Anti vaccine conspiracies – the Skeptical Raptor is Paul Offit delusion

Here we go with another set of anti-vaccine conspiracies from crackpots running a vaccine denier website. Once again, the old feathered dinosaur (modern or Cretaceous) is part of a broad conspiracy that includes Paul Offit, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, UC Hastings College of Law, and Kaiser Permanente. Because anti-vaccine conspiracies are only more hilarious when they get more complicated.

Because I am amused by all of this, I must, according to the rule of scientific skepticism, snarkily debunk it. Now, science isn’t good at “proving the negative,” like trying to “prove” that I am not, nor have ever been, Paul Offit. On the other hand, I cannot prove that I am not Barack Obama. Or Tom Brady. Or Elvis. You just never know.

Anti-vaccine conspiracies – here we go

First of all, I don’t link to crackpot anti-vaccine websites anymore. Google rankings give black marks to any of us who link to pseudoscience websites, even if we’re ripping them into tiny little pieces of fecal matter. Besides that, why should I send them any traffic?

If you are interested, the article in question is on the medicalveritas dot org website, and it’s entitled “The Catie Clobes Story Drives Big Pharma’s Hit-Squad Into Damage Control.” I’ll just post screenshots because it’s more permanent. 

If you recall, and if you follow this blog and its pro-vaccine articles you probably do recall, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss wrote a heartfelt story about Evee Gayle Clobes, a child who may have died because of bed-sharing, a practice that is linked to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). In a disgustingly cynical move, the anti-vaccine zealots grabbed onto the story and made Evee into a literal poster child for the anti-vaccine movement. 

According to Professor Reiss, there was little evidence that vaccines were related to Evee’s death, despite the vehement claims of Evee’s mother, Catie, and the usual list of anti-vaccine nutjobs yelling and screaming across the internet. If you’re bored, just spend a few minutes reading the comments on Evee’s article here to see how hateful the anti-vaccine crowd can be.

Anyway, back to the Medical Veritas article:

anti-vaccine conspiracies

These anti-vaccine conspiracies are so complicated, it will take forever to go through all of this. But I will start.

First, the anti-vaccine crackpots claim that Big Pharma has an agenda to depopulate the Earth by “sterilization and death.” Well, this makes no sense from a financial standpoint. Big Pharma needs living people to make profits, so reducing the population of the planet is counterintuitive. It would flunk basic marketing or accounting in a business school. Thus, we can conclude that the anti-vaccine nutjobs not only lack any objective science education but also any basic business education. Well, I’d argue they lack any education whatsoever, but they seem to be able to write.

Second, they go after Paul Offit. The anti-vaccine hit squad always goes after Dr. Offit because he is an educated, trained, civil vaccine scientist who basically ignores the personal attacks to protect the lives and health of young children. In other words, the complete opposite of a “sociopath.”

And the author of the Medical Veritas article shows her anti-semitism by trying to compare a good person, Dr. Offit, to a disgusting Nazi, Joseph Goebbels. Dr. Offit, who is Jewish and probably is missing too many relatives to the Holocaust, is the antithesis of a Nazi murderer.

In fact, Joseph Goebbels employed the “Big Lie,” a propaganda technique whereby a lie is repeated so frequently that it appears to be the truth. In fact, the Big Lie was used by the Nazis to push anti-Semitism which led to the Holocaust. Ironically, the anti-vaxxers utilize the Big Lie, like in this anti-vaccine conspiracy theory, to push their own anti-Semitism by trying to compare a good man, Paul Offit, to their propaganda hero, Goebbels. It’s offensive on so many levels.

 

The delusional anti-vaccine conspiracies article then went after my friend, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss. The author throws the scare quotes around “legal scholar,” as if it’s in dispute.

In case you didn’t know, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss is a tenured Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA). Getting tenure as a full professor at a major university requires numerous things – excellent research with boatloads of peer-reviewed publications, strong teaching skills, and respect among scholars and peers. Her credentials as a legal scholar are beyond dispute.

Professor Reiss has focused her career on policy and laws regarding public health, specifically vaccines. She has studied and published peer-reviewed articles that support her views on these subjects. They are easy-to-access and anyone who claims she is not a legal scholar has their cranium stuck way up their intestinal tract. 

Obviously, Professor Reiss is a frequent contributor to this website, where she provides in-depth and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law. Even her articles here aren’t even close to being snarky and demeaning, which the feathered dinosaur employs. Professor Reiss (and Dr. Offit, for that matter) stick with civil, logical, scientific language. That’s their style.

In case you were wondering, which I doubt anyone does, neither Professor Reiss nor Dr. Offit has anything to do with this website. My only interaction with Dr. Offit is that he mentioned this website as a good scientific authority in his book, Bad Advice. He signed a copy of the book and sent it to me. 

On the other hand, Professor Reiss will send me a message about a new article she has or will be writing. She then has several friends review the science (as I do), then sends it to the old dinosaur. I edit and format it, adding links and images as necessary. She uses this blog to publish articles that are more easily digested (in other words, written in a form for those of us who are not legal scholars). Her articles on this website (over 150 of them) form a huge database of legal and public interest information about vaccines (and a few other healthcare-related issues). It’s extremely useful to any of us who are interested in legal facts about vaccines.

But once again, neither Professor Reiss nor Dr. Offit has any editorial control over this website. But if they want to take it over, I’m all for it. I can then sit on my gluteus maximus binging stuff on Netflix. 

