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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 5, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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02/05/15 02/05/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now! >> the outbreak of measles that we are currently experiencing as a largest we have had in this county and in the state in 15 years. to end this outbreak, we need to do more and we need help. i encourage everyone to review the vaccination status and if needed, to get the vaccine now. >> over 100 people across 14 states have developed measles , rekindling debate over whether parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. today we will spend the hour looking at this polarizing issue. >> if we haven't studied the
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relationship between chronic illness and vaccines, if we have not compared health outcomes, we can't assess that risk benefit analysis. we know that some people have a genetic predisposition that they will be injured or will die from vaccines. that is not a decision and ethical government can make. >> vaccines traditionally have been a scapegoat for a variety of illnesses, for which we don't have a clear cause or clear treatment, and autism certainly falls in that category. >> one mississippi affirms every public and private school student sb vaccinated, vaccinations have become an issue in the presidential campaign. two possible republican candidates, chris christie and rand paul have raised questions about mandating vaccines. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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the chair of the federal communications commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." fcc chair tom wheeler has backed the regulation of internet service like a public utility to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open internet. the plan will let the agency prevent internet service providers like comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content or providing paid fast lanes for internet service. it would also extend such protections to internet service on cell phones and tablets. wheeler discussed the plan on pbs newshour. >> what we're doing is, we're taking the legal construct that once was used for phone companies, and pairing it back to modernize it so it specifically deals with this issue. so it is not really utility regulation, but it is regulation and make sure there is some of
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the watching us -- all for the consumer. like you said, there's no blocking. most important, there will be ongoing roles in perpetuity, so there will be a yardstick to measure what is fair for consumers. >> wheeler, a former lobbyist for the cellphone and cable industries, was not initially expected to take a strong stand on net neutrality. his proposal comes after the fcc received a record-setting number of comments -- nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. democratic senator ed markey of massachusetts hailed the proposal. >> today is a day or consumers and innovators, entrepreneurs anyone who counts on the internet to connect to the world, is going to now be protected in the one first century. reclassifying broadband is a major victory for our economy for our consumers and for free
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expression of ideas. >> the fcc will vote on wheeler's proposal on february 26. the militant group boko haram appears to have conducted another massacre. a local source told reuters news agency the militants killed more than 100 people in the cameroonian town of fotokol, murdering people inside their homes and a mosque. this comes as the chadian government claims to have ousted the group from the nigerian border town of gamboru ngala which it had held for months. in west africa, a medication has shown effectiveness in treating some patients with ebola. the drug, favipiravir, appears to have cut the mortality rate in half for patients with low to moderate levels of ebola. the news comes as the world health organization has announced a rise in weekly cases of ebola for the first time this year, with 124 new cases confirmed last week in guinea, sierra leone and liberia. about 9,000 people have died from the outbreak.
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secretary of state john kerry has arrived in ukraine for talks as the united states considers arming ukraine in its fight against russian-backed rebels. german chancellor angela merkel and french president francois hollande are also traveling to kiev today to float a new peace proposal before continuing on to moscow on friday to meet with russian president vladimir putin. the talks come as renewed fighting has killed over 200 people in the past three weeks. president obama's nominee to lead the pentagon has voiced support for providing arms to ukraine. during his confirmation hearing, ashton carter also said he would consider recommending changes to president obama's plan to draw down troops in afghanistan by the end of next year. carter has a long history at the pentagon, where he once served as the chief arms buyer. in 2006, he backed a pre-emptive strike against north korea if the country continued with plans for a missile test.
