Republicans Are Dangerous To America’s Health

Over the years, particularly in the last decade, I don’t know how many times I have said or written words to the effect that Republicans are hazardous to your health; but it is many times. Far from taking it back I want to highlight a recent example and then expand on it a bit. Let’s explore.

Not all the nutcases with an “R” after their name are in Washington. I know I live a short drive from North Carolina’s capital buildings in Raleigh. Today’s “Exhibit A” comes from Kentucky in the person of the Bluegrass State’s Governor, Matt Bevin. Bevin is a part of the radical right wing that has taken over the once legitimately conservative GOP. He is also an anti-vaxxer; in other words he doesn’t believe in vaccinations. Last week the Washington Post reported that Bevin admitted on a radio show that he purposely took his nine children to a chickenpox party. The objective was to expose them to people with the disease in its infectious stage so that they would contract chickenpox. My wife believes in angels who protect the children of irresponsible parents but in this case the angels either didn’t exist or went 0 for 9 because all of Governor Bevin’s children contracted the disease.

The disease is seldom fatal in children, but preventable fatalities do occur. I had chickenpox as a child (well before the vaccine became widely available in the 1990’s) and was lucky enough to come out of it with only a scar on my temple. Back in those days some 100 to 150 Americans died from it each year. I was also fortunate to not be one of the 10,500 to 13,000 hospitalized because of it annually in the pre-vaccine days. Most states require that students are vaccinated against certain preventable childhood diseases including chickenpox as a public safety precaution. Bevin and people like him think that is a government overreach. Since I breathe the same air and the vaccines have proven to be nearly 100% effective I consider it common sense.

If a parent were to expose their child to other dangers there is a very good chance that social services would remove their children from them and place them in a safer environment. Why hasn’t that happened to Bevin and every person like him who simply lacks the cerebral power to be a responsible parent?

As far as I can tell the anti-vaxxer movement started in the California right wing stronghold of Orange County. (Perhaps former stronghold, as a result of the Blue Wave of 2018 it is now entirely represented in Congress by Democrats.) Fortunately the movement hasn’t hurt traditional public school in too many areas because the anti-vaxxers, who often hide behind religious exemptions in state laws, and tend to congregate in religious, private or charter school. That to a large degree takes care of the school issue but how about public accommodations like stores, restaurants and churches. Like I said, it’s my air too.

Today’s Republican Party, very much including Donald Trump, is too busy trying to keep a coalition of nutcases together to be concerned about public health. From the day the enabling legislation was passed their battle cry was to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump campaigned on the promise that he would repeal it and replace it with something that was much better, covered every American and cost less. Fortunately the repeal fell just short in the Senate and we have yet to see a replacement plan that was better, cheaper or more comprehensive. We never will because such a Republican plan doesn’t and never will exist.

Why is there no public outcry to remove children from anti-vaxxer parents? They are not only endangering their children they are endangering the children of the sane Americans also. Start with Governor Bevin; he would be a high profile example.

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