At any rate, Dr. Offit is not the Skeptical Raptor. Now, I appreciate the comparison – I consider Paul Offit to be one of my contemporary heroes. He has invented a vaccine that saves over 250,000 lives a year across the world. How many of us can claim that?

Anyway, I’m honored to be Dr. Offit, except that anyone who knows Dr. Offit or I clearly know that we are not one and the same. I think the only similarity between him and me is that we both love baseball (I don’t like his team very much) and we’re both Jewish. Uh oh, here comes more anti-vaccine conspiracies, something about Jews and vaccines.

I have never met either Dr. Offit or Professor Reiss. Or any of the other people who the nutjobs have claimed are me. Though I am humbled to considered one of these truly inspiring individuals. 

A little bit about Evee Gayle Clobes

I don’t want to spend too much time on the sad story about Evee Gayle Clobes. Professor Reiss covered the story in detail, and she has recently updated it with more recent information about the case that exonerates vaccines (and does not exonerate the mother).

Unfortunately, Medical Veritas, in an effort to push misinformation tried to use the Big Lie to attack Professor Reiss’ article:

You’ll notice one thing about what is written above – it lacks any evidence or science. It’s just a hit piece against Reiss’ well-written and evidence-based article.

Along with a huge dose of anti-vaccine conspiracies. Here’s an important point – Prof. Reiss’ article didn’t try to attack Evee’s mother. We published it to clear up the facts about vaccines because we saw that the anti-vaxxers had embraced the story to push the false narrative about the settled science of vaccine safety and effectiveness.

The medical examiner’s report clearly showed that vaccines had nothing to do with the child’s death, only bed-sharing was involved. Of course, according to Medical Veritas, the medical examiner made that claim “due to apparent pressure.” Oh no, that must mean the owners of this website, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and Paul Offit, forced the pitiful Skeptical Raptor to take a trip to Minnesota to force them to change the report.

Hang on, I need to laugh for about 10 minutes.

Anti-vaccine conspiracies – going full unhinged 

Of course, the Medical Veritas wasn’t 100% focused on yours truly. I don’t want to cover everything they wrote, because it’s filled with laughable conspiracies about MSNBC, HIV/AIDS denialism, Stanley Plotkin (who developed the first vaccine to prevent measles), and more rabbit holes than your typical Alex Jones right-wing rant, but I thought I’d focus on one more item that has nothing to do the old feathered dinosaur:

Here we go with the dark feces-filled world of the anti-vaccine conspiracies. It starts with Bill Gates, who strongly supports vaccines. Obviously, he doesn’t do this to enrich himself – he’s already rich, and he has vowed to give away all of his money to improve the world. Compared to other multi-billionaires, he’s a good person. 

The Medical Veritas propaganda article makes the ridiculous statement about Bill Gates wanting population control. Typical of the ignorant anti-vaxxer, they misunderstand and misuse what Gates actually said. Basically, Gates believes that if developing countries could hit the vaccination rates of developed countries, infant mortality would drop precipitously. And mothers could have fewer children because most would reach adulthood.

As I will tell anti-vaxxers who believe that vaccines don’t help, I always point to cemeteries from the 1800s filled with headstones of children who didn’t make it past the age of five or so. Families were required to have much larger numbers of children so that just a few would survive to adulthood to take over the family farm. 

From an economic and health aspect, mothers having a huge number of children, just to have two or three survive, can be a burden to the growth of a society. In the developed world, like the USA and Europe, mothers can focus on education and career, contributing to the world, because they don’t need to spend 15 years of their lives pregnant.

Vaccines don’t drive down population – they allow families, especially women to become much more of an economic, political, and social powerhouse. They actually help families have healthy children.

Gates believes, as do most public health experts, that if all countries of the world were fully vaccinated, families won’t need to focus on producing children, because they know those children will usually survive and contribute to society.

This anti-Gates trope is bogus.

Snarky old Skeptical Raptor looking for anti-vaccine conspiracies. Photo by Amy Baugess on Unsplash.

The old dinosaur laughs at the anti-vaccine conspiracies

This is easy. Let’s take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and laugh.

First, the old feathered dinosaur is not Paul Offit. He is not Dorit Rubinstein Reiss. But I am honored, humbled, and privileged to be considered to carry their briefcase (does anyone carry a briefcase any more?). Their vast knowledge of vaccines is far beyond mine.

Second, neither Dr. Offit or Prof. Reiss owns this website. But as I mentioned above, I’d sell it to them for all of their Big Pharma shill cheques. Oh wait, that’s zero dollars.

Third, Big Pharma has nothing to do with this website. There are a couple of Big Vaccine companies (owned by Big Pharma, of course) that I happen to loathe because I find them unbearably unethical and poorly run – I’m looking at you GSK. Of course, in the world of anti-vaccine conspiracies, that’s probably what they call a false flag. 

Fourth, Bill Gates does not own this website, though I would really sell it to him for 0.0000001% of his wealth. I could set up my own vaccination clinic for refugees from countries that Donald Trump hates.

Fifth, Gates and his Gate Foundation are trying to improve the developing world not only through vaccines but also with providing innovative solutions to many problems of those countries. He is a good person, despite my never using Windows. I’m an Apple person.

I find people who believe in conspiracies to have a desire to create a lie that supports their ignorant beliefs about the world. Whether those conspiracies are about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Jews causing 9/11, or that vaccines cause harm, it’s all the same. They’re lies.

Citations

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!