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Michael Specter on The Daily Show

December 4th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Critical thinking, Kudos

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Michael Specter
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Add Michale Specter’s name to the anti-vaccination movement’s enemies list. The New Yorker magazine columnist and science writer is promoting his book, Denialism, where he gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack upside the head.

“Fear is the virus we need to worry about,” Specter told John Stewart Thursday night, noting that half of Americans say they won’t vaccinate themselves against the H1N1 flu, which has already killed thousands. “Sixty-two million people have been given (the H1N1 vaccine), and zero people have been killed or seriously injured by it… It doesn’t seem like a difficult calculus to do.”

Stewart played devil’s advocate, asking why we vaccinate against diseases that don’t threaten us.

“We vaccinate for diseases that we don’t remember are real,” answered Specter. “Measles killed 200,000 people last year, but none of them were in the United States. So measles doesn’t seem like a big deal.” But measles, polio, and other killers are only a plane ride away.

Watch the whole video.

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