Scientists are furious with Dr. Jill Stein after the presumptive Green party nominee deleted a tweet Sunday casting doubt on the scientific consensus that vaccines don’t cause autism.
Stein provoked scientists Sunday by first deleting, then revising a tweet. Initially it said “There’s no evidence that autism is caused by vaccines,” but was changed to “I’m not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.” Scientists were quick to point out that neither of Stein’s tweets reflects the consensus that vaccines do not cause autism.
A surgeon who goes by the pseudonym Orac, dubbed Stein’s tweets as an “antivaccine dog whistle” Monday while writing on the science news site ScienceBlogs. Orac then listed other instances of her pandering to anti-vaccine activists saying that her “rant about ‘corporate influence’ on the vaccine approval process is straight out of the antivaccine playbook and based on incorrect information” and stated that “[b]asically, Dr. Stein is utterly clueless how vaccines are approved and has repeatedly slandered the FDA over it.”
Even openly socialist environmental engineer Bo Gardiner found Stein’s statements about vaccines “extremely disappointing.” Gardiner stated on her a science blog that “Her well-fed Western audience can afford to hyperventilate over such exaggerations, but I’m sure you know by now that most of the world and the planet cannot.”
After being called out on Twitter for deleting the tweet, Stein responded an hour later by tweeting “Let’s all ask Hillary why she ignored scientists warnings about climate change while selling fracking all over the planet.”
Stein’s has also warned about “corporate influence” in the vaccine approval process, which is a common complaint of anti-vaccine activists, according to The Washington Post.
ScienceBlogs also points out the the issues Stein cites as problems with vaccines were resolved at least 15 years ago and that Stein’s response to criticism was that she “doubled down on the same antivaccine dog whistles.”
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