May 6, 2017

Measles Outbreak Rages After Anti-vaccine Groups Target Vulnerable Community

Beth Mole - Ars Technica:

Minnesota is experiencing its largest measles outbreak since the 1990s following a targeted and intense effort by anti-vaccine groups there to spread the false belief that vaccinations cause autism.

As of Thursday, health officials reported 41 confirmed cases, nearly all unvaccinated children from a Somali immigrant community in Hennepin County. The community has for years been a target of anti-vaccine groups, aided by Andrew Wakefield, a fraudulent former physician.

It used to be that our greatest battles were between good and evil, wealth and morality, haves and have-nots. What we have here, as is so well epitomized by the ascendancy of Donald Trump and his toadies, is a battle between knowledge and ignorance.

Isaac Asimov’s statement never held truer: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”

Don’t be fooled: no, it is not.

#knowledge #ignorance #dull #minds #make #fertile #ground #for #abuse

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