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on wednesday, carter was asked by republican new hampshire senator kelly ayotte wednesday carter vowed he would not bend to any pressure from president obama to transfer prisoners out of guantanamo. >> i would ask you to tell us and to make a commitment to this committee that you will not succumb to any pressure by this administration to increase the pace of transfers from guantánamo. when you commit to that? >> absolutely. >> the u.s. diplomat leading historic talks with the cuban government has rejected cuba's calls to return guantanamo. president raúl castro has said restoring havana's control of the bay is a prerequisite for normalizing ties with the united states, which has controlled the area of cuba since 1903. but assistant secretary of state roberta jacobson said the obama administration has refused to consider it. >> the issue of guantanamo is not on the table in these
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conversations. i want to be clear that what we're talking about right now is the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, which is only one first step in normalization. obviously, the cuban government has raised guantanamo. we're not interested in discussing that. we are not discussing that issue or return of guantanamo. >> a federal judge has given the obama administration one week comply with a court order to alan's justification for withholding more than 2,000 photographs showing the torture of prisoners in iraq and afghanistan. for over a decade the american civil liberties union has been fighting for the release of the photographs, which are said to be more disturbing than the famous images of torture by u.s. forces at abu ghraib in iraq. in october, the judge ordered the government to outline, for each photograph, its reasons for keeping the images secret, but the government has not complied. the prominent palestinian
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activist and professor has been deported from the united states. in one of the most controversial prosecutions of the post-9/11 era, al-arian was accused of ties to the group palestinian islamic jihad, but a florida jury failed to return a single guilty verdict on any of the 17 charges against him. after prosecutors refiled charges, al-arian chose jail time and deportation rather than face a second trial. for much of the three years following his arrest in 2003 al-arian was imprisoned in solitary confinement and reportedly abused by prison staff under conditions amnesty international called "gratuitously punitive." wednesday night, al-arian told the news site the intercept -- "i came to the united states for freedom, but four decades later, i am leaving to gain my freedom." >> brian williams has apologized for falsely claiming he was on helicopter hit and forced down
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by fire from a rocket-propelled grenade during the invasion of iraq in 2003. soldiers from the helicopter which was hit had publicly challenged williams' account saying he was actually on another helicopter that arrived later. one posted, sorry, dude i don't member you being on my aircraft. i do remember you walking up about an hour after we landed to ask me what had happened. williams apologized on his show wednesday night. >> i want to apologize. i said i was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by rpg fire. i was in a following aircraft. we all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the iraq desert. this was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while i did not, i hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology.
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>> brian williams blamed the fog of memory for causing him to misremember the event. he has made the claims before including with david letterman in 2013. two days after the attack, williams describe it differently saying "the helicopter had of us was almost blown out of this guy -- the sky." nbc archives show he made the claims back in march 2003, airing a piece titled, "target iraq: helicopter nbc's brian williams was riding in comes under fire." the health insurance company anthem has reported what may be the largest data breach of a healthcare firm to date. anthem says hackers managed to penetrate a database with up to 80 customer records, accessing -- 80 million customer records accessing personal information like names, birthdays, addresses and income information. a jury in indiana has convicted a woman of feticide and felony neglect following what she says
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was a miscarriage. purvi patel was convicted of taking drugs to induce an abortion, even though no drugs were found in her system. she says she miscarried, and disposed of her dead fetus in a dumpster. a state pathologist used a scientifically contested float test to claim patel's fetus was born alive, while a defense expert said it wasn't viable. the charges appear mutually exclusive, since feticide applies to a fetus which dies in the womb, while felony neglect applies to live children. but patel was convicted of both. she faces up to 70 years in prison. reproductive health advocates say her case is part of an increasing criminalization of pregnant women. a state lawmaker in utah has apologized for publicly questioning whether raping an unconscious spouse should be considered rape. republican state representative brian greene made the remarks tuesday during a debate over a bill on consent.
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>> it looks to me now like sex with an unconscious person is by definition rape. i hope this would not happen, but this opens the door to it, an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious or he, the other way around, i don't know that it's possible but a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape. >> state represenative greene issued an apology wednesday, saying -- "i abhor sexual assault under any circumstances, including within marriage." a new report finds the college completion gap between rich and poor in the united states has doubled over the past 40 years. the study by two educational research groups found that since 1970, the percentage of students from the wealthiest families who obtain a bachelor's degree has risen dramatically, from 44% to 77%.
