- Pediatrician Peter Hotez believes Amazon and other big tech titans’ inability to suppress anti-vaccination content is partially to blame for record outbreaks in measles through the years.
- Many of Amazon’s top books discussing vaccinations are written by well-known anti-vaxxer activists like environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr.
- Public health needs to prevail over vaccination skeptics’ ability to monopolize content on Amazon, Hotez told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Several of the top books discussing children’s health on Amazon’s website are written by prominent people skeptical of vaccinations, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Some of the top books about vaccines on Amazon’s website promote content from authors who are deeply skeptical of the science supporting vaccinations. Books like ones titled “What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations” maintain top spots on the site.
Noted skeptics like pediatricians Paul Thomas and Robert Mendelsohn place high on Amazon’s list, TheDCNF found. Their commanding position atop the shopping website is giving heartburn to scientists like Peter Hotez, who believes Amazon’s willingness to allow Mendelsohn and other skeptics top-billing is causing a serious medical crisis, especially for children.
“Amazon needs to step up and stop promoting the anti-vaxxer agenda,” Hotez told TheDCNF.
“We are seeing children die from influenza. They are now the single largest promoters of anti-vaccination books,” said Hotez, who appeared in a March 11 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” to discuss what he believes is Amazon’s complicity in pushing anti-vaccination narratives.
“The only way to restore this is to start dismantling this empire is to do something about Facebook and Amazon,” he said, noting that the time for balancing individual rights of publishers and public safety is over.
Hotez wrote a book in 2018 titled “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism,” in which he lays out the reasons why vaccinations were not the cause of his daughter’s autism.
Robert Kennedy Jr.’s book “Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury — a Known Neurotoxin — from Vaccines” is also among Amazon’s top rated books on vaccines. He also wrote an introduction to “Master Manipulator: The Explosive True Story of Fraud, Embezzlement, and Governmental Betrayal at the CDC,” which claims officials are hiding data showing negatives associated with vaccinations. Kennedy Jr. is one of the leaders of the movement, Hotez said of the noted activist.
Mendelsohn and Thomas, meanwhile, have a history of writing material criticizing vaccinations. (RELATED: Instagram To Block Anti-Vaccine Ads By Labeling Them Misinformation)
“[W]hile the myriad short-term hazards of most immunizations are known (but rarely explained), no one knows the long-term consequences of injecting foreign proteins into the body of your child,” Mendelsohn wrote in a 1984 issue of the West East Journal. “There is growing suspicion that immunization against relatively harm-less childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in auto-immune diseases.”
Another book on Amazon’s best-selling list is Thomas’s “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe And Effective Approach To Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years.” Thomas is a pediatrician who calls himself an advocate for pro-safe vaccines, though Hotez and others say that type of language is a ruse for expressing skeptical positions toward vaccinations.
“You don’t have to dig far to know that vaccines have caused tremendous harm. Have they had benefits? Absolutely. Which is why I remain somewhat on the neutral side in saying that I am not anti-vaccine,” Thomas told Learn True Health. “I’m pro-safe vaccines. I’ve progressed along to the point where I now don’t believe there is such a thing.”
Hotez argues anti-vaccination activists are creating a health crisis.
He points to measles outbreaks in Michigan, California and elsewhere as reason enough to take what this community of activists says seriously. Nearly 314 cases of measles have been reported in the United States, with Oregon reporting a record number of measles outbreaks. Numerous studies conducted over the years have shown no sign of a connection between vaccines and autism. Others are apparently starting to accept Hotez’s position.
Instagram announced March 22 that it would start blocking anti-vaccination hashtags. Facebook, which owns Instagram, claimed the decision came after users complained after seeing large amounts of anti-vaccine content — the company said it would be taking steps to label this content as misinformation and thereby effectively hide it from public view.
Some health professionals have pushed for social media companies to ding such activists, citing research that shows the lack of correlation between vaccines and autism. Scientists worry that the misinformation on social media might lead people to resist vaccinations and thereby make themselves more vulnerable to illness.
Neither Thomas, Kennedy Jr. nor Amazon replied to TheDCNF’s request for an interview or comment. Mendelsohn passed away in 1988.
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