Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mr. Ropeik’s Hive

Earlier this week the LA Times published a disturbing vaccination-related op-ed entitled “Public health: Not vaccinated? Not acceptable” by a one David Ropeik. Mr. Ropeik, an instructor at Harvard and member of the public health intelligentsia, operates a consulting firm specializing in “risk communication.” Not surprisingly, a list of his consulting firm’s clients reads like a who’s who of the vaccine establishment. He is, or has been on the payroll of these vaccine-dependant organizations:

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • State of Florida Department of Public Health
  • State and local health officers of Arizona
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Safety
  • State and local health and public safety officials of Utah
  • The National Academy of Sciences

So what’s the message he’s crafted to further the Machine’s agenda? It’s a simple one: Those who don’t vaccinate are enemies of the people and the people must rise up against them through the power of the state.

In his article; a piece brimming with collectivist concepts, words and phrases such as the public, society, public health, the community and the common good; Ropeik assembles a litany of ineffectual arguments to assert those having no interest in vaccination are enemies of society, the state and the common good. And that those people must be molded, pressured or nudged to fit the requirements of the collective.

Oddly, Ropeik, whose piece centers on those who don’t vaccinate, begins with a question (which appears repeatedly throughout the piece) that has nothing to do with the unvaccinated. Ropeik asks:
What does society do when one person's behavior puts the greater community at risk?
Put society at risk? The unvaccinated put no one at risk. Infectious illnesses have been transmitted between people since time immemorial. Therefore, the decision to remain unvaccinated can only withhold potential protection from others, not put them at risk. And no one has an obligation to undergo unwanted medical treatments to provide theoretical protection to others.

Ropeick, nonetheless, in a futile attempt to create the illusion that the unvaccinated do put people at risk, continues with a fusillade of bad analogies. Let’s examine each and discover why they are completely irrelevant to the vaccination debate:
You don't get to drive drunk.
No, because you are acting and creating a risk that otherwise would not exist. When you don’t vaccinate you’re neither acting nor, as we’ve already discussed, are you creating a risk.
You don't get to smoke in public places.
Unfortunately, Mr. Ropeik (probably a big Mayor Bloomberg fan) is right. In some localities - further along on the road to collectivism than the nation in general - you can’t smoke in a public place such as a park. But to use the folly of others (smoking in a park puts no one at risk) as moral justification for ill-conceived policy is to use the logic of a child: thinking actions can be justified if one can find just one other person who has committed a similar error.
You don't even get to leave your house if you catch some particularly infectious disease.
Well, influenza is infectious (I don’t know what “particularly infectious” is however). But I’m not aware of any law confining those with the flu to their homes. Nor were any quarantines in effect during a pertussis outbreak here in California in 2010. So without further exposition by Mr. Ropeik, we can attribute little meaning to this point and must therefore move on to the next fallacy. (Besides, not being vaccinated isn't, last I checked, an infectious disease.)

With these arguments now disposed of, let's move another point Ropeik attempts to use to further his agenda: the issue of cost. He states:
When a woman from Switzerland who had not been vaccinated for measles visited Tucson in 2008 and became symptomatic, she went to a local hospital for medical attention. This initiated a chain of events that over the next three months led to at least 14 people, including seven kids, getting measles. Seven of the victims caught the disease while visiting healthcare facilities. Four people had to be hospitalized. The outbreak cost two local hospitals a total of nearly $800,000 [four people at 200,000 a piece? Really?], and the state and local health departments tens of thousands more, to track down the cases, quarantine and treat the sick and notify the thousands of people who might have been exposed.
Later he laments:
Outbreaks are costing the healthcare system millions of dollars, and local and state government (that's taxpayer money, yours and mine) millions more as they try to chase down each outbreak and bring it under control to protect the public's health. Your health, and mine.
But is it the governments role to “chase down” outbreaks? And if so does the government need to chase down every outbreak and should it do it with an unlimited budget? Let’s look at this example to help us decide.

