Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate for president, just wants someone to like her. The function she served in this election, thus far, is to preemptively blame progressives if Trump gets elected. It’s unfair to criticize Dr. Stein for merely running for president, even in a tight race like this; there’s no inherent evil in making a futile attempt to dismantle the two-party system.
What is sinister about her candidacy is the bizarre stance she’s taken on vaccines. In a Reddit AMA in May, she took issue with the concept of mandatory vaccines:
In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical?
Dr. Stein does acknowledge that vaccines have been crucial in “reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio,” but nevertheless asserts that “vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure—each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them.”
In a post for Jezebel, Anna Merlan writes that vaccines are, in fact, “rigorously tested by scientists who don’t have ties to big pharma or the ‘medical-industrial complex.’”
So it seems that Dr. Stein’s view on vaccines is intentionally misleading, begging the question: Really, lady, low-key implying that vaccines are dangerous is the best political strategy you could think of? But maybe we’re being too hard on Stein? Today, Dr. Stein responded to a tweet that asked her to clarify her beliefs on the matter:
Except one Twitter account saw that Jill Stein deleted her initial response to The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy’s question about her stance on vaccines.
It seems that between 4:54PM and 4:59PM—@twitersgoodboy confirmed the legitimacy of the screenshots—Stein revised her response from “There’s no evidence that autism is caused by vaccines” to “I’m not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.”
Neither response completely disavows the idea that vaccines cause autism, but changing the language of her response further illustrates her subtle pandering to the anti-vax constituency. She could’ve just tweeted “Vaccines don’t cause autism” but chose not to. Dr. Stein’s refusal to discredit anti-vaxxers makes her Harvard medical degree look like a certificate from the New York Chiropractic College.
Dr. Stein continued:
Word, Dr. Stein, let’s do it. Just say the medically accurate thing about vaccines and we’ll move on.