Are vaccine rejectionists killers?

The folks at Age of Autism are shocked, shocked that Bill Gates blames vaccine rejectionists for the preventable deaths of innocent children.

In an interview with CNN’s Sajay Gupta, Gates expressed tremendous frustration with vaccine rejectionists.

“Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it’s an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn’t have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts — you know, they, they kill children. It’s a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.”

According to AoA:

We think this type of extreme language is both insulting, and is a calculated way to cut-off questioning and debate on issues that Gates doesn’t want the public looking at very closely.

Here’s a news flash: it was meant to be insulting. Vaccine rejectionists are ignorant, lack basic education in science, statistics and immunology and take medical advice from ex-Playboy Playmates. That part about cutting off debate? Here’s another newsflash: there is no debate; there’s only pathetically ill informed people vilifying the greatest public health advance of all time. And what possible motivation does Bill Gates have for stifling the free flow of information about vaccination? AoA can’t thing of any reason at all.

Let’s parse what Gates said:

Wakefield used fraudulent data. True.
He had a financial interest in the law suits. True.
Multiple additional studies demonstrated that there is no connection between vaccination and autism. True.
The claim that vaccines cause autism is a lie. True.
Children have died preventable deaths because they were not vaccinated. That’s true, too.

If Gates can be accused of anything, it is getting his terms wrong. Vaccine rejectionists aren’t killers; strictly speaking they are manslaughterers. That’s because there have no intent to kill children; the vaccine rejectionists don’t understand immunology, virology or statistics, so they can’t be expected to comprehend the immense, detailed and highly technical scientific evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

Instead of bleating that they are being insulted, vaccine rejectionists should consider why they are being insulted. Bill Gates is spending billions of dollars of his personal fortune to vaccinate as many children for as many illnesses as possible. It’s difficult to argue that he’s less “educated” than people who get their education from websites like AoA. And he certainly has no financial interest in increasing the sales of vaccines.

So why is he speaking out in this way? Because the time is long overdue for the American public to get a rude awakening. Vaccines save lives. Vaccine rejectionism leads to preventable deaths of innocent children. It may not be killing, but you could make a good case that it’s manslaughter.