On Wednesday, the wife of White House Communications Director Bill Shine sent out a tweet in which she decried CNN for mentioning a measles outbreak:
Here we go LOL #measlesoutbreak on #CNN #Fake #Hysteria. The entire Baby Boom population alive today had the #Measles as kids. Bring back our #ChildhoodDiseases they keep you healthy & fight cancer.
While Darla Shine’s tweet has 462 "likes" and 154 retweets as of publication, there are more than 5,400 comments below, many of which are negative:
My friend's daughter is deaf because of LOL measles. LOL childhood diseases contracted during pregnancy cause serious birth defects. Does this LOL at preventable misery reflect the WH press office position @PressSec?
I agree Darla!!! When my children were babies I gave them #scarletfever just to make them stronger! The one that survived is now in Human Resources!!!!
Keywords "alive today." Because the ones not alive today died from measles when they were 6.
Here’s some helpful @CDCgov information.
In my day, we got polio and we LOVED IT.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prior to the development of the measles vaccine in 1963, approximately 2.6 million people died from the virus annually. In 2017 alone, roughly "110,000 people died from measles" around the world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Modeling estimated that, among children born during 1994 – 2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs."
Another theory Shine has promoted is that the preservatives in vaccines might be linked to autism. However, all available evidence suggests that there is no link between the two.
While thimerosal, a preservative containing ethylmercury, used to be present in many vaccines, the Immunization Safety Review Committee noted in 2004 that "the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism," and "that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism."
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ethylmercury shouldn’t be confused with methylmercury, which "is the type of mercury found in certain kinds of fish," and can be toxic in high doses.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which examined data from "95,727 children with older siblings," found that "receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder], regardless of whether older siblings had ASD."
Perhaps more importantly, the FDA notes that "vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger in the U.S. are available in formulations that do not contain thimerosal."
This isn’t the first time Darla Shine’s opinions have sparked controversy. CNN has documented multiple dubious quotes from Shine’s past.
In 2008, she condemned the use of sunscreen, saying: "I really do not believe in this whole sunscreen hoax."
In 2009, she suggested that a flu "pandemic" could be a setup by a pharmaceutical company.
Also in 2009, she implied women in the military shouldn’t be surprised by sexual harassment, saying: "You know there was just a story with these girls, these women who are upset that they are sexually harassed in the military. What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers? I hate to say it, but it's true."