The panel discussion on last night’s Nightly Show became heated when an anti-vaccine advocate and a doctor got into an argument about the reason why parents refuse to vaccinate their children.
Dr. Holly Phillips, a CBS News health correspondent, said that “it’s one of those things where there’s a mother’s intuition where you don’t necessarily want to put a needle in your child — but this is one of those times where you have to let science trump intuition.”
Host Larry Wilmore then asked Zoey O’Toole, a prominent anti-vaxxer, whether choosing not to vaccinate her children “might put other children at risk.”
“That thought has occurred to everyone who’s decided not to vaccinate,” O’Toole replied. “The important thing to remember is, that we all want to do what’s best for our children. My main fear would be for my children’s health. Your job as a parent is to protect your child.”
Wilmore then asked comedian Judy Gold whether she had vaccinated her children, and whether it’s possible that in doing so, she had harmed them.
“I’ve done many things to harm them, but vaccination isn’t one of them,” she replied. “I felt completely confident. We live in New York City, where there a lot of people in very small spaces, and I think about these scientists who have dedicated their lives to finding vaccines for these diseases.”
“But did you know,” O’Toole interjected, “that vaccine manufacturers stand to make $40 billion from vaccines this year?”
“But if somebody cures your kid of a disease and makes a lot of money, are you mad at them?” Wilmore asked, before adding, “I think parents feel a lot of guilt when their kids have issues. There’s a lot of guilt that comes with raising kids, and if they’re autistic — do you think guilt plays a factor in this?”
Dr. Phillips replied, “I just think people want some sense of control. Autism is a very scary condition, and as a parent, you want to be able to have some kind of control, so you can say, ‘I’m doing something that everybody else isn’t to protect my kid.'”
“Unfortunately,” she continued, “withholding vaccines isn’t really that thing.”
Watch the entire panel discussion below via Comedy Central.