Jill Stein’s Shameful Pander on Vaccines and Homeopathy

About a month ago on a Reddit AMA, Dr. Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party nominee for president, was asked a simple question about her official stance on vaccines and homeopathy.

Stein is, of course, a physician, so the answer, one would think, would be simple. For example, “Vaccines are safe and save lives, and everyone who can get vaccinated against preventable diseases absolutely should. Homeopathy is a sham pseudoscience that doesn’t do anything, wasting people’s money and risking people’s health while having no effect.”

Nope. You see she’s running in the Green Party, and hoping to pick up some of that sweet, sweet Bernie-rage. So here’s her answer:

I don’t know if we have an “official” stance, but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn’t allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial complex.

Vaccines in general have made a huge contribution to public health. Reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio. In Canada, where I happen to have some numbers, hundreds of annual death from measles and whooping cough were eliminated after vaccines were introduced. Still, vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure–each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them. In an age when industry lobbyists and CEOs are routinely appointed to key regulatory positions through the notorious revolving door, its no wonder many Americans don’t trust the FDA to be an unbiased source of sound advice. A Monsanto lobbyists and CEO like Michael Taylor, former high-ranking DEA official, should not decide what food is safe for you to eat. Same goes for vaccines and pharmaceuticals. We need to take the corporate influence out of government so people will trust our health authorities, and the rest of the government for that matter. End the revolving door. Appoint qualified professionals without a financial interest in the product being regulated. Create public funding of elections to stop the buying of elections by corporations and the super-rich.

For homeopathy, just because something is untested doesn’t mean it’s safe. By the same token, being “tested” and “reviewed” by agencies tied to big pharma and the chemical industry is also problematic. There’s a lot of snake-oil in this system. We need research and licensing boards that are protected from conflicts of interest. They should not be limited by arbitrary definitions of what is “natural” or not.

What the fuck was that? I mean, I honestly can’t discern an actual position out of this inscrutable wall of pandering.

The best I can glean from this mess is, “Vaccines may have saved lives, but now you should be afraid for your life because Big Pharma.”

And on homeopathy, what the fuck does “just because something is untested doesn’t mean it’s safe” even mean? I honestly don’t know. But then she gets back to making people scared. It’s not the fake medicine that’s the problem, you see, but Big Pharma pulling the strings. I mean, YOU CAN’T TRUST ANYONE.

I so deeply regret my support of Ralph Nader in 2000, but I always maintained a place in my heart for the Greens, those well-meaning hippies. But this is just gross. Stein is a fucking doctor, and she should at least have enough respect for the voters to speak a plain truth about issues that are literally life and death.

And if she actually believes what she’s saying (assuming she even knows what she’s saying), then all the worse. Be gone, Green Party. You once seemed full of fresh ideas, but now, well, you’ve spoiled.

Quick! Get This Man to a Homeopathic Hospital!

There’s something particularly insidious about homeopathy, isn’t there? I can’t put my finger on it, but something about it gets under my skepto-atheist skin more than almost any other kind of pseudoscientific malarky.
I think it has something to do with the fact that things like religion and faith are kind of vague and etherial, making claims about things that are overtly and almost-explicitly imaginary, while homeopathy makes a nonsense claim about something that is actually supposed to be physically present; though a solution contains only a “memory” or “essence” of a substance, it’s still supposed to be there, if in only negligible amounts, and have some effect on you as a result. At least one’s qi or chakra or aura are as imaginary and ethereal as anything religion claims. Homeopathy is just straight up wrong.

This is all to say I made up a dumb joke on Twitter about what a homeopathic hospital might be like.

Homeopathic hospital: Huge empty building, one real doctor walks in, walks out again.

— Paul Fidalgo (@PaulFidalgo) August 1, 2014

And then other smart folks on Twitter took the idea and ran with it, and I thought I’d share some highlights.

@PaulFidalgo He’d have to jump around a bit on the inside first, because it’s hard to shake a hospital. — David Dennis (@The_Wolfster) August 1, 2014

@PaulFidalgo It would be a building with billions of staff and if any were doctors once, there’s no record of their ever having worked there — David Bradley (@sciencebase) August 1, 2014

Indeed, you need something that gives a similar effect to what you’re trying to cure. A mass-murderer wd be better. @AI_Joe@PaulFidalgo

— Stephan Brun (@tibfulv) August 1, 2014

@tibfulv@AI_Joe@PaulFidalgo Clearly the Dr. wouldn’t just walk in and out. He would have to at least twerk for an hour or something. — SCROB TV (@scrobTV) August 1, 2014

@PaulFidalgo Construction workers then remove one corner room at random and attach it to another hospital. #LatherRinseRepeat — Len Sanook (@LenSanook) August 1, 2014

@LenSanook@PaulFidalgo After each reconstruction, they whack it ten times with an enormous leather and wood wrecking ball. — Charles Richter (@richterscale) August 1, 2014

@PaulFidalgo Homeopathic hospital: Huge empty building, occasionally the janitor opens the window to recirculate the BS. — Travis Estrella (@AI_Joe) August 1, 2014

@AI_Joe@PaulFidalgo a bunch of water coolers labelled “help yourself”? — CBat (@ImADataGuy) August 1, 2014

And then Thomas (@tehabe) sent me this video, which I can’t believe I’ve never seen, and won the day.