Vaccine Vitriol

The far left and far right unite against the H1N1 vaccine

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(Hat tip: Christopher Beam)

As the first batches of injectable swine flu vaccine roll out, an unwitting and weird alliance against it has formed on the fringes of every political persuasion. Though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insists it's safe for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49, pundits on Fox News, The Huffington Post and right-wing talk radio are raising Cain about the vaccine. As a bewildered Christopher Beam puts it, "They may hold different political opinions, but they share a worldview: distrust--of doctors and modern medicine or of government." First off, a hefty dose of skepticism from the shock jocks on the right:

  • Rush Limbaugh "Screw you, Ms. Sebelius! I am not going to take it, precisely because you're now telling me I must," he shouts spitefully. "You have some idiot government official demanding, telling me I must take this vaccine. I'll never take it... It is one of my fervent objectives and goals ... to convince as many people as possible that the damn government is not God, and nobody in it even comes close to being as competent as you are to run your life."
  • Glenn Beck "You don't know if this is gonna cause neurological damage like it did in the 1970s. You don't know if it's going to make things worse or if it's going to make things better," warns Beck. "We've come quantum leaps ahead from the 1970s medically, but gosh... you don't get any more personal. I mean, U.S. out of my uterus. How about the U.S. out of my bloodstream?"

Weighing in on the left...

  • The Huffington Post's Dr. Frank Lipman "Since it's never been used before and they have not had time to conduct any sufficient human testing, by getting vaccinated you are being a human guinea pig," forewarns Lipman. "My patients are wondering whether or not they should get vaccinated and the simple answer I give most of the time is... NO!"

And from the libertarian side...

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.