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Bill Gates Says Anti-Vaccine Effort Kills Children 832

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-oh-wait dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "CNN has an interesting interview with Bill Gates who says that unbelievable progress is being made in both inventing new vaccines and making sure they get out to all the children who need them. The improvements could cut the number of children who die every year from about 9 million to half that. But Gates has harsh words for those who engage in anti-vaccine efforts, especially Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who falsified data to 'prove' a fraudulent link between vaccines and autism. 'It's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids,' says Gates. '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.'"
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Bill Gates Says Anti-Vaccine Effort Kills Children

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  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DFENS619 (1008187) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:32PM (#35114448)
    Someone mod Bill +1 hero so he gets out of the troll area
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:57PM (#35114634) Journal

      Even if it were true (vaccines cause autism), as Penn & Teller wisely argued: Vaccines SAVE more lives than they kill/damage.

      See the video for yourself - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdZTZQvuCo [youtube.com]

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:29PM (#35114888)
        I prefer this one: Penn Point [youtube.com].
        Specifically about Asshole Andrew Wakefield's ("who used to be a doctor but is now just a guy") fraudulent falsification of results in order to line his own pockets with money from a firm of lawyers who wanted to sue pharmaceutical companies.

        Even if vaccinations DID cause autism, which they don't and there's no proof and this Wakefield's study has been *completely* discredited (it's complete bullshit) but even if it DID cause autism, which it DOESN'T! and let's make this clear, it DOES NOT cause autism, it DOESN'T! It does NOT cause autism. But even if it did, which it doesn't, even if it did, which it doesn't, even if it did, which it doesn't. It doesn't. It DOES NOT. It would STILL be worth it to give vaccinations

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sortius_nod (1080919) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:58PM (#35114658) Homepage

      I must agree with him, and I didn't realise how bad this was in the US until I saw a documentary the other night on the "war against vaccination" in the US. Pretty much the people against vaccination keep changing the reasoning why the vaccinations are "bad".

      One minute it's the MMR vaccines that cause autism, then it's the mercury based preservatives, then it's the amount of shots kids get, blah blah blah. Basically all the reasons have been refuted by scientific studies (Denmark was used quite often as they keep medical records on all their citizens).

      One of the anti-vaccine idiots even had the balls to say that it was up to the scientific community to disprove that vaccines are dangerous.

      Jim Carey and that other bitch both need to be hurt with hot pokers. The simple fact that autism becomes apparent at the time when kids get their vaccinations does not mean that the vaccinations cause autism. In fact, the studies showed that vaccinated kids had the same rate of autism as non-vaccinated kids.

      Pseudo-science will always win because the media outlets can get "passionate" famous people behind the campaigns.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:12PM (#35114744)

        The problem is worse than that. Just look at the number of famous, retarded actors who became scientologists.

        • by meerling (1487879)
          Yes, but then again it kind of makes sense, an actors entire career is based on them doing and saying exactly what someones else tells them to and to do it convincingly. Guess they've trained to be professional sheep or something.
      • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:57PM (#35115094) Homepage Journal

        I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that he's been on something of an anti-vaccination crusade, especially when it comes to flu shots. He basically is of the position that the whole campaign to inoculate people against H1N1 is in and of itself a conspiracy. He's adamant that you don't need vaccines if you eat right.

        • by catmistake (814204) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:47PM (#35115410) Journal

          I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that he's been on something of an anti-vaccination crusade, especially when it comes to flu shots. He basically is of the position that the whole campaign to inoculate people against H1N1 is in and of itself a conspiracy. He's adamant that you don't need vaccines if you eat right.

          I believe you are overstating his position. [huffingtonpost.com] If your immune system is weakened, get a flu shot. If you're a hypochondriac munchausens case, we'll, if it will shut you up, go ahead, get a shot. But I believe his point (speculating) is the vast majority of the healthy population doesn't need a flu vaccine. He certainly isn't boasting he's found the cause of autism.

          snipped:

          And it's precisely because I am a Darwinist that I fear the overuse of antibiotics, since that is what has allowed nasty killer bugs like MRSA to adapt so effectively that they are often resistant to any antibiotic we can throw at it. There are consequences to vaccines and antibiotics. Some people want to study that, and some, it seems, want to call off the debate.

          I wouldn't stick Bill in with the pseudoscientists... he's a comedian and a talk show host... he wants a debate, not a paradigm shift.

          • by 246o1 (914193) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @10:57PM (#35115748)

            If your immune system is weakened, get a flu shot. If you're a hypochondriac munchausens case, we'll, if it will shut you up, go ahead, get a shot. But I believe his point (speculating) is the vast majority of the healthy population doesn't need a flu vaccine. He certainly isn't boasting he's found the cause of autism

            Not a smart point. If you are healthy, you should get a vaccine, because you could carry it to your old granny or your 3-week-old infant niece, and kill them. The vast majority DOES need a vaccine, that's how we get "herd immunity."

          • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @10:59PM (#35115754) Journal
            My god, what an appalling piece of writing. If one wanted to claim to state a position and then not make it, I don't know if they could waste so many words as Mr. Maher. Any little information on what he believes or not is made moot by his apparent lack of understanding of the differences between vaccines and antibiotics. There are clear reasons why we should lessen the use of antibiotics, but whether that is so or not, is completely irrelevant to the use of vaccines. So, I for one will put him down as a dangerous fruitcase. One who doesn't understand the limitations of his own knowledge.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:19PM (#35115252)

        I agreed with most of your post except this:

        One of the anti-vaccine idiots even had the balls to say that it was up to the scientific community to disprove that vaccines are dangerous.

        It is. Or if not prove, at least demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt. If someone's telling me to inject this cocktail of drugs and denatured organisms into my kids' bloodstream, I'm going to want some sort of assurance that it's not going to do harm. It's the reason the US has the FDA. So that drug companies can't just go off propounding their latest money-spinner without verifying that it doesn't cause irreparable harm to those that take them.

        That said, I think most commonly-used vaccinations have long since proved themselves in that regard.

        • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by c6gunner (950153) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:55PM (#35115436)

          It is. Or if not prove, at least demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt.

          There's a big difference there. You can't prove a negative, just like you can't prove the non-existence of something. To use our favorite analogy: I can't prove that a god doesn't exist; the best I can do is look at the god you posit, and demonstrate that it's unlikely to exist. Replace "god" with "unicorn", "leperchaun", "santa", or "autism causing vaccine" as required. With vaccines, we showed that removing mercury from them did not lead to a reduction in autism rates - in fact, the rates were completely unaffected. The reasonable conclusion based on that data is that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism, but it doesn't "prove" that vaccines do not cause autism.

        • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @11:00PM (#35115758)

          Or if not prove, at least demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt.

          It's been done and didn't convince them. It was depressing hearing a radio program where a vaccination expert and a person in charge of a anti-vaccination group put there points to some parents with young babies who then voted on it. The doctor talked about the outcomes of a trial involving two million children in the UK while the other person indulged in character assassination and piles of emotional bullshit. She was playing a manipulative game where truth did not remotely matter while the doctor had to be professional and stick to facts. An unemployed high school dropout with a hobby was putting doubt into everyone's heads about the qualifications of somebody that has been working on infectious diseases for forty years.
          Of course lies and emotional bullshit won because parents with a newborn baby were being told they would be bad parents if they exposed their babies to the mercury that isn't even in the vaccine that the program was about. It was depressing and to an extent was a glimpse into how evil some of the people involved are. They should get a different hobby that manipulates people in a more harmless way instead of this dangerous hobby that is convincing parents to put their children in danger.

        • by Myopic (18616)

          Billions of children have taken vaccines. We have great statistics on the positive and negative effects of vaccines. The vast overwhelming majority of people benefit; a sad rare few are harmed. In the difficult calculus of medicine, we judge them to be worth it, and we even set up (in the USA) a formal system to provide for those rare sad few cases.

          The problem is when people say that we need to prove they are safe, which is a nonsense thing to say because it preposterously presumes that we haven't already d

      • by ivec (61549)

        One of the anti-vaccine idiots even had the balls to say that it was up to the scientific community to disprove that vaccines are dangerous.

        As much as I hate the anti-vaccine FUD, constructive science cannot use the same tactics. Science and Pharma companies also make mistakes, and some vaccines have been withdrawn for very valid scientific reasons after years of use.

        When Bill Gates says "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", it suggests that all mothers who refused that their child gets vaccinated by measles had their child die,

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:11PM (#35114740) Homepage

      Bill's charitable work is actually quite awesome. Among other things, his foundation is very good at making sure that their funding goes to projects that actually work (surprisingly unusual in the non-profit world).

      Now, I don't approve of how he made his money, but I do approve of him using his money to help people rather than just hang out and be rich with Warren Buffett all day.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brett Buck (811747) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:43PM (#35115010)

      Agreed. Bill got this on right. Modern Western society has gotten so comfortable assuming that their every need will be taken care of by someone that they, in about a generation, have forgotten the horror of all the childhood diseases. The chance of dying from whooping cough, if you get it, is orders of magnitude higher than the incidence of autism (once you take out the current over-diagnosis - autism is the new trendy thing to think your kid has, just like ADD ten years ago).

            I even hear of people refusing *polio* vaccines. Mine was the first generation of children that didn't have to spend all summer dreading signs of the flu and wondering if you were going to be *living the rest of your life in an iron lung*. Believe me, if you have ever seen that - you are going to get your kid all the vaccines they make,

    • I think it is time to get rid of the Bill Gates "Borg" icon. While I believe it was relevant a few years ago, with his hero mod status I think he deserves a halo.

  • by the saltydog (450856) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:33PM (#35114452) Homepage

    I actually *agree* with Bill Gates on something.

    I'm scared - hold me...

