On the heels of my post yesterday about the anti-vaccine movement raging in New York state, I thought I should remark on Phil Plait (of the excellent Bad Astronomy blog) deciding to take a stand against the anti-vaccine movement in his own way:

I used to write for the Huffington Post, an online news and blog collective. It was started by Arianna Huffington during the Bush Era as a response to all the far-right online media. I didn’t agree with a lot of what was on there — I am more centrist — but at the time I thought it was necessary.

Then they started to promote far-left New Age nonsense, and when it came to vaccinations, HuffPo started posting all kinds of opinions that amounted to nothing more than out-and-out health threats. While they do sometimes post a counter-argument, it’s still almost all alt-med, all the time.

Here’s the latest: a doctor named Frank Lipman is telling people not to get vaccinated against Swine Flu. Instead he says you should wash your hands a lot, eat well, and take homeopathic medicine.

I’m sure the folks at Huff feel they’re doing the right thing, but when you’re talking medicine, feelings do not matter … science and, more specifically, evidence do. At any rate, Plait is done with Huff:

It’s the peddling of antivax rhetoric like this that drove me from HuffPo, and I’ve let them know why. I was a minor cog there, so I know it made no difference… and the proof is that they still post articles promoting procedures known to be useless. In fact, it’s worse than that, since someone might try the homeopathic water rather than get actual treatment.

So, as always, don’t listen to people like Lipman, or even to me when it comes to this stuff. Instead, go to your doctor, a board-certified and science-based doctor, and ask them about the H1N1 swine flu, and see if they recommend getting the shot.

That’s good advice … go to a bona fide evidence-based doctor, and follow his/her instructions. Plait’s exit from the circus of children that is Huff may not alleviate that blog’s fuzzy thinking, but even symbolic stands can carry some weight. Good for you, Dr Plait!

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