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but the percentage of the poorest students who obtain bachelor's degrees has risen just three points over the same time period, to 9%. federal pell grants for students have not kept pace with rising tuition costs. the news comes as obama has proposed making two years of college free. and those are some the headlines, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the federal government has confirmed over 100 people across 14 states have now developed measles. public health officials suspect the outbreak, which is concentrated in california began when an infected person visited disneyland in anaheim in december. on wednesday, dr. jeffrey gunzenhauser, los angeles county's interim health officer updated reporters on the outbreak. >> the outbreak of measles are
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currently experiencing is a largest we have had in this county and the state in 15 years . public health is doing all we can to identify cases and isolate contact so as to prevent spread. however, to end this outbreak, we need to do more and we need help. i encourage everyone to review their vaccination status and if needed, get the vaccine now. >> fifteen years ago, the centers for disease control and prevention proclaimed victory over measles, but in recent years there's been an increase in outbreaks as a growing number of parents have opted not to have their children vaccinated claiming a link between vaccines and autism. the prestigious medical journal lancet published a study in 1998 showing such a link, but the study was later retracted and has been widely discredited. according to the cdc, one in 12 children born in the united states is not being vaccinated as recommended. on wednesday two california lawmakers announced a bill to
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eliminate "personal belief exemptions" that allow parents to refuse to vaccinate their children. the state has allowed such exemptions since 1961, when it first required all public school teachers and students to be inoculated against polio. but since 2000, the rate of parents seeking exemptions has tripled to about 1 in every 40 children. meanwhile, senators dianne feinstein and barbara boxer asked state health officials to go further and eliminate "religious exemptions." >> several potential republican president candidates have also weighed in on the debate. on monday, kentucky senator rand paul of kentucky, an ophthalmologist, said he had heard of instances where vaccines caused "mental disorders." >> the hepatitis the vaccine is now given to newborns. we sometimes give five and six vaccines all at one time. i chose to have mine delayed. i don't the government to give my newborn hepatitis b faxing
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which essentially transmitted and or blood transfusions. to think it is a good idea ultimately? yes. i had mine staggered. i've heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines. i'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. i think are good thing, but i think parents should have some input. the state doesn't own your children. it is an issue of freedom. >> that his senator rand paul. since then, he has backtracked on his comments. on tuesday, he was photographed receiving hepatitis a booster shot to show his support for vaccinations. senator paul has deep ties to vaccine skeptics. or 20 years coming was a member of the american physicians and surgeons which is active moratorium on vaccine mandates. meanwhile, another possible republican presidential candidate, new jersey governor
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chris christie, was question about vaccines during his trip to england. >> do you think americans should vaccinate their kids? >> i can say is, we vaccinate hours. -- ours. it is much more important what you think as a parent and as a public official. there has to be a balance. it depends on what the vaccine is, and the rest. what i'm saying is, we have to have a balance in considering parental concerns. >> new jersey governor chris christie spokesman later said the governor believed kids should be vaccinated against measles. for more we're joined by several guests today. later in the broadcast, we will speak with mary holland, the mother of a child with regressive autism, who she believes was injured by the measles, mumps rubella vaccine and we will speak with dr. paul offit.
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but first, we are joined now from san francisco by dorit rubinstein reiss, professor of law at uc hastings college of the law. she specializes in legal issues related to vaccines, including exemption laws. she coauthored a report last year about, "funding the costs of disease outbreaks caused by non vaccination." professor, welcome to democracy now! could july out for us what you think the key issues are regarding exemptions on chilton getting vaccinated? >> of course. first, thank you for having me. the starting point is, we have tension between three values. the first is parental rights. parents have rights stop we care about their ability to take care of search of an, guide their children. the second is public health. we want to make sure the public is protected against infectious diseases and other problems.
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the public includes other people . other parent and other children have rights to be rejected against diseases as well. the third is the rights of the child. given the incredible imbalance between the risks of vaccine and not vaccinating there is a stronger argument the right to health of a child means the child should be vaccinated. the combination of that is part of what supports the state's right to impose school immunization requirements. those requirements have been in the states since the 19th century, at least. in the first years we did not have exemptions, exemptions a relatively new, during the 20th century, and in terms of exemption, we have three types. medical exemption, which all states have. we have religious exemptions or
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personal belief exemption. in 48 states, every state except as the city and west virginia, has either a personal belief exception or religious exemption or both. the issues that come up is how broad should be exemption be. states vary dramatically on that. california is one of the broadest. that is part of the reason behind the change. >> so this issue, of mississippi, for example, even though something like two dozen lawmakers wanted to support this exemption based on conscientious beliefs, they are in the vast minority of states. 48 states allow for conscientious objection saying no public or private school student can go without vaccine. >> that's correct.
