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Del Bigtree

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Del Bigtree in defiance of the genocide of measles.
Needles are scary
Anti-vaccination
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Pricks against pricks

Del Bigtree is a dangerous anti-vaxxer and producer of the popular anti-vaccine propaganda film Vaxxed, which touches on the CDC whistleblower controversy, but mostly promotes anti-vaccine fearmongering. He is also proud of being the producer of The Doctors, which he thinks is the "best medical talk show in the world." It is the best, you see, because it features people that agree with him on his "vaccine skepticism" like Dr. Jay Gordon[1][2] and Dr. Jim Sears.[2]

Though he flaunts his show credentials to pretend it is a qualified expert opinion, Bigtree is not a scientist.[3] For instance, he sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services detailing his "concerns" over "vaccine safety". Some of the tropes include complaining about the vaccine schedule being "overloaded" (the "too many too soon" gambit),[note 1] the lack of double-blind placebo studies (without assessing the ethics of exposing subjects to a disease; meta-analyses of epidemiological studies are also perfectly fine, but Bigtree doesn't like them), using VAERSWikipedia's W.svg dumpster diving[note 2] to bolster the view that vaccine injury is more serious and common than it really is, and demanding that the vaccine committees be replaced with "vaccine safety advocates." Bigtree then threatened the HHS with a civil suit if they didn't comply with his ridiculous demands. Fortunately, Dr. Melinda Wharton, the director of the National Vaccine Program Office, responded to his demands, dunked on his claims, and denied action.[4]

Bigtree does not believe he is an anti-vaxxer.[5] Instead, he claims to be "pro-safe-vaccine." This is not an original argument.[6] The media frequently and inexplicably falls prey to this tactic and gives him undue weight, applying the labels "vaccine skeptic" or "controversial," as opposed to the more accurate "batshit crazy." Noteworthy examples of this include interviews[7] by The Daily Beast and NPR[8].

He is being repressed[edit]

As tends to be common among anti-vaxxers, Del Bigtree suffers from a massive persecution complex. Vaxxed gained notoriety after Robert De Niro promoted it at the Tribeca Film Festival (although he backtracked and dropped it following public outrage). He also complained about being "99% censored" by ABC World News Tonight because they didn't show the entirety of their interview with him.[9] In March 2019, after giving a speech on the supposed perils of government mandated vaccines, he had the tastelessness to brandish the Star of David (because preventing unvaccinated kids from going to public school is exactly like being herded to your death because of your ethnicity). He and his anti-vaxxer friends shortly received swift condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League and Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial and Museum,[10] but refused to apologize.[5] Classy.

Unfortunately, invoking Godwin's Law also seems to be a trend among anti-vaxxers.[11] Other instances of this can be seen in Dr. Jim Sears[12] (who is featured in Bigtree's favorite show), Robert Kennedy, Jr.,[13] Age of Autism, and the Facebook group "Californians against SB 277"[14] Mind you, this is only one of the many overblown arguments Bigtree's used — vaccines have also been compared to rape, slavery, apartheid, and human trafficking.[15]

Del Bigtree has also relied on inflammatory and arguably violent rhetoric to bolster his paranoid libertarian views on the big evil government wanting to take away "choice", "privacy" and "control" over bodies or something.[16]

…but now we’re watching the most powerful lobby in the country and in the world poisoning our children. And our government is helping them. What are we going to do about it? We have the power. But we have got to stop being afraid to talk about it. If you’re afraid to talk about it, your Twitters, your Facebooks, I don’t want to bring it up at my PTA meeting, I don’t want to at lunch or at Thanksgiving dinner, then I can imagine those same conversations were happening in Nazi Germany among the Jewish people. Let’s not talk about it. I don’t want to bring it into my reality. It’s still 20 miles away. I’m still allowed in this theater, not that one. All I have to get is this little star. All I have to do is to sign this little thing saying that I’m not going to vaccinate because I think they’re dangerous—and they are dangerous. I’m just going to sign this paper. I’m going to let them put me in a log. At some point, they have gone too far.

