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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Thank you, CBS!

It seems like just the other day when I was criticizing CBS for their asinine coverage of the return of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in the United States.

Well, tonight they aired a very well-balanced and honest investigation of the growing tendency of Americans to refuse to immunize their children in the mistaken belief that vaccines are dangerous. Among other things, this story forces us all to confront the fact that Americans are losing faith in science, and falling prey to foolish beliefs that are placing us all at risk:

"I don’t trust these doctors. I don’t trust a lot of the medical field," says Debra Alvo, one of a group of mothers who don't like the idea of vaccinations. Her 2-year-old son has never gotten any shots.

"I don’t mind if he gets measles. I don’t think it’s a killer disease as they’re touting it to be. No, I feel like my son Julian has a really strong constitution, and if he got something, you know, I would deal with it then."

During the country’s last big measles outbreak, in 1989, 55,000 got the disease and 123 died. That’s one out of every 500 cases.

Arlen Boltax is expecting her third child any week now. She fears any vaccines could permanently disable her baby.

"I usually don’t say much [when scientists tell her that vaccines are safe and effective] because it’s, you know, they have their perspective and that’s the training that they receive from their medical school," says Boltax. "I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. I just feel that I’m doing what’s best for my children."


Thank you, CBS, for finally balancing out your previous lousy coverage with something on the necessity of vaccines. Check out the transcript and see for yourself.

Now, if only we could make sure more people see it... anyone willing to help with that?

3 Comments:

Blogger Goesh said...

Who knows what the american consumer of science really thinks - they see people rushing in a panic to get tainted flu serum - they suck up the TV commercials for Viox only to see the FDA jerk it off the shelves - they see a long list of law suits in the paper against a hospital for wrongful deaths down in Louisville, KY Jewish Hospital - they get themselves fat and use fen-phen to lose the weight and develope heart problems - they put their kids on some anti-depressants then are told some of these pills bring on suicidal ideation - they put their kids on anti-biotics for common colds then are told it is harmful - they are told to not spread disease and then get sick from contaminated food that is supposed to be regulated - they are told of prevention only to see millions with no insurance who can't participate in prevention - they see pills that cost 20-30$ each that don't really work - they see the terminally ill given increased doseages of medication - skepticism of science is an understatement

Thursday, October 21, 2004 5:52:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

On the other hand, Goesh, the t.v.s they watch at night, the electricity that powers their homes, the food on their tables, the clothes on their backs, the cell phones at their ears, and the sanitation that prevents disease are all the products of science. I think it IS quite curious that science seems to be losing ground in public opinion even as it demonstrates its value more fully with each passing day. The problem is not science, which has an amazingly good track record compared to other approaches to the world, but the way we've taught our society to regard science.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

From counting the number of angels that could dance on the head of a pin to Hiroshima - quite a leap - yet the common man relies on his senses, the very stuff of scientific objectivity, to judge science. Perhaps the problem is how we regard each rather than science per se. I am old enough to recall the glorification of science when the Russians were winning the space race and there was a sense of urgency to promote it. Those glory days waned, and rather rapidly. No, the average person will not bow to science because its application can create chaos in human affairs and in a state of chaos, the common man does not distinguish between science and those who seek to apply it. In a state of chaotic human affairs, the average person usually can make some sense of it while science usually doesn't.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 11:48:00 AM  

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