did look almost the same as the modern incarnation), the dragons did not have several flights yet, the orc didn’t needed no blood pact to be frenzied war machine intending to destroy everything, etc …

By the time of the 3, Blizzard added a ton of details, with the goal of making them more palatable. It’s also why all the event from warcraft 2 and especially its expansion seem goofy or strange ; they made much more sense back then. They retconned a lot of war2 to make it fit, trying to do it in a way that isn’t too visible. I.E. most of the change are unobstructive and somewhat compatible with war2, but not entirely so.

The Draenei as non-human retcon started in the expansion of war3 (The Frozen Throne), and also introduced the concept they were survivors from the purge. The Beyond the Dark Portal expansion of Warcraft 2 have ogres and some trolls, but no draenei to be found, nor any non-pig, non-orc native life.

“I will never allow myself to be injected with Big Pharma’s mass-produced mystery juice, in part because it was rushed out of the lab and into the manufacturing line like a replacement for a Honda Civic’s recalled airbags.”

I’ve seen so many right wingers say this and then turn and praise Trump’s handling of the pandemic because of how fast he got a vaccine out.

I know calling out hypocrisy when it comes to MAGAs is like saying water is wet but damn this one really gets me

I don’t care if you think your chances are nill to die. There have been children who died of Covid. Chances are never nill.
Even if I would be selfcentered and wouldn’t care about others, I would still look forward to the vacination (and I am a coward who hates needles). I wan’t a nornal live back.
If a think angers people I hate is not somethink that is high on my prioritylist. (Getting joj to others I care about is another motive)
I want to shop normally again, not beeing afraid, visit friends again etc…
I find it very hard to understand that simple logic and health became a political isue, exspecially because many republicans (the politicans) are probably vacined allready. Not getting vacinatad should be in no one interested.


ISTR that Beyond the Dark Portal introduced the Draenei with the Broken (though they were simply called “Draenei” in that expansion), but the web says not until WC3.

But yeah, WC1 and 2 have been retconned a LOT. In WC1, the humans had what appeared to be Christian churches complete with crosses, for example.

@ GSS ex-noob

I abbreviate because “Right Wing Nazi Jackass” is too long to type out regularly. But thanks for the bad faith assumption.

To butt in where I’m not needed, I also assumed the acronym in the ableist sense. It wasn’t because I thought I had a reason to think you’d use such language, it’s just that that’s the only way I’ve seen the acronym used.

Language is hard.

@ Who?,

I find it very hard to understand that simple logic and health became a political isue, exspecially because many republicans (the politicans) are probably vacined allready. Not getting vacinatad should be in no one interested.

Agreed. I don’t understand how vaccination, of all things, became such a political issue. Seriously, does anyone on here know why/how/when the anti-vaxxers really got going? Is it just because vaccines by definition function best when most of the population has them*, and the right-wing in general is so rabidly individualist?

It can’t be because vaccines are “new” inventions, ffs.

* I’m not a doctor or a scientist so I honestly have no idea if this is true, but I think I’d heard that’s how it works.

@ bookworm in hijab

does anyone on here know why/how/when the anti-vaxxers really got going?

Over here, it was down to someone called Andrew Wakefield. He originally had a company that supplied compound vaccines, that inoculated against a series of illnesses.

However he couldn’t break into the market. So he set up a company that manufactured single doses. To bolster that he did a ‘study’ showing a link between multiple vaccines and autism. It was all bollocks of course. It involved 12 kids, including the children of his business partners. That purported to demonstrate rival manufacturers’ conventional vaccines caused autism.

Then in response to a tweet about this Cherie Blair, the wife of our then prime minister, said she understood the concern. Doctors implored the Blairs to confirm that they thought vaccines were safe and they’d inoculated their own kids. But they refused to do so on ‘privacy’ grounds (although it appears they were in fact vaccinated).

And it all grew from there.

Wakefield and his co-directors got into all sorts of bother with the regulators. His colleagues pleaded guilty, but Wakefield maintained he was correct. He was struck off as a doctor . But he makes a fair bit of money lecturing on the dangers of vaccines, and there’s a lot of people out there who believe him.

GMC judgment here…

Because of Wakefield’s bogus study, the association of vaccines with autism has become widespread. The anti-vaccine movement is essentially an anti-autistic hate group, united by preferring their children dead than autistic.

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