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The Evidence Is Overwhelming—Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
Anti-vaxxers may have a friend coming into the White House, and medical experts are worried.
A small but tenacious group of parents and others who are against vaccines may soon enjoy support from the White House, a fact that is causing health experts alarm. Since 2000, a small but tenacious group of parents have refused to vaccinate their children and advocate against it, believing that the contents cause autism. Because of this, cases of measles, whooping cough, and mumps have increased dramatically, illnesses which medical science was thought to have under control, and in the case of measles, nearly wiped out.
Now they’re back with a vengeance, as a 2015 outbreak of measles at Disney World suggests, and anti-vaccinators may be to blame. Not only does the trend hurt individual children, but it weakens herd immunity effect. There will always be those with compromised immune systems and other natural impediments to vaccination. But if everyone around them is vaccinated, they are by default protected. The herd immunity effect weakens however with each child left unvaccinated.
Recently, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who is a known vaccination skeptic, met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Kennedy suggested that Trump tapped him to lead a panel on vaccines. Quizzically, just after this meeting, a spokesperson for Trump assured the press that no one had been selected for the position just yet.
Meanwhile, Kennedy told reporters he had been offered and accepted the position. In the past, Kennedy has supported an exemption for parents against vaccination, as it’s illegal in most states not to vaccinate your kids. According to Kennedy, mercury additives in vaccines cause autism, and big pharma, the government, and the media have all conspired to keep this from the public.
Robert Kennedy, Jr. talks to reporters outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Not only have vaccine myths been debunked, backing an anti-vaccine agenda runs counter to the government’s own stance, as well as that of the medical establishment. There already exists a federal advisory committee on immunization. These are medical experts and public health professionals who weigh in on vaccine-related issues from time to time.
Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Peter Hotez, told The Washington Post that few could be less qualified than Kennedy for a vaccine commissionership. Hotez also said that there is overwhelming evidence that no link between autism and vaccinations exists. There isn’t “…even any plausibility for a link,” he said. Daniel Salmon is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He's also the deputy director of the school’s Institute for Vaccine Safety.
Salmon said that, “Vaccines are very safe and very effective.” They offer a high level of protection. Most are “80-99% effective.” Meanwhile, according to Salmon, negative effects are very rare. Because of this, vaccinating children should be one of the simplest decisions parents make, not only to protect the child but other vulnerable people in society.
Newborns and small children can get up to 200 vaccines. But the advantages far outweigh the risks.
In the case of an adverse reaction, the most common side effects are soreness at the injection area, a lack of energy and in some cases, a low-grade fever. In very, very rare cases, a febrile seizure can occur. These may look worrisome, but they do not cause any long-term effects. As for a connection with autism itself, 13 studies of the highest caliber have been conducted. All turned up bupkis. The CDC, Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other esteemed medical organizations regularly assess such studies. Hotez called the pile of evidence against vaccines causing autism “massive.”
Kennedy is hardly the only celebrity anti-vaxxer out there. Count Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey among them. And Trump himself has made statements supporting the movement. During the 2015 Republican Presidential Debate, Trump said he witnessed it himself. “We had so many instances,” he said, “people that work for me, just the other day, two years old, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”
Oddly enough, former neurosurgeon and housing and urban development (HUD) nominee, Dr. Benjamin Carson, on that very same stage, noted the overwhelming evidence against vaccines causing autism. So what is the fear, if anti-vaxxers grow in number or are allowed more leeway? It could increase the infection and transmission of diseases such as the flu, pertussis or whooping cough, measles, and many others.
To hear what geneticist Michael Wigler thinks of vaccines causing autism, click here:
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.