Texas lawmaker calls vaccines ‘sorcery,’ verbally attacks prominent advocate – Chron


  • Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, on doctors who want to end vaccine exemptions:

    Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, on doctors who want to end vaccine exemptions: “Look, another guy in a white coat who thinks he’s a better parent than anyone else!” Stickland went on a twitter offensive against prominent vaccine advocate Peter Hotez and others Tuesday.

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    Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, on doctors who want to end vaccine exemptions: “Look, another guy in a white coat who thinks he’s a better parent than anyone else!” Stickland went on a twitter offensive

    … more

    Photo: Tom Reel, Staff / Staff Photographer

Photo: Tom Reel, Staff / Staff Photographer

Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, on doctors who want to end vaccine exemptions: “Look, another guy in a white coat who thinks he’s a better parent than anyone else!” Stickland went on a twitter offensive against prominent vaccine advocate Peter Hotez and others Tuesday.

less

Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, on doctors who want to end vaccine exemptions: “Look, another guy in a white coat who thinks he’s a better parent than anyone else!” Stickland went on a twitter offensive

… more

Photo: Tom Reel, Staff / Staff Photographer

Vaccine advocate Dr. Peter Hotez is accustomed to verbal attacks from anti-vaxxers, but on Tuesday the abuse came from an unexpected source: a Texas legislator.

In response to a Hotez tweet that the latest increase in vaccine exemptions in Texas shows its children have been “placed in harm’s way for the financial gain of special and outside interest groups,” Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, let loose.

“You are bought and paid for by the biggest special interest in politics,” tweeted Stickland. “Do our state a favor and mind your own business. Parental rights mean more to us than your self enriching ‘science.'”

When Hotez replied that he doesn’t take a dime from the vaccine industry and that as a Texas pediatrician-scientist who develops neglected disease vaccines for the world’s poorest people, it is “most certainly my business,” Stickland dug in even deeper.

“Make the case for your sorcery to consumers on your own dime,” tweeted Stickland. “Like every other business. Quit using the heavy hand of government to make your business profitable through mandates and immunity. It’s disgusting.”

Make the case for your sorcery to consumers on your own dime. Like every other business. Quit using the heavy hand of government to make your business profitable through mandates and immunity. It’s disgusting.

— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland)May 7, 2019

Hotez, a Baylor College of Medicine professor of infectious disease, bowed out at that point. But Stickland continued the onslaught with others happy to engage the fight. In a span of an hour, he tweeted that vaccines are “dangerous,” that a doctor concerned about the child’s vulnerability to disease is a “brainwashed commie” and that a defender of science is a “typical leftist trying to take credit for something only The Lord God Almighty is in control of.”

The twitter tussle was triggered by aHouston Chronicle storyreporting on the latest and continuing increase in the number of Texans vaccine exemptions by parents claiming a conscientious objection to the state requirement.

Todd Ackerman covers medicine for the Houston Chronicle. He can be reached at todd.ackerman@chron.com or twitter.com/ChronMed.

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