Steve Salzberg has an excellent summary of the recent debate in Congress about the anti-vaccination hearing.
I was in my car yesterday listening to C-SPAN (yes, I do that sometimes), when to my stunned surprise I heard Congressman Dan Burton launch into a diatribe on how mercury in vaccines causes autism. No, this was not a replay of a recording from a decade ago. The hearing was held just a few days ago by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
He was stunned that Congress completely ignored all the scientific studies that show that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism.
I'm stunned, too. People are still talking about this?
Perhaps I shouldn't be so stunned. Apparently, 29% of the American public still thinks that autism is linked to vaccines.
I blame Oprah, Huffington Post, and Jenny McCarthy.
So, who are these 29%? Are they more likely to be liberals or conservatives?
Chris Mooney finds that this isn't a left-wing conspiracy theory. People on the left and the right are equally deranged.
These results basically suggest that there’s little or no political divide in terms of who falls for Jenny McCarthy’s misinformation. Notably, liberals were somewhat more aware of her claims and yet, nevertheless, were least likely to listen to them. But not by a huge margin or anything.