Imagine a movie or TV show in which a woman on a plane, unbeknownst to her, has contracted some type of “superbug” against which no one is immune, death is likely and transmission is easy. The woman is unaware of her state yet infectious. In this case, due to the circumstances described, the government should act. The woman is creating a risk to those with whom she comes into contact whether she knows it or not. So yes there are cases when the government should become involved with infectious illnesses.

In the example Ropeik describes, a small measles outbreak, the case for intervention, while plausible, is not nearly as strong – and it certainly does not support the use of unlimited resources. Here’s why. A woman with the measles would enter into a highly vaccinated population; if there were no vaccine, she’d enter into a population high in natural immunity. And the measles is, as illnesses go, mild. Finally almost everyone disturbed by the news of an outbreak would have access vaccination.

One final factor influencing the decision to act is whether or not the intervention could be expected to help. For example, because of the ubiquity of the flu, quarantine and tracking would be a pointless task.

On the other hand with few cases of the measles, it’s possible that government interventions could help – although I’ve seen no evidence that all the money spent to supposedly “contain” measles outbreaks have had any effect on the course of those outbreaks.

What about the astronomical costs of hospitalization? Surely that’s the fault of the unvaccinated.

Ehh…not really.

The astronomical costs of hospitalization, and of healthcare in general, are largely products of a series of government interventions dating back to the early 1900s

The “healthcare system” of which Mr. Ropeik speaks is a government monstrosity apparently created with the purpose of driving healthcare costs to absurd levels.

Here are some of the government-created factors involved in the meteoric rise in the price of medical care:

· The AMA's government-granted medical monopoly

· FDA over-regulation

· Medicare and Medicaid: two enormous entities both rife with waste and abuse

· Insurance industry regulations mandating unwanted coverage and limiting competition between companies

· The countenancing of frivolous multi-million dollar lawsuits that compel doctors to practice "defensive" medicine

· The controlling of where and how many hospitals can be built

Finally, as to hospitalizations, without detailed information (rarely provided by public health officials) I have to question a measles-associated hospitalization rate that far exceeds any past utilization numbers.

Regardless, the costs incurred by a government engaged in it’s legitimate function does not countenance the violation of the rights of the American people – if money is a problem within the current system, your only solution is to dismantle that system. And if you’re not willing to do that, stop complaining.

This brings us to the punishments section of this piece. Ropeik opines:
Perhaps there should be higher healthcare and insurance costs for unvaccinated people, or "healthy behavior" discounts for people who do get vaccinated, paid for from what society saves by avoiding the spread of disease.
I’m not sure if the insurance industry is clamoring for his opinion regarding how they structure their premiums. But if he’s so concerned, perhaps he should buy an insurance company. Then he could decide what to charge his customers.

And healthy behavior rewards? Sounds like mandatory exercise and approved menus - unless you want to be nudged with 50% higher premium.

Besides, it's quite possibel those who do not vaccinate utilize the “health care system” less frequently than do vaccinators. So perhaps their premiums should be lowered. Either way let’s let insurance companies themselves decide and keep the do-gooders out of it

The errors in logic conclude when Ropeik returns to his original point for the umpteenth time calling for the “government to do what it's there for in the first place: to protect us from the actions of others when as individuals we can't protect ourselves.”

Astonishingly, Ropeik still fails to grasp the fact that not vaccinating is NOT and action and as such violates no ones right to protection.

So the choice is ours (at least for a little while longer). Do we accept more pressure, coercion and punishments and allow hired “communicators” such as Ropeik to lead us deeper into the hive of collectivism or do we think for ourselves, seeing the messages emitting from the vested interests of vaccination for what they are: contrivances manufactured by the Machine in order to persuade us to accept its agenda. Think carefully America, for as John Adams once said, "Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."


  1. I will not vaccinate my kids...vaccinations do not ensure "immunity" and they sure as heck guarantee that my kids' bodies will be filled with unhealthy stuff.

