“Not…inform the ignorant.” New Day co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo battled on CNN Tonight on whether the measles vaccine should be mandatory.
When host Don Lemon posed the question to Chris, he answered with an unqualified, “Ah, Yes! They should be…We have enforcement issues with schools…that have allowed exemptions….”
When Don winnowed Chris’ “short answer” to a simple “yes,” Aly replied, “I say it’s impossible because there are exemptions and we don’t want to do away with those exemptions. Some are for religious purposes–the Amish don’t get immunized, for instance, and every school makes an exemption for…[a] medical exemption.”
Elaborating, Aly said, “If you have a child, for instance, I’ve interviewed scores of these people: I have been covering this immunization measles case for a long time. There are parents whose first child was vaccine injured: they don’t want to vaccinate their second child. They don’t have to: Schools don’t make them vaccinate their second child.”
Querulously, Don queried, “Do you have the right to endanger someone else’s kid because you don’t want your kid to be vaccinated?”
With a mite too much machismo, Chris exclaimed, “No, you don’t have the right!” Pointing at Aly, he disdainfully declared, “And, also, Alisyn’s answer is a little, you know!”
Uncowed by her Italian stallion ND hubby, Aly defiantly riposted, “Go ahead! Try it! Bring it out! Bring it on!”
Realizing that he was no longer lecturing a compliant Kate Bolduan but rather a combative Camerota, Chris dialed it back, saying, “You’re answer is the same as mine. He [Don] said, ‘Should it be mandatory?’ Yes! Unless, of course, there is a proviso in there; of course, if you’re kid is immune compromised or if it’s an infant.”
In answer to a somewhat chastened Chris, Aly answered, “Yeah. Well, that’s how it is right now. That’s how it stands right now.”
Chris riposted, “Right…and that’s what I’m saying. That’s what it is. So, it comes down to enforcement.”
Sounding chauvinistic, Chris continued, “Where I think that you get a little outside the box on this–because, obviously, we’ve been talking about it on the show so much is–I think you have to be careful not to inform the ignorant on this.”
Subsequently, after Chris and Don dogmatically argued for vaccination, Aly reasoned that there were “many layers to this.” When Don declared, “People aren’t not [sic] vaccinating because they’re concerned about their immune system: They are, they’re doing it because of a faulty report, bad science,” an undaunted Aly answered, “Some, some are doing it that way. Everybody has their own reasons. Some people are doing it because they know somebody who they believe got injured by a vaccine….That’s why this is happening!”
Animatedly, Chris retorted, “Yes, parents think that they shouldn’t give vaccines: they’re wrong! So, don’t give credibility to their position!”
Calmly, Aly reasoned, “Yes, but this is the problem with what you are saying: You also can’t sweep it under the rug. I hear people say all the time say, ‘These anti-vaxers, they’re crazy: they’re wearing tinfoil hats….In other words, you’re a flat-earther if you have any questions about it.”
As Don compared “these anti-vaxers” to “climate change people,” Chris indicated that they were worse. Sounding a tad like Tony Soprano, Chris continued, “You are right: you can’t just tell somebody they’re stupid and expect them to change because this is not an intellectual position, it’s an emotional position for parents so you have to appeal to them on that level: With raised eyebrows and a menacing look, he added, ‘But, they also have to know there’s a price.'”
Turning to Don, Aly demanded, “How does demonizing them help?” Interjecting, Chris exclaimed, “It helps a little bit. There should be a price for their position!”
Sorry, Chris. Aly is right: Demonizing concerned anti-vax parents is not the answer. And, no one, including you, has a right to make these parents pay “a price for their position”!
*CNN New – 02/05/15 (10:48 p.m. ET).