We've detailed how WorldNetDaily has long promoted the idea of a link between vaccines and autism. It's now ever-so-slowly creeping away from the claim as it becomes increasingly discredited.
When the medical journal Lancet retracted a couple weeks ago a study it had published in 1998 linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism, WND didn't report on it in one of its own articles but linked to another website's story on it. That was surprisingly followed up by a Feb. 11 column by Phil Elmore that's an all-out assault on the false link:
There exists in our society the pervasive myth that childhood vaccinations can somehow visit autism on your child. The very notion is upsetting and disturbing. It is, however, entirely and fundamentally without merit – misinformation that is breathtaking in its falsehood and outrageous in its audacity. "Big Pharma" has become a scapegoat for legions of distraught parents who, quite understandably, want some external, even malevolent force to blame for an affliction we still do not understand very well.
The purpose of vaccines is to encourage a "herd immunity" that creates a hostile climate for a given disease. Releasing into a vaccinated population a sub-population of unvaccinated individuals helps those diseases take root once more. Once established, they are more likely to mutate, endangering the entire community.
The irresponsible parents who harm their own children – and their neighbors' kids – through this negligence will continue to do so regardless of the truth. We must conclude they care more about their opinions than they do about facts.
This was followed by a letter to the editor (which disappear after a week) criticizing Elmore for noting the truth:
Phil Elmore's article on vaccines having no relation to autism is not convincing.
He seems to elate in ridicule while conceding an argument, as if he were actually winning it. For example, he concedes the entire point when he agrees that "vaccines have risks."
The fact is that it may not be moral to take risks in order to avoid other risks. It is a bit like playing God. I suspect this fact won't move Mr. Elmore, but it will probably move most WND readers, who probably prefer Christianity over Technolatry.
To be more empirical, the risk of pertussis is to me far less frightening than the risk of filling my babies with pharmaceutical junk, including but not limited to Thimerosal. I'm no expert on medicine, but I know enough about the modern medical climate (abortion, homosexual agenda, embryonic harvesting, contraception, fertility excesses) to realize that they have no moral compass.
No, Phil, I will not risk my kids' health anymore by taking vaccines. Or, let me put it this way: I'll take the natural risks rather than the unnatural risks.
Does WND have the guts to fully confront the issue by doing an original article on the Lancet retraction and not spin it as about deniers trying to explain it away? We shall see.