Do you think it’s a good idea to let the government own your baby’s body and right behind it your body? That is the end for me. Anyone who believes in the right to bear arms. To stand up against your government. I don’t know what you were saving that gun for then. I don’t know when you planned on using it if they were going to take control of your own body away.

It’s now. Now’s the time.

Informed Consent Action Network[edit]

Bigtree is the founder of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN),[17] which is a non-profit that ostensibly supports science-based inquiry (of course, that's an extremely charitable description). It promotes parental choice/non-medical vaccine exemptions[18] and vaccine hysteria (e.g. "aluminum adjuvants" in vaccines causing autism).[19] ICAN is largely financially supported by Bernard Selz and Lisa Selz through their Selz Foundation; the Foundation donated more than $3 million to ICAN and other anti-vaxx causes as of 2019. The Selz Foundation also gave $200,000 to Andrew Wakefield's legal defense.[20]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. "Too many, too soon" is a common anti-vaccine refrain and is not based on any science
  2. See here on why you should not rely on VAERS to accurately quantify vaccine-averse events. Basically, VAERS is not curated, and there have been reports of people turning into the Incredible Hulk after a vaccine.

References[edit]

  1. Tracy, B. (January 27, 2015). Doctor explains why he lets kids avoid the measles vaccine.CBS News. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 oracknows (December 23, 2008). Run, don't walk, away from these Doctors. ScienceBlogs. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  3. vaccinesworkblog. (March 16, 2018). Del Bigtree is not a scientist. WordPress. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  4. Her letter to Bigtree can be found here.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kucinich, J. (April 12, 2019). Top Anti-Vaxxer Says He Learned All He Needs to Know From Being a Producer on ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘The Doctors’. The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. Orac (November 16, 2017). The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 26: “No, I’m not an ‘vaccine safety’ advocate”. Respectful Insolence. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  7. Orac. (April 15, 2019). "Daily Beast reporter Jackie Kucinich falls prey to the perils of reporting on antivaxer Del Bigtree". Respectful Insolence. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  8. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/609228454/inland-journal
  9. oracknows. (March 29, 2016). Tribeca Film Festival wrap-up: Andrew Wakefield's "brilliance" and spies and Nazis, oh my!. ScienceBlogs. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  10. ADL (April 5, 2019). Anti-Vaccine Protesters Misappropriate Holocaust-Era Symbol to Promote Their Cause. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  11. Orac (April 9, 2015). The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 15: California SB 277, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the vaccine “holocaust”. Respectful Insolence. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  12. Haelle, T. (June 18, 2015). California Doctor Invokes Holocaust Analogy, Compares Non-Vaccinating Parents To Persecuted Jews. Forbes. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  13. White, J. (April 7, 2015). Robert Kennedy Jr. warns of vaccine-linked ‘holoc.aust’. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  14. Reuben. (February 23, 2015) To the “Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice,” vaccine requirements are exactly like the Holocaust (UPDATED). "The Poxes Blog". WordPress. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  15. Orac (April 9, 2015). The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 15: California SB 277, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the vaccine “holocaust”. Respectful Insolence. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  16. lbrbSullivan (Jul 18, 2016). Del Bigtree: "Now's the time" for guns. Youtube. Retrieved May 10, 2019. Full video: https://www.facebook.com/del.bigtree/videos/10153574221765964/?pnref=story
  17. Del Bigtree: Founder, ICAN
  18. The Danger Of Eliminating Vaccine Exemptions & Curtailing Vaccine Criticism ICAN (archived from April 1, 2019).
  19. Autism & Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines: How Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines Can Cause Autism (August 18, 2017) ICAN.
  20. Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement by Lena H. Sun & Amy Brittain (June 19, 2019 at 6:00 AM).