Is there some way to test newborns for cognitive dissonance tendencies? And to keep those who test positive from running for public office?
Recent (but hardly the only) case on point: Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning against allowing the child refugees who have been coming across the southern border into the United States, because they might be carrying deadly diseases.
“Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote. “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.”
And why do I say this is an example of cognitive dissonance? Because Rep. Gingrey is one of America’s anti-vaccine nuts.
Gingrey has long-standing ties to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a far-right medical group that opposes all mandatory vaccines. The organization touts access to Gingrey as one of its membership perks. (The AAPS has, incidentally, taken the lead in pushing the idea that migrant children are disease carriers.) In 2007, he wrote an amendment that would allow parents to block their children from receiving HPV vaccines, which are designed to combat cervical cancer.
Ironically, children from Guatemala are far more likely to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases than kids in Texas, because vaccines are provided free of charge by Guatemala’s universal health care system, and in Texas, the rate of parents who “opt out” of vaccinations citing “reasons of conscience” has increased every year since 2003.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been no reported cases of measles in Guatemala or Honduras since 1990, whereas anti-vaccination efforts in the United States have led to multiple outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Oh, but facts are such inconvenient things….especially when you’re trying to make points with a rabid and ignorant base at the expense of frightened refugee children.
Not to mention consistency with your own preposterous positions.