  • He's right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quixote9 (999874) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:36PM (#35114468) Homepage
    It's good that most children escaped the consequences of Wakefield's BS because enough were vaccinated to make it pretty hard for disease to spread. But the numbers are there showing that there were hundreds of excess deaths and life-changing disabilities, such as blindness or retardation, from kids not getting measles vaccines.
  • by Kingrames (858416) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:38PM (#35114480)
    This just in: people who make knee-jerk reactions out of fear make horrible mistakes.

    Everyone, let's take note of that so we don't make that mistake a ridiculous number of times every day for like ten years. Because that would totally suck.
    Now, let's all mod me up +1 Funny, for a little while, then really really sad.
    • by Eskarel (565631)

      The problem with this is that it's not a knee jerk response. What it is is something worse, it's bullshit science which has been deliberately prepared to generate a particular result, a result which has caused deaths. I always thought it was bullshit, but it's totally understandable for parents to believe it. There was "scientific" proof. Personally I think Wakefield ought to be charged with murder for every one of those. Junk science is a huge threat in this world.

  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:42PM (#35114506)

    If you think about it, the way you develop a vaccine is to:
    Embrace : copy the original
    Extend : modify that version
    Extinguish : wipe out the original

    Bill Gates is right at home.

  • obligatory Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:43PM (#35114518)
  • Topical (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#35114764)

    Topical, especially since the US suffers from torrents of anti-vax stupidity, which they're exporting by the ton.

    Like that rather horrible, stupid, overweight and unattractive woman, Meryl Dorey, an American who is now living in the Northern Rivers of NSW, Australia, and spreading vile antivax propaganda and lies. Immunisation rates have plummeted in the Northern Rivers, and now, diseases thought gone for 50 years are making a big comeback.

    And don't get me started about the stupid Muslims in Nigeria, who won't immunize their kids against polio, because some unwashed imam somewhere claimed in a sermon that the polio vaccine is a plot by teh evil jooooos to sterilize Muslims.

    Normally, I wouldn't care about antivaxxers, but their evil, vile lies and willful stupidity -- all done in the name of self-aggrandisment -- is threatening the lives of innocent people who can't make informed decisions of their own.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Polio is a particularly nasty case. We're close to eradicating it, but probably won't without forcing people to get the shots. I personally was opposed to the chicken pox vaccinations at first, but when I started to do a bit of digging, it became pretty clear that the disease is more dangerous than usually assumed and a shot with a booster later on if needed is really a small price to pay.

    • Re:Topical (Score:5, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @11:43PM (#35115906)

      Meryl Dorey ...spreading vile antivax propaganda and lies

      I've heard her on the radio where she managed to convince people that a vaccine with no mercury in it would give their children autism via mercury poisoning. That's not logic, that's fucking sympathetic magic. That nasty sociopath manipulates people for fun as her hobby and speaks like an accomplished and well practised confidence trickster.
      One of her arguments can basically be summed up as this: nobody with any sort of education or experience can be trusted because that will cloud their judgement.
      That viewpoint holds everyone reading this in contempt. She is not on the side of anybodies children, she only wants to play games.

  • by doug141 (863552) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:58PM (#35115442)
    it should be simple to see if those kids ALSO have the 1% autism rate of the larger population. If they do, vaccines don't cause autism.
  • by Terrasque (796014) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @11:24PM (#35115832) Homepage Journal

    Once, Bill Gates, the Pope, and the Anti-Vaccine Man was on a plane together. As things always goes in jokes, while in-flight the pilot died of heart attack, while at the same time the engines caught on fire.

    This lead to the three men having to jump out of the plane, and of course there are only two parachutes. Bill Gates declares that as the smartest man Earth, he must be saved, grabs one of the parachutes, and jumps. The Pope looks at the Anti-Vaccine Man, and says "here, young man, take mine. You still have years in front of you" to which the Anti-Vaccine Man replies "No, it is a known fact that those contraptions can fail at times, so it is better to jump without one" and jumped out of the plane. The Pope shakes his head, jump with the remaining parachute, and after landing safely holds a speech declaring that while God is good, even He can not help retards.

    The End.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Nehmo (757404)

      Once, Bill Gates, the Pope, and the Anti-Vaccine Man was on a plane together. As things always goes in jokes, while in-flight the pilot died of heart attack, while at the same time the engines caught on fire.

      This lead to the three men having to jump out of the plane, and of course there are only two parachutes. Bill Gates declares that as the smartest man Earth, he must be saved, grabs one of the parachutes, and jumps. The Pope looks at the Anti-Vaccine Man, and says "here, young man, take mine. You still have years in front of you" to which the Anti-Vaccine Man replies "No, it is a known fact that those contraptions can fail at times, so it is better to jump without one" and jumped out of the plane. The Pope shakes his head, jump with the remaining parachute, and after landing safely holds a speech declaring that while God is good, even He can not help retards.

      The End.

      That doesn't sound like something Bill would do. He wouldn't bother justifying his move to those idiots.

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