National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci said Saturday on CNN’s “Newsroom” that if the vaccine misinformation on right-wing media were around in the past, smallpox would not have been eradicated.
Anchor Jim Acosta said, “The most-watched television show on Fox News right now is outright hostile to the vaccine. In this environment, do you think we could have defeated the measles or eradicated polio if you had Fox News night after night warning people act these vaccine issues that are just bunk?”
Fauci said, “Well, that is a very good point, Jim. If you look at the extraordinary, historic success in eradicating smallpox and eliminating polio from most of the world — and we’re on the brink of eradicating polio — if we had the pushback for vaccines the way we’re seeing on certain media, I don’t think it would have been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox, we probably would still have smallpox, and we probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread now. If we had that back decades ago, I would be certain that we’d still have polio in this country.”
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