Is it "communist" to require that children be vaccinated?
Arizona State Representative Kelly Townsend thinks so.
The representative of Mesa went on Facebook Thursday morning to explain its logic.
"The last and most sacred and sacred last frontier of sovereignty is our own body," she wrote. "Dear friends and people of Arizona, it seems that we are ready to give up our freedom, the very sovereignty of our body, because of measles."
The day before, Governor Doug Ducey had declared that he was "in favor of vaccination and the fight against measles". In his comments, he referred to three bills recently introduced in the Legislature that would make it easier for parents to choose not to vaccinate their children. Ducey promised not to sign any law that would reduce the number of children vaccinated.
"Dear friends and people of Arizona, it seems that we are ready to give up our freedom, the very sovereignty of our body, because of measles." – Kelly Townsend
For the record, despite what you may hear from the state legislature, vaccines are a a public health measure that saves life. They help reduce the spread of deadly diseases, such as smallpox, that were once massacres. They directly immunize a large majority of people against these diseases and indirectly protect people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients.
But Townsend, who has the habit of saying inaccurate and / or explosive things on Twitter (see "furries"), and on Facebook (see "celebrities and addictions" or "women and rape"), ignored these facts in his post, which framed the requirements for vaccination as an attack on individual freedom.
"I read yesterday that the idea is advanced that if we do not get enough vaccinated people, we will force them," she wrote. "The idea of forcing one to give up one's freedom on behalf of the collective is not based on American values, but rather on communism."
Townsend went on to say that she had a child who had been injured by a vaccine, without further clarification, and had demanded that instead of focusing on the immunization requirement, she said, Arizona is investing more in research on the lesions caused by the vaccine. She did not immediately respond to an email asking for more details about the allegations concerning her child.
She signed with a popular quote from Benjamin Franklin, one about how those who give up "essential freedom, buy some temporary security" do not deserve it either, which does not matter. really does not apply in the context of vaccines. (In addition, Franklin was not talking about vaccines when he was writing this – he was talking about weapons and money.)
Quick tip for Townsend: Franklin was pro-vaccine.
Here is the full post:
Kelly Townsend's full article equates vaccination with communism.