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Needed At WorldNetDaily: A Vaccination Against Lies

When WND isn't falsely claiming the measles vaccine is worse than actually having the disease, it's falsely blaming illegal immigrants for the measles outbreak.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 2/20/2015

WorldNetDaily has always had a strong anti-vaccination streak. The recent Disneyland-sourced measles outbreak prompted that unfortunate trait to surface again.

WND writers have endeavored to blame everyone else but those who refused to vaccinate their children, including illegal immigrants and the vaccine itself.

Attacking the vaccine

Barbara Simpson's Feb. 1 WND column displays her anti-vaxxer streak:

The move to immunize children from whatever diseases someone developed a vaccine against has resulted in parents’ concerns about the components in the shots and their side effects.

If recommendations are followed, children would get 49 doses of 14 vaccines before the age of 6. There’s even one, for hepatitis, that is supposed to be administered within 12 hours of birth!

Along with so many vaccines, there’s been the astounding increase in the number of cases of autism. We know what it is, but we don’t know why it is, where it comes from or how to prevent it.

So parents decide: Vaccinate their child and risk autism and other side effects, or avoid vaccines altogether.

Before you condemn those parents, consider that the government has a national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System to report side effects of vaccines. On top of that, you might ask why the vaccine manufacturers are relieved of any liability for any negative side effects of their products.

Of course, Simpson is silent about the millions of lives that have been saved by vaccines.

Dr. Lee Hieb -- a far-right fearmongerer who's linked with the fringe medical group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- took it further in a Feb. 4 WND column (in which she portrays mandatory vaccination as "the argument all dictators and totalitarians have used") by asserting that the measles vaccine is actually killing people:

So, I’ve been asked, “Why not vaccinate your children? Why not take the influenza vaccine?” Well, I believe the choice is up to you. I’ve covered my thinking about the influenza vaccine in an article in the Journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, available online, but here are some facts about childhood vaccines that make me think twice about their use. I traced these points back to the source, so these are not blindly reprinted from hearsay Internet articles. In some cases I found public references to be wrong but the data to be correct when I got to the source. Much of this comes from government reporting. Anyone can research disease incidence by reading MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) from the CDC and accessing the search engine for VAERS (Vaccine complication reporting site) at

1. Since 2005 (and even before that), there have been no deaths in the U.S. from measles, but there have been 86 deaths from MMR vaccine – 68 of them in children under 3 years old. And there were nearly 2,000 disabled, per the aforementioned VAERS data.

Dr. Lee Hieb

Hieb's assertion got rehashed in an unbylined Feb. 7 WND article claiming that "while no one has died of measles in the U.S. in the last 12 years, 108 have died as a result of the adverse effects of the vaccine in that same time period" and that "96 of the 108 deaths in that 12-year time period were a result of the MMR vaccine, now the preferred shot for measles immunization."

Beyond the fact that one key reason there have been no deaths from measles in the past 12 years in the U.S. is because there is a measles vaccine, Hieb and WND are guilty of lying about VAERS data.

VAERS does not claim that the reported adverse reactions to vaccines it documents are directly attributable to the vaccine. VAERS explicitly states on its website:

When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.


A report to VAERS generally does not prove that the identified vaccine(s) caused the adverse event described. It only confirms that the reported event occurred sometime after vaccine was given. No proof that the event was caused by the vaccine is required in order for VAERS to accept the report. VAERS accepts all reports without judging whether the event was caused by the vaccine.

For Hieb and WND to claim that VAERS proves that vaccines kill is, thus, a lie.

Of course, WND editor Farah completely swallowed Hieb's false claim in his Feb. 9 column:

When was the last death from measles in the U.S.? Anyone know.

Dr. Lee Hieb, an expert in the field, says 2005. But the vaccine that prevents measles infection has taken the lives of 86 in that time, she reports – 68 of them 3-years-old or younger. Almost 2,000 were permanently disabled by the vaccine.

And Bill Press wants government to mandate forcible vaccines for all children, despite the obvious fact that the shot is far more dangerous than the illness.

In a delicious irony, Farah's column appeared at WND the same day it published the latest from syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell, who points out that "false claims, based on other false claims, led many parents to stop getting their children vaccinated against measles."

Sowell also noted that "crusading movements are seldom stopped by facts." As a man who pretends to be a journalist but embraces lies, Farah provides a clear example that even Sowell could not have anticipated.

Blaming illegal immigrants

A Jan. 30 WND article promoted a rant by far-right radio host Michael Savage (who's so buddy-buddy with WND that it hosts Savage's website) claiming that the measles outbreak is President Obama's fault somehow: “Measles had been nearly eradicated until about 15 years ago. When Clinton busted our border with Mexico, the floodgates were opened to infected migrants. Measles, TB, even malaria is returning! This is a form of medical genocide.” The article was silent on anti-vaxxers.

