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GOP-appointed regulatory council shoots down Arizona vaccination program after anti-vaxx parents complain

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The six-member Arizona Regulatory Review Council, appointed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, has canceled plans for an online educational program dispelling myths about vaccinations due to complaints from parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids.

According to AzCentral, the pilot program — which has been successful in Oregon and Michigan — was squashed over protests received from approximately 120 people in a state with a population of over 7 million.

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According to the report, members of the council — tasked with reviewing regulations to make sure they not adversely affect the public — questioned the state health department about the course after receiving the anti-vaxxer worries it might lead them to have to immunize their kids to protect other children.

In an email to two Health Department staff members on Aug. 14, Brenda Jones, immunization services manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote that there had been “a lot of political and anti-vaxx” feedback.

“I’m not sure why providing ‘information’ is seen as a negative thing,” replied state Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, who spent the last three legislative sessions helping create the pilot program.

“Providing information doesn’t take away a parent’s choice to seek an exemption,” she complained. “This is a major concern. Vaccines have saved lives for generations. We all want to live in safe and healthy communities.”

The report adds that disappointed state health officials are seeking a different way to inform parents that childhood vaccines are far safer than the diseases they prevent.

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You can read the whole report here.


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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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