Thanks to an FB friend for today’s post. I guess I should thank Facebook as well – without their newsfeed feature, I’d have missed a vaccine conversation. Like other online vaccine conversations, this one drew me in. It drew me in for the usual reasons and also because it was a conversation with a politician. He wasn’t my representative, but he had my attention.
When I began to read his status on Thursday morning, I initially thought, yay!
He’s talking about vaccines
And publicly, too!
I was optimistic, so I continued to read.
Then, my bubble burst.
Here’s a screenshot of what I’d read.
The pat response, the “bunny ears” quotation in reference to the CDC cover-up, and the Snopes citation at the end – it was a slap in the face.
I didn’t have the heart to chime in.
But other mamas did.
Those mamas were not backing down!
Neither were a few pro-vaccine folks who’d joined the conversation, too.
The conversation was far from over. I still didn’t feel the need to reply, but lurked on the page to see what else would come up. I told myself not too. But I had to.
I shouldn’t have.
Even with the suggestions to check out the CDC “cover-up” documents and why Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) called for an investigation, even with the personal stories some parents shared of their children falling ill post vaccination, even with the request to look at unbiased data, Byrne still didn’t get it:
I showed Byrne’s response to my daughter and said, “Wouldn’t it have been nice if he’d said this instead: I do not and will not support doctors, politicians, school administrators, and school nurses telling any parent what their child’s vaccination requirements should be. This is an issue to be decided by a parent, and it should stay that way.”
Yes, that would’ve been nice. But he, like too many other politicians, didn’t say that. He gave a dodgy response. We’ve seen those types of responses being regurgitated too many times from too many people for far too long. I have to give Mr. Byrne a little bit of credit though. After more people chimed in on his status, he (or his staff) added another comment on that thread.
They are still a tad misinformed, but with each reply, they’ve helped to keep that conversation going. And with Vaxxed having been mentioned on Mr. Byrne’s page more than a few times by several parents who remained active in the conversation, hopefully Byrne (or his staff) will take time to view the film. It’s only an hour or so long, but he’s got to want to watch it for its message to sink in.
I’m hoping he does watch Vaxxed, because afterward, I think he’ll finally be able to hear what the people have been saying to him. Image if he and other politicians would take the time to watch the film. Instead of scripted ones, like the one that came from Byrne’s office last week, maybe then we’ll see more informed responses coming from our representatives when parents bring up vaccinations. An informed response. That would be nice now, wouldn’t it?
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.