In the same Feb. 1 column -- headlined "Obama's plague" -- in which she went anti-vaxxer Simpson blamed Obama and immigrants for the outbreak:

We’re told it all started in Disneyland and that it surely originated with a foreign visitor, but that the worst of it, is because of those retro-parents who didn’t vaccinate their children. On top of that, many doctors are saying they will not accept any patients who are not vaccinated.

With all the epidemic hoopla, there is one source that’s totally ignored.

Illegal aliens.

Why is it assumed a “foreign visitor” brought it to Disneyland? Why couldn’t it have been an illegal alien, who perhaps works at Disneyland or was a visitor there?

A Feb. 4 article by Bob Unruh rehashed Savage's smear that Obama is committing "medical genocide" through his "reckless policy of bringing in unscreened, unvaccinated masses from south of the border," also quoting right-wing darling Ben Carson blaming "undocumented people, who perhaps have diseases that we had under control."

WND then called on Elizabeth Lee Vliet -- like Hieb, a fearmongerer who's linked with AAPS -- to pile the blame on illegal immigrants (and to make sure anti-vaxxers like herself do not get held accountable) in a Feb. 5 column:

The focus of the Obama administration and media in the measles outbreak in the U.S. has been on American parents not vaccinating their children.

This overlooks a key issue other physicians and I warned about in May and June 2014: Illegal immigrants coming across the U.S. southern borders in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California were bringing with them many invisible travelers. These unwanted guests include viruses, bacteria and fungal diseases the U.S. had eradicated or controlled decades ago. Measles was one of the diseases mentioned then, since it is widespread in parts of the world from which the illegal immigration surge is coming – in particular, Central America.

Fast forward to 2015, and suddenly we have the widespread outbreak of measles that was predicted. But the blame is being placed on “bad parents” who don’t want to vaccinate their children for fear of side effects of the vaccines.

Because the U.S. declared that it had eradicated measles in 2000, parents were right to wonder why they should take an unnecessary risk. They are not the cause of this current outbreak. Being unvaccinated does not give you measles. Lawlessness on our borders is the culprit that re-introduced the measles virus to our territory. The same government that broke our immigration laws is now blaming U.S. parents for the predictable consequences of its policy. The U.S. government both facilitated and encouraged the flood of illegal border crossers and assisted their rapid dispersal to cities across the U.S.

There's just one problem with WND's blaming illegal immigrants from Latin America for the measles outbreak: Those central American countries have a measles vaccination rate that is as high, if not higher, than the U.S.

According to statistics from the World Bank, the measles vaccination rate in the U.S. between 2010 and 2013 has hovered around 92 percent. But the vaccination rate in Mexico was 98 percent in 2011 and 99 percent in 2012. In Guatemala, the rate was 93 percent in 2010 and 2012. And in Honduras, the rate was 98 percent in 2010 and 95 percent in 2011. (Rates in all three countries slipped below 90 percent in 2013.)

Further, as the Washington Post detailed, according to the World Health Organization no Central American country had more confirmed measles cases than the U.S. did in 2014.

Even though the facts aren't on her side, Vliet continued to whine: "Now the government that fails to follow its own laws is saying it will mandate that all parents vaccinate their children to protect against the disease it allowed to enter the U.S."

Of course, Vliet will never admit that vaccinating as many people as possible keeps diseases like measles from spreading.

WND's wild immigrant-bashing

WND's Aaron Klein tried to ratchet the scapegoat treatment with a Feb. 12 article attempting to blame illegal immigrants for as many diseases as he could come up with, from measles to enterovirus, but all he could come up with in support of his assertions were speculation, not solid facts. At one point, Klein claims: "While medical literature backs up the argument that Latin America is currently safely immunized against measles, a WND review of the history of outbreaks in the U.S. since the 1980s shows two major themes: Almost all of the outbreaks came from overseas, and California saw some of the largest concentrations of the disease." Which, again, is speculation and inference, not actual proof.

(Also, the Centers for Disease Control have found no evidence of a link between illegal immigrants and enterovirus outbreaks in the U.S. -- which Klein concedes a few paragraphs after he reports all his baseless speculation.)

Finally, Klein attempted to blame undocumented immigrants for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne tropical disease that he speculates is being spread through mosquitoes that "could just as easily have been transported into the U.S. in baggage, clothing, food, or liquids carried by illegal aliens crossing the border." But once more, he can only rely on speculation, not actual proof.

WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi took immigrant-bashing to a new, ludicrous level in a Feb. 13 video posted on WND's Facebook feed, bloviating that "various diseases that have been eradicated from the United States, including smallpox and other diseases coming from Latin America, Mexico, South America through illegal immigration."

Wait, smallpox? The disease that was eradicated worldwide in 1980 and exists today only in two highly secure laboratories for research purposes? That smallpox? Apparently so, according to Corsi.

But then, Corsi is known for promoting lies, so it's unsurprising he would lie about undocumented immigrants as well.

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