Discredited UK doctor addresses anti-vaxx Orthodox Jewish rally

Discredited UK doctor addresses anti-vaxx Orthodox Jewish rally May 16, 2019
Image via YouTube

ON  Monday, a ‘vaccine symposium’ attended by hundreds of mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews took place in Rockland County, New York – and among the speakers was Andrew Wakefield, above, who was struck off the medical register for unethical behaviour, misconduct and dishonesty.

The rally took place in the midst of the measles epidemic in New York, which is the worst in the country. It started in ultra-Orthodox communities in October.

The “symposium” was sponsored by a Jewish group based in Monsey, New York. Attendees referenced religious beliefs and pseudoscience that they claimed disproved the effectiveness of vaccines.

Despite the growing measles outbreak — it’s reached a record high of more than 800 cases nationwide, 75 new cases this week coming from New York – attendees packed the ballroom where the event was held.

Image via YouTube

One of the most prominent ultra-Orthodox anti-vaxxers, Rabbi Hillel Handler, claimed at Monday’s rally that Jews in New York had been “demonised.” He also criticised New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling him “a German” and “a very sneaky fellow”,  for actions he said singled out Jews during the epidemic.

Handler, who has likened vaccination to “child sacrifice” in the past, told the crowd that according to “medical research”, if you:

Catch measles, mumps and chickenpox, your chances of getting cancer, heart disease, and strokes goes down 60 percent.

He added:

We Hasidim have been chosen as the target in order to distract from the virulent diseases that are sweeping through the city from illegals.

The following day, hundreds gathered outside the New York state capital to protest against a bill that would ban religious exemptions from mandatory vaccinations. Robert F Kennedy Jr spoke at the rally with a crowd of mothers cheering him on, despite criticism from his family for spreading misinformation.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph Kennedy II and Maeve Kennedy McKean, penned an op-ed in Politico last week criticising his anti-vax stand. They said:

He has has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccine.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anat

    Such a shame. Judaism has a history of prioritizing health and listening to medical experts. But with Hasidim in the modern world the wish to protect their isolated identity got them believing an anti-health position that fits with their persecution narrative.

  • Brian Curtis

    The presence of Andrew Wakefield at any event is no different than the presence of swastikas and Confederate flags. It tells you exactly how worthwhile the message will be.

  • Jerry Falwell’s Racy Pictures

    We Hasidim have been chosen as the target in order to distract from the virulent diseases that are sweeping through the city from illegals.

    This is the 2nd time I’ve seen this argument made by anti-medicine people. If diseases are harmless, then no big. Unless this is cover for some other message.

  • rubaxter

    What a potent brew, Testosterone and Relgion!

  • persephone

    I don’t think it’s a cover; it’s pretty clear he’s a racist schmuck.

  • frostysnowman

    Hasidic Jews are extremely racist. They try as much as possible to isolate themselves from the rest of society, a la the Amish except they aren’t as successful since they live in Brooklyn. But outsiders definitely don’t go through their neighborhoods because they know they are unwelcome, so don’t blame illegals.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    “Catch measles, mumps and chickenpox, your chances of getting cancer, heart disease, and strokes goes down 60 percent.” Ayup, because when you DIE from measles you are unlikely to die from stroke/heart attack etc. etc… What a putz.

    edit: using the same ‘logic” I can safely say that if u drive down I-87 at 135mph with bald tires during a snow storm you are 80% less likely to die from AIDS or Ebola.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    Andrew Wakefield wanted to sell his own measles vaccine, but because there was no market for it when there was a three-in-one vaccine available, he invented a risk out of whole cloth to bring down the competition.