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most states allow -- either personal belief or religious exemption, and that has been started around the 1960's. mostly because of the high value we place on personal freedom and religious values. i would expect most of the religious exception expected them to be limited. christian scientists and other small sects. that is not what happened. in many states, it is used much more broadly than a small sects that have strong views against vaccination. jurisprudence makes it hard. >> do you believe that with the latest outbreak now states will reconsider the extent and range of these exemptions? >> yes, i think we are already seeing that. we're seeing several states consider following the western
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states. california, oregon, and washington and adopting educational require in additional to personal belief exemption. we're seeing this in maine minnesota, and other states. as you've seen, california has recently been reconsidering its own exemption law. i would expect a move to more specific exemption and given what we have seen, that is all for the good. >> explain why that is so important, why parents should not be able to all out. in a moment, we're going to hear from a parent who feels very differently from you. >> so, remember what we are talking about. we're not talking about telling parents what you wish to or not, we are going to tie down your child and vaccinate them. that is something that is done, is done in an extreme circumstance. we're talking about the question whether a parent can send a child to a public or private school unvaccinated. if a child is sent to school
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unvaccinated, first of all, the child herself is at risk. but in the atmosphere of the school, the child puts others at risk. first, the child who is unvaccinated, they risk contraction a disease -- contracting a disease and infecting some one else. also, undermining her immunity and -- >> just for people who are not from later with this debate, professor, when you say heard immunity, explain what you mean. >> i hope dr. paul offit will talk more about this in detail, but basically, if we are a certain number of people immunized in the school, those people form kind of a ring around the few that aren't immunized and prevent it from reaching them. if you have enough people immunized, even if one person infected comes in at the school, the disease won't spread. >> devos is suggested that
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parents use not adventure unvaccinated are almost always negligent under the law. do you think there should be the goal consequences for parents who choose not to have the children vaccinated? >> yes, i do. the point of view is less on those who don't get vaccinated. if one parent chooses to reject expert opinion, to choose for their own child, the bigger risk, the risk of not vaccinating the smaller risk of vaccinating, and something happens that harms another family i think it is unfair to make the other family pay for the cost of the first family's decision. again, think about the situation. a child is left unvaccinated could contract measles, pass it to another child. the family of that child has emotional costs, the child that
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suffers pays in physical price, and they have financial costs. why should they have to pay for someone else's choice? >> is any kind of legal precedent for that? >> not at this point. the case has not come up. we have other cases of liability for infectious disease. we have a case of liability when someone went to a boarding house with whooping cough and wasn't told there was whooping ocughcough. we have liability for infectious transmitted disease. we have a history but this context hasn't come up yet. >> what should happen? what should be the consequence for a parent who doesn't immunize their child, vaccinate their child? should they be jailed? >> no. there's a range of possible consequences. i have heard the idea of jailing
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parents, and i think that is going substantially too far. a parent making the decision is making the decision based on their best judgment. there's a lot of misinformation out there. it is natural for the parents to make their own decision for their child. the decision puts their own child first and foremost at risk , but i don't to the level of culpability is high enough to justify criminal law. but i think it is fair to tell the parents, you make the decision, you internalize the consequences. take personal responsibility. nobody else should have to pay for that. you're going against expert opinion, against science against the credible data. why should others incur the cost? that is true for another family if there are infected or the public health. these outbreaks cost a lot of money to contain. that money comes from somewhere. public health departments are cutting other budgets in order to contain measles.
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why should the public pay rather than those who made the decision that led to the outbreak? >> dorit reiss, thank you for joining us. professor of law at uc hastings college of the law who specializes in legal issues related to vaccines, including exemption laws. we willing to your piece "funding the costs of disease outbreaks caused by non vaccination." when we come back, we will be joined by lawyer mary holland with a very different opinion. advisor to help choice. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> as a growing number of parents raise concerns about vaccinations, we speak now with mary holland. she is the mother of a child with regressive autism whoshe believes, was injured by the mmr vaccination. holland is a research scholar at nyu school of law and advisor to "health choice." she's also a contributor to the blog, "age of austim" and the co-editor of the book, "vaccine epidemic: how corporate greed, biased science, and coercive government threaten our human rights, our health, and our children." mary holland, welcome to democracy now! could you talk about your position on vaccinations? >> absolutely. all vaccines, like prescription drugs, kerry known risks and unknown risks. there is no question -- and i don't believe the professor or doctor would agree, death is
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caused by some vaccine to children and severe injury brain damage in particular. that is indisputable. and for that reason, industry and the medical profession were given by congress virtually blanket liability protection. so we now have an industry with high profits and exceedingly low litigation risks. i think that should set off some alarm bells for us him as it is. i also think the global standard for ethical medicine today is prior free and informed consent. what dr. offit and professor reiss are suggesting, there should be no free consent for vaccination. i think that is a very serious departure from medical ethics and we have to look at it for what it is. this is not just for liability but informed consent. >> what about the issue of when a child goes to school, who might be infected the guys say have not had a vaccine, they then will infect other kids? >> infectious disease is real.
