Far right wing Republican Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky was best-known for his support of anti-gay Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, and despite his long history of other comments that have caused outrage and uproar his latest remarks may take the cake.
It turns out Gov. Bevin is an anti-vaxxer.
“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin bragged to local Kentucky radio station WKCT, as the Courier Journal reported. “They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”
The Courier Journal cited three experts and reports Bevin's move "is medically unsound — and can be dangerous."
Bevin asked listeners, "why are we forcing kids" to get vaccinated.
"If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child," he added. "But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise."
"This is America," Bevin stressed. "The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t."
The paper notes Governor Bevin's remarks come on the cusp of an outbreak of chickenpox "at a Northern Kentucky Catholic school, where at least one student reported not being vaccinated for religious reasons."
As usual, Gov. Bevin is ill-informed, on many fronts.
First, the federal government does not "force" any private citizen to get vaccinated. As a governor, he should know vaccination requirements are state – not federally – regulated.
Also, as the Courier Journal reported, forcing children to become infected with the potentially deadly chickenpox virus can cause problems now, and in the future. For once, those who have had chickenpox instead of the vaccine are more likely to become ill with shingles later in life. Shingles can cause strokes, heart attacks, and in rare cases can be deadly.
As a state official and as a parent Governor Bevin should know that.
He should also know that a National Institutes of Health study found seven out of nine courts "considered vaccine refusal to constitute neglect."
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