The real toxins are in our hearts.
Undocumented immigrants are conservative politicians first go-to when they want to misdirect blame. People coming from Mexico take all our jobs! All those sweet, sweet jobs that pay less than minimum wage, involve intense, frequently dangerous, physical labor with no health insurance or benefits of any kind.
What's the new hot button issue freaking out xenophobes? THE MEASLES. Here's a quote from an interview with Republican Representative Mo Brooks:
“I don't think there is any healthcare professional who has examined the facts who could honestly say that Americans have not died because the disease is brought into America by illegal aliens who are not properly healthcare screened, as lawful immigrants are. Unfortunately, our kids just aren't prepared for a lot of the diseases that come in and are borne by illegal aliens.”
Yeah, if only we had a qualified healthcare professional who understood the facts about vaccinations and disease outbreaks. Right now, all we have are the wonderful, witch-y moms and dads treating polio with green juice and staying indoors when Mercury is in retrograde. Perhaps someone should dedicate their life to a career in public health?
Oh wait, there's Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here's what she says:
"I know that immigration is a complicated issue and people have strong feelings about [it]...In fact, the year's outbreak, associated with the Disney park, the US exported measles virus to Mexico. So we see the virus unfortunately going the other direction."
That's right. In the imports and exports game, we are exporting measles to countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which now have higher rates of measles coverage than the U.S.
Schuchat added that the current outbreak isn't along the US-Mexico border but in “some of the wealthier communities in California."
The anti-vaxxer movement has had serious repercussions, even beyond outbreaks of previously controlled diseases, if you can believe it. The discussions around the issue have been demonizing perfectly healthy people on the autism spectrum and now opportunistic Republicans are using the fallout to place blame on already disenfranchised communities. At what point will the anti-vaxxers catch shame?