Vaccinationsby Representative Bill Foster
Posted on 2015-02-04
FOSTER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Speaker, once again, our country is seeing the
dangerous effects of failing to listen to science.
In 2000, the United States had effectively eliminated endemic measles--an effort 40 years in the making--but all of that progress is quickly coming undone, not by an act of nature but by willful ignorance.
Last year, there were 644 cases of measles in the United States--the highest number in 20 years. Already this year, there have been 102 cases in 14 States, including in my home State of Illinois.
This is a dangerous game and one that some elected officials are encouraging. As leaders, it is our duty to inform the public of the truth. For those of us with scientific and medical backgrounds, this duty falls even more seriously.
When you fail to vaccinate, it is not just yourself and your children that you are putting in danger; it is everyone you come into contact with. And when politicians give voice to misinformation and paranoia, they are putting us all at risk.
Measles may not spread as fast as erroneous sound bites and tweets, but they both have the potential to cause a great amount of damage.
I know that many of my colleagues have reminded us that they are not scientists as they use this as an excuse for their advocacy of bad public policy, but it does not take a scientist to realize that opposing vaccines is wrong.
Absent a valid medical reason for exclusion, vaccines are critical for every man, woman, and child in our country--period.