    If people do not agree with not vaccinating, they are more than welcome to go shoot themselves and their kids up. I do ask, however, whether people are really educated as to the side effects and other injuries caused by vaccinating. Autism, Wakefield, and Jenny McCarthy aside...I'm sure if they started delving into the realm of vaccine damages, they would start to see why others are not so excited to vax themselves or their families.

    As for insurance...we do not even have insurance. We put money aside for "emergencies". We do well-child visits with a DO and a chiro. Keep your "health" care and keep your vaxes. I am more than happy supporting my children's very strong immune system with proper sleep habits, healthy nutrition (not store bought crap labeled as healthy) and fresh, clean water.

  2. You missed something!
    "Seven of the victims caught the disease while visiting healthcare facilities."

    This indicates that healthcare facilities are doing an absolutely catastrophically bad job of handling illness. People should not be catching diseases at healthcare facilities, but they do, constantly. We don't suffer from a vaccine shortage we suffer from an excess of sloppy management at doctor's offices and hospitals.

    Mr. Ropeik also left out the sad fact that some of the people who caught measles at the healthcare facilities were vaccinated adults. The vaccine didn't protect them. If they had gone through measles in childhood...they would have had real immunity.

  3. Mr. Ropeik also failed to note how many of the "victims" suffered any lasting morbidity or any mortality, likely because the answer is "zero", which makes $800K look like a really ridiculously unnecessary expenditure.

  4. Mr Ropeik said that an unvaccinated woman contracted the disease and spread it to other unvaccinated people. There is no way to prevent people from catching diseases at healthcare facilities but if all of these people had been vaccinated for measles, they likely would not have spread measles in the first place.

    And if they had caught measles in childhood, they also might have caught meningitis and possibly died. That is a very real threat, much more likely that any lasting side effect to a vaccine.

    I don't understand why the unvaxed keep trying to prove that they are not spreading disease. If you want to make a choice not to vax, that is fine with me. But don't argue that your kids are healthier, because they are not necessarily, and don't argue that you are not spreading diseases, because there are some which you are spreading, like measles.

    No one should be forced to have a vaccination but the rising number of unvaxed in the USA is truly putting the community at risk.

  5. Yes, the government's job is to track diseases

    And yes measles can be mostly mild but meningitis is a real threat for up to five years following the measles and that is very serious.

  6. Kathy, I think the meningitis to which you're referring is a type of encephalitis

    Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare chronic, progressive encephalitis that affects primarily children and young adults, caused by a persistent infection of immune resistant measles virus (which can be a result of a mutation of the virus itself). 1 in 100,000 people infected with measles develop SSPE

    Anyway even the 1 in 100,000 may overstate the risk since it refers to reported not overall cases and in the pre-vaccine era there were 10x more cases than reported cases. Today there is evidence that the risk for SSPE is higher but that data comes from one "epidemic" between 1989-91 in which the most vulnerable populations were most affected: the poor and the young. The imapact on the young is thought to be influenced by a reduction in the quality of maternal antibodies due to mothers of the time having vaccine induced, rather than natural immunity. So no I don't think death is a "very real threat." i think it is in a healthy, well-nourished child a highly unlikely one. But I think it's up to parents, not the government, to make the risk / reward calculation in regards to vaccination.

  7. The SSPE paragraph is from Wikipedia

  8. Kathy, yes indeed there are ways to keep people from catching illnesses at healthcare facilities. For example, where I live there was an outbreak of chickenpox. Most of the children who got it go to the same medical practice, but no one got it through the medical practice, they got it on purpose at local CP parties. So how did the medical practice avoid spreading CP to the people who didn't want it? The doctors saw the CP kids (so they could put it into their medical records, none actually needed medical care) in their cars out in the parking lot. Then the doctors went back inside and washed up carefully before they saw another patient.

    1.7 millions infections in hospitals.

    I think the very filthy kettle is calling the rather shiny pot black.