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it is a serious problem. i think what you do when the kid is sick, the kid saison from school. you have medical leave for parents, make sure there is health care for parents. i believe in quarantine. i've no problem with the government in certain circumstances some people must stay home. but absolutely have a problem that the state can force through criminal and civil sanctions or failure to educate children, that they have to take compulsory medical intervention. >> talk of a ground personal story. >> my interest is as a lawyer and an advocate, stems for my personal experience. i watched a child reverse in their development. it is one of the most horrible things in the adult or parent can see. you don't want to see at a. it is not normal to see a child lose all speech, lose all sleep, lose all bowel function, lose all eating function. that is what i lived through with my own son.
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i am fortunate my son has substantially recovered over the years, but through painful efforts, great expense. his injury is not categorized anywhere. doctors don't generally perceive things as sexy and injuries, but there is no other plausible explanation for what happened to my child. he had received his standard vaccines all of which -- most of which contain mercury. there's no question that can complicate -- copper mice the immune system. any received the mmr vaccine. in a short time, he regressed precipitously. >> at the age of? >> 2.5. he got his vaccines slightly before that juncture. he had eeg's that were abnormal, a black bit brain waves -- epileptic rain ways.
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when i studied, what did brain injury look like? i studied the compensation ogram. lo and behold, brain swelling, brain damage is a common side effect among side effects from vaccines, as his autism. that is covered up. the federal government doesn't track it. they would say there is no association. if you look at compensated cases of brain injury, you will see autism left, right, and center. i think what happened to my son is what i've heard to thousands of parents. i work in this area. it is not a typical story. one stories and anecdotes. what should happen is there should be rigorous -- science has been done. >> why do you think? >> that is a great question. i would love to hear from dr. paul offit. he was eight has been done. in indicted felon in denmark the department of justice has debts and nothing to bring the man back.
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another key question about the corruption is dr. william thompson. in the cdc has come forward and said that he colluded with other key scientists to mask a signal to vaccines and autism arlington african-american boys who got mmr before age five and. he is been granted, according to one report, immunity and can testifying congress. i hope to god we have that hearing. this is critical. one and 68 kids has autism. there is plausible science that there is a link. it needs to. >> be followed up, not suppressed what is the most convincing -- >> there are many in my book. we include 20 scientific abstracts. one is ray palmer's work showing and terminal mercury, the closer someone lives to the internal source, the higher rates of autism. another is related to special education reports will stop neonatal received the hepatitis b vaccine were nine times more likely to end up in special education. three times more likely to have an autism diagnosis.
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there are many pieces of science that suggests there is a link. we need to look at the children who regressed. we need to look at the reports the people -- just last year in 2014, a child was compensated $500,000 because she died after getting the mmr. >> so what should happen with the crisis of measles outbreak right now in this country? are you opposed to children getting the mmr vaccine? >> i am pro-choice. i'm not anti-vaccine. i am pro-choice. i think parents have to make informed choices. that is the standard of ethical medicine. what should happen right now? see if you need a measles vaccine. i think the industry should make measles, mumps, rubella available separately. they should get with a precisely need. i think people with young children who are too young to be
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vaccinated because the risks of injury are so great, they probably should go to places -- shouldn't go to places like disneyland. we don't have herd admitted to do for measles or any of these childhood -- >> explain what you mean. >> herd immunity means everybody, because most people vaccinated, it is not possible that people -- that the disease will spread. that is just not possible when something like measles is in the philippines, in germany, and france. unless you are going to seal the borders, we don't have herd immunity. no vaccine is perfectly effective. there may be 85% to 90% effective, but they wear off over time. that is why there is a men -- mandated mmr booster. people have to make up their own minds. and voluntary choices, like in australia and the u.k. and japan and sweden and france and germany, they achieve the same results as we have.
