It’s been 20 years since my son was old enough for his first MMR vaccine. At that time, the CDC was insisting on two things: 1) there had been a huge increase in children with autism, and 2) there was no connection between the MMR vaccine and that increase in autism. I could see very clearly that if you believed the first it would be extremely easy to not believe the second. Once you unleash hysteria, it’s hard to call it back. That is what I call the 2020 Fallacy.
Thanks to Thomas Sowell, I knew that the CDC’s first claim was not true. There was no dramatic increase in the occurrence of autism. There was a dramatic increase in what we diagnosed as autism. Neurologists invented the autism spectrum disorder to explain a long-existing phenomenon. And with that invention, the so-called “dramatic increase in autism” was born.
Being assured the CDC was wrong about autism, I decided I couldn’t trust them. So I decided I needed to research this myself. With that, I sat down at my computer and went down the anti-MMR vax rabbit hole. I found Andrew Wakefield, the man who invented the MMR-autism link.
I read what Wakefield had to say and, after weighing it, decided he was talking out of his backside. There was nothing concrete, no evidence, no data. Wakefield theorized that a gastrointestinal disorder caused autism. He further theorized that the MMR vaccine caused the stomach virus. There were a lot of “coulds” and “maybes,” but nothing was proven. There is no definitive link between this gastrointestinal disorder and autism. Against that are the very real dangers of three debilitating, sometimes deadly, diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. I came to the conclusion the MMR vaccine is important for my child’s health and had him vaccinated.
Imagine, though, instead of being able to read Wakefield’s ideas for myself, I had been met by a banner stating “misinformation.” Imagine if Wakefield had been banned from the internet and his words scrubbed wherever possible. Imagine I wasn’t allowed access to information because some woke 20-something in Silicon Valley thought he knew better. My suspicions would have grown exponentially. Nothing is more likely to make me reject something than being told I have no choice but to accept it.
Forcing people to accept a vaccine is far more likely to lead people to rebel against it. COVID vaccine information is being scrubbed from the internet as fast as woke interns can type. Alex Berenson, a vaccine skeptic, was banned from Twitter. Dave Cullen, an opponent of the lockdowns, has been banned from YouTube. Try to find dissenting voices against the COVID vaccine, and your search engine will only find propaganda promoting the jab.
Hiding information makes Americans wonder what is being hidden, and by whom, and why it is being hidden. None of this is reassuring; none of this induces a person to believe a word the CDC has to say. Reading the anti-MMR theories convinced me that they were wrong. The attempt to keep people from reading Moderna skeptics only convinces me the CDC is tyrannical.
I assume the comment section will be filled with people angry at me for being anti-vax, and others angry that I am pro-vax. Neither is my point. I am not trying to make a case for the MMR vaccine, or against the COVID vaccines. I am only insisting that both arguments be unreservedly discussed. I only want information to be as easily accessible as possible. I am unwaveringly pro-free speech.
Even if the COVID vaccine is the best moment in modern medicine since Alexander Fleming started playing with bread mold, liberty remains more important. It is essential we be allowed to freely debate and discuss ideas, technology, ideology, and yes even a medical breakthrough. The only reason humans ever have to silence dissent is that they are up to no good.
Tyranny can be even more deadly to humans than a virus. The Spanish Flu killed 20 million people. Communism killed at least five times that number. Silencing Americans should never happen, our founders knew that. That is why freedom of speech is called the first freedom. As Benjamin Franklin no doubt would say, I don’t understand why modern Americans are so willing to sacrifice liberty for a little temporary immunity. Sorry Dr. Franklin, we let you down.