  9. I'd rather take the risk of measles any day, than the risk of neurological disorders including autism and also bowel disorders caused by MMR.

    When I was a child, everyone got these childhood illnesses, because vaccinations against them did not exits, yet the streets were not littered with dead children's bodies, as the needle nuts would like us to believe.

    Vaccination is IMO an absolute fraud.

  10. "Dependent", you anti-vaccine wordsmith, you. It's "dependent", not "dependant". "Dependant" is not a word. Simple spell-check for such an accomplished writer as you should not be terribly difficult.

    Good luck with your book.

  11. Please look at official mortality statistics and see, that 98% of measles mortality has disappeared years before vaccine was invented in 1960's...

    So much for the "Vaccination eradicates disease" fairy tale.

    A little less official but more verbose links:

  12. Shawn Siegel posting:

    This is a case of adding injury - to the insult of the injection of pathogens and a host of toxins, where in almost all instances the immune system evolved instead to defend against inhalation or ingestion of typically but a single pathogen per contagion, and never a thought was given to the types of accompanying contaminants that are found in vaccines.

    The paradigm continues only because in most cases the illusion of benefit has outweighed the reality of the damage caused every recipient, to one degree or another; buttressed by the strictly controlled media, which touts the ostensible benefits and censors discussion of the damage. But that's changing, as the injury increases.

  13. Ropeik is a relentless promoter of vaccines as all-good. He fails to mention that parents can't sue doctors or vaccine makers if their child is injured. They have blanket protection. Parents have to go to a special vaccine court. This is a adversarial process where parents face government lawyers defending a government program using government money. Thousands of parents of vaccine damaged children never get their cases heard. Despite this, the federal vaccine court has paid out over 2 billion dollars for severe damage including death since 1986.

    Anne Dachel
    Media editor: Age of Autism

  14. On June 28, 2011, parents and medical experts testified before the MA House on a bill to allow philosophical exemptions from vaccines in that state. Listen to the parents describe what happened to their children. It is especially notable that one mom hold up a photo of her son covered with massive red patches all over his body within hours of receiving the MMR vaccine.

    See the new book, Vaccine Epidemic by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland is a good source. . Also see: the National Vaccine Information Center Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of

    Anne Dachel
    Media editor: Age of Autism

  15. What mr. Ropeik suggests in this piece is unconstitutional, anti-democratic and frightening. It's a crime to see this dictatorial speech printed in so many newspapers.
    We all have the right to determine what drugs go into our bodies and those of our chidlren. Vaccine choice and parental consent, the cornerstones of our government. Mr Ropeik can go and preach his sermon on any street corner in the US, but it doesn't belong in our newspapers.
    Maurine meleck, SC

  16. I made a comment on that article but since I mentioned nazi Germany, it wasn't published.

    I once commented something on a IV post on FB about how things are going to get much worse before they get better. Once the school exemption numbers rise close to 30-40% we will see a much more aggressive propaganda instigating people against people through fear and repetitive lies.

    If a few years ago not many gave a though about this subject, in a few years it will be on everybody's mind, one way or another.

  17. Funny that you complain about a comment not being published when Age of Autism (you reading, Dachel?) goes to extraordinary lengths to block comments from the scientific community.

  18. There is a "scientific community" which wants to comment on Age of Autism? Who are these folks? And how do they constitute the scientific community?

  19. Ask Ms. Dachel. There are plenty of PhDs, MDs, epidemiologists, biologists, and other scientists from all walks of life and all levels of education that submit comments to AoA to counter their lies. None of those comments get through. Should they get through by accident, Ms. Dachel and her colleagues quickly do away with said comments, lest they affect the bottom line.

  20. Well, there might be and there might not be. At the moment we have a claim by one anonymous commenter. But thanks for sharing your unsubstantiated claim of censorship.

  21. We need to kill the government and big pharma

  22. David Ropeik isn't an instructor at Harvard. He is the communications director for HARVARD'S CENTER FOR RISK ANALYSIS. He has already been bought and paid for.