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there is not mandates for school in none of those countries. in most of those countries their blanket rights of content is objectives. we should have the same. there should be a right of exemption that is federal in this country. >> this has enter the presidential debate, chris christie, ironically, the governor of new jersey who said the medical professional who came back from africa who was ebola-free should be quarantined, then said -- well his had to walk back his comments about parents having choice around vaccine. then you have kentucky senator and doctor rand paul making the point you do. kids who have had vaccines have been had mental disorders. talks i did not use the term "mental disorder" but he did. this is not my opinion. if you look at the compensation program, people have been compensated with their counsel department -- encephalopathy is
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usually associated with behavioral disorders. i think it is great this is the 2016 presidential issue. i think childhood health is critical. i think the role of vaccines is grossly understudied and we must look at this. chronic held disorders are about 50% of american kids today. is there a relationship with vaccines? i don't think we don't the answer. we don't even have a decent study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated -- >> what do mean? >> we have not looked retrospectively or prospectively at what is the health of children who have gotten the cdc recommended schedule, what is the health of children who have gotten a state mandate, and what ishe status for those unvaccinated? that is a totally tubal study. >> your response to those who call you and the people, the organizations you are part of, see was climate change deniers overwhelming scientific body of
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evidence goes in the other direction, and that the time when a child is getting these vaccines is also the time if they might develop autism? so the fact these are contemporaneous does not mean one causes the other. >> amy, i agree that correlation is not causation. we have to study this. i could not agree more. it in the 1980's, that is a mere 30 plus years ago, the rate of autism was one in 10,000. it is now, according to the cdc one in 68. and that is looking at eight-year-olds and four years to do the study. we don't even know what the rate is among two euros off -- two euros. to say vaccines could be playing no role, my view, is reckless and responsible. in our book, we include 20 abstracts. there is good science that shows how plausible a connection is
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but it needs more rigorous study. >> yet mentioned the importance of the schedule of vaccines. it is not so much certain vaccines necessarily not begin it all, but that they be spaced differently. >> there's that a lot of rigorous science showing why the schedule is what it is. the way vaccines are tested before their recommended and then mandated is, there tested individually, not tested as a schedule. as senator rand paul says, he criticized the recommendation and the mandate in most states for hepatitis b shot for infants one and two days old. hepatitis b essentially transmitted. what is the rationality for giving a baby a vaccine that will wear off by the time they are sexually active? >> what you mean by the single doses rather than mmr? >> that is measles, mumps, rubella. while a baby is in the hospital, the federal recommendation is
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that they receive hepatitis b vaccine. that to me is irrational. that is one example of what is wrong with our vaccine schedule. many other developed countries have no mandates for hepatitis b. it is something you give to someone who is hep b positive or engaging in risky behaviors. >> i want your comment on president obama who talked about or said his message to parents was "get your kids vaccinated." >> it is preventable. i understand there are families in some cases are concerned about the effects vaccinations. the science is pretty disputable. we have looked at this again and again. or is every reason to get vaccinated. there are not reasons to not. >> are you saying to get your kids vaccinated? >> it is good for them. we should be able to get back to the point were measles effectively is not existing in this country. >> mary holland, what is your
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response to president obama? >> i think it is extraordinary that we need the president to tell parents to get their children vaccinated. i think if you look at it in isolation, yes, the vaccine usually works against measles. are there risks? yes. she would look at in isolation? no. >> are you getting your children activated? >> he received the mmr and separate regression. >> what you said other parents? >> it is an individual choice. >> mary holland, thank you for being with us research scholar , at nyu school of law and advisor to "health choice." she's also a contributor to the blog, "age of austim." holland is the co-editor of the book, "vaccine epidemic: how corporate greed, biased science, and coercive government threaten our human rights, our health and our children" and, she is the mother of a child with regressive autism who, she believes, was injured by the mmr vaccination. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will be
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joined by dr. paul offit professor university of pennsylvania and author of a among other books, "deadly choices." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we're joined by dr. paul offit. he is professor in the division of infectious diseases and the director of the vaccine education center at the children's hospital of philadelphia. dr. offit is also professor of vaccinology and a professor of pediatrics at the university of pennsylvania school of medicine. he is also the cinventor of the rotavirus vaccine, rotateq recommended for universal use in infants by the cdc. he is author of numerous books including, "autism's false prophets: bad science, risky medicine, and the search for a cure," "deadly choices: how the anti-vaccine movement threatens us all."
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you have heard to date on our show -- can you talk about why he feel vaccines are so important? >> well, because they save lives. if you look at how long we live, say 100 years ago, we lived 30 years last longer then than we do today. the reason -- the main reason is vaccines. we no longer have to see 50,000 job in hospitalized, 500 die from measles as we did before the vaccine. we no longer have this he did. as a , and killer of teenagers -- as a common killer of teenagers. we no longer have to see children die or suffer permanent disability from bacterial meningitis from diseases -- vaccines the single best preventive measure we've ever had. the problem, clearly reflected by your previous caller, is that we don't appreciate them.
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i think vaccines are victim of their unsuccessful and in blamed for things they don't cause. >> what about the issue of the connection between mmr and problems in children? our last guest, mary holland talked about her own son who ended up with autism. she feels there was a direct connection between mmr and autism. >> i think is perfectly reasonable for parents to ask the question. my child was fine, got the vaccine, and then was in fine. it is a temporal connection, but not a causal connection. 14 studies have been done looking at hundreds of thousands of children who did or did not receive the mmr and the results have been clear and consistent and reproducible. mmr vaccine does not increase your risk of autism. all you do by choosing not to get the vaccine is increase her risk of getting measles, mumps rubella. what is upsetting to me about this, and i think the last 10 minutes of your programs that a
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new record for consecutive statements that were incorrect. when you do the science, when you do these excellent retrospective huge studies that answer the question, people don't believe them. as holland is a believer because his conspiracy there is. there was this guy that was a fraud and us whistleblower at the cdc -- i mean, there are 14 studies on three comments involving hundreds of thousands of children. she claiming there's a massive international conspiracy to hide the truth? i think she is and to me, that makes her a classic anti-vaccine person. >> what about the issue, for example, of the combined vaccine, the mmr, measles, mumps, rubella and the argument for separating them? and what was -- why were they put together? talk about how vaccines came to be what they are and why they are mandated are not mandated in this country.
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>> the measles vaccine was developed in the 1963, months in 1967 and a second one in 1968 and we're the rubella in 1969. in 1971, those three vaccines were put together because you could. you could do it safely as was proven, that when you combine those vaccines, he did not interview or change the safety profile of those vaccines when they were given separately. sinai you had to give one shot instead of three. now we have a two-dose vaccine instead of six. there's no reason to separate them. all you do then is increase the number of shots without in any way changing the safety profile. in terms of mandates, i think you're starting to see why does mandates are important. there is no good reason to choose not to get a vaccine. if you're choosing not to get a vaccine, you're basing it on a misperception or series of falls believes as ms. holland has about vaccines. she says, that vaccines were
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never tested together. of course they are tested together. you cannot put a new vaccine on the schedule without proving that you are vaccine doesn't interfere with the safety profile of existing vaccines and vice a versa. ms. holland says there have been no studies looking at relatively vaccinated or unvaccinated children. that is not true. there are several studies that have looked at that, including one that suggests the highly vaccinated child has better health and the child who is less vaccinated. ms. holland says the hepatitis b virus is all he transmitted by sexual contact. that is not true. children less than 10 years of age in this country before the hepatitis b vaccine, 18,000 was ever. half guided by traveling through birth canal those infected with hepatitis b, the other got up from relatively casual contact. those children who are less than 10 were not getting it from tattoos are using intravenous blood transfusions or drugs, and
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they certainly were not getting it from sexual contact. there are getting it from uncle bob who had hepatitis b but did not know it who gives a little kiss. there's so much misinformation that causes people like mary holland to make bad decisions for her children. if vaccines were unsafe, i think this would be an interesting and reasonable discussion. it vaccines are remarkably safe and remarkably effective. and whenou watch herd immunity erode, like it is in this country, because parents are choosing now not to give vaccines based on their ill-founded concerns, other people are suffering. i think professor reiss was spot on earlier. is it your right to catch and transmit the potentially fatal and friction -- infection? i the answer is no. >> can you explain how it is so many parents can a make an association between vaccines and autism given all the scientific
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research and the studies that you cite, is it because such a large number of children were suffering after having vaccines? what do you attribute this to? >> i think the analogy to be made for diabetes and 1800s. in the 1800s, people suffer diabetes and nobody knew why. many things were blamed, including vaccines. i got a vaccine, now within six months, my child has type one diabetes. i think the vaccine did it. it was a smallpox or rabies vaccine at the time which was introduced in the late 1800s. vaccines are sort of universal scapegoat. in 1920, the isolated insulin and all that nonsense when away. i think this nonsense doesn't go away until we clearly have a cause or causes for autism, or a cure for autism. then it will go away. if you look at the signs of autism, it is clearly at least genetic. we know it appears to be in in
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utero event. i don't think there is any evidence and environmental influence, especially vaccines, have ever been shut to increase the rate of autism. i think the answer is, why is it that people aren't convinced? the media is perfectly going to put the man bites dog story out there, which is very -- mary holland's rate that vaccines cause ranges autism. my wife is a pediatrician. she goes in the office and helping vendors give vaccines. there's a mother is a four-month-old sitting on her lap. while my wife is drawing the vaccine into the syringe, the four-month-old had a seizure and had a permanent caesar -- seizure disorder. if my wife had given that earlier, i don't think you could've convinced that mother then she believed to be true. do you think i'm stupid? i taught was fine, they got a vaccine, and other epilepsy. i know what i saw. even though it was a temporal association.
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>> to be fair, we wanted to have both of you on together to have a conversation because there are many in this country and a growing movement of parents who are deeply concerned, but you wanted to have this conversation separately. mary holland and you separately. so it is important, i think, to have this kind of dialogue on all of these issues. dr. paul offit, on this issue of vaccines now -- >> can i just address that? i think it is not important to have a debate about the science with someone who clearly doesn't know the signs. i'm sorry, miss holland is represented the science again and again and again. i don't think that in any way helps your viewer. i don't think it is fair to have a debate were two sides of presented when only one side is really supported by the science. i would like to think we're beyond that. but why is it --
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>> dr. paul offit, it is not only about science. we're talking about science, the practice of medicine in this country -- we're talking about public policy. after all, this has now become a presidential campaign issue with possible presidential candidates taking on the issues. i want your comments on that. it you are combining all of this. it is important bring all the various expertise is that parents, lawyers doctors together in a conversation on these issues. >> right, but what miss holland does is, she presumes to represent the science. i agree. i think we're at a tipping point. the critical discussion is one brought up by professor reiss which is, how far do we go? i happen to have survived the 1990 one philadelphia measles epidemic. a was a doctor at a children's hospital doing a four-month period in philadelphia when we had 1400 cases of measles and nine deaths. it centered on to chose not to
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vaccinate their children. believe me, no one in philadelphia had a problem with compulsory vaccination. people were so scared of the disease because it was so common a fatal, we got to compulsory vaccination. i mean those children in that school for unvaccinated were made wards of the state vaccinated, then given back to the parents. immigrants of the liberties union, is perfectly comfortable representing pretty and popular causes, never step in. they were asked to step in by charles wondered who is the pastor of one of those churches. there was a religious exception of vaccination on the books for 10 years at the time this happened and the aclu said while we believe it is your right to martyr yourself or your religion, we don't believe it is your right to martyr your child to religion. i give the aclu credit. i'm not sure they would feel the same way now. how bad is it have to get before you say, it is your right to swing your fist wildly, but that right ends at the tip of my nose? i think that is true here.
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we are offended when that man got on the plane with tuberculosis and was coughing and hacking, multidrug resistant tuberculosis. we thought he had done something that was awful. i think this is no different. i don't think it is your right to exposure child to infection and expose those who may come in contact with the infection. if vaccines were a safety issue i would get it. but it is not. they are remarkably safe. >> what about the vaccine compensation board? talk about how families get compensated. >> in the early 1980's, there was -- which has since been refuted that the wholesale wh ooping cough caused permanent damage. there was a documentary that showed a series of children who supposedly are personally brain-damaged by pertussis vaccine. that was wrong. study after study showed it was wrong, but it was a vivid image
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brought a 10 of litigation against from cynical companies and made vaccines to the point they were out. there were not going to make vaccines for american children anymore because they did not have to fight this all in civil court they stop the false notion that the vaccines were causing permanent harm injuries were perfectly willing to side against the pharmaceutical companies. the national children vaccine injury act in 1986 when into effect. it basically his people who may have suffered a permanent harm from the vaccine compensation. fair enough. but that is not the place to determine scientific proofs. for example, there was a rotavirus vaccine introduced in 1998 on the market for a year and found to be a rare but real cause of intestinal blockage. i think parents were fairly compensated for that because i think is asking our citizens to give -- it vaccines, there should be conversation. believe me, there are many compensations from the program that are wrong. there, that of people for multiple sclerosis caused by
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hepatitis b vaccines when it clearly doesn't do it. studies show a dozen. which is to say the courts are not a place to determine scientific troops. their place to settle disputes. in version of the making a decision about one can cause another. that is the province of science. >> dr. paul offit before we conclude, do you think there should be compulsory vaccination across the u.s. now? >> i agree with professor reiss. as a first up, should make it much more difficult to get a fizzle of -- philosophical exemption. where is the wisdom that says -- it is an religious act to not get a vaccine? i think we should make that harder. eventually, we should make it some sort of prize for doing something up your child and people at risk. >> dr. paul offit, thank you for being with us. democracy now!
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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] sometimes when i smell a particular aroma or hear certain music, it can whisk me right back to my childhood days. and i know we all experience that. well, food can have the same e ffect. suddenly, in an instant, you're brought back years. today's program is all about the kind o f food that brings you back to those childhood days and i'm going to meet my children's great-grandm other, myrtle allen, who is going to s how me
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one of her favorite childhood re cipes. (signature tune)

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