Look: I’m going to prepare you for this in advance, but we’re going to write about this Jessica Biel situation more than once today. Vaccinations are a big deal to us and should be to everyone, and it’s maybe the only issue where, in many cases, the far right and the far left can often agree, in not great ways. A lot of their distrust where it concerns vaccines comes from a distrust of the government, which I get, but it should not come at the expense of science. The science is solid (remember science, progressives? It’s what you’re basing your support of the Green New Deal on). Anything you hear to the contrary is either far-left or far-right conspiracy theory, and again — because it bears repeating — if you do not vaccinate your children, you are putting other children at risk — you are placing more value on your own misguided beliefs than you are in the wellbeing of everyone. The idea of ignoring decades of science because you heard on Facebook that it’s healthy for kids to get “the natural wild measles” comes from a very privileged place, which is not that surprising for someone like Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, who paid $6.5 million to make a wedding video mocking homeless people.
In any respect, we wrote in detail this morning that Jessica Biel came out as an anti-vaxxer, something that she obviously didn’t want us to know. This morning, after major backlash, she posted to Instagram sort of refuting the idea that she’s anti-vaxx, using the language of a progressive anti-vaxxer.
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This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill. I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians. My concern with #SB277 is solely regarding medical exemptions. My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child in this state. That’s why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment. I encourage everyone to read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB277. Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!
“I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations,” is a statement that borrows from the language of the pro-choice movement, which is not unlike what Robert F. Kennedy Jr., does. Basically, Biel is saying, “I support parents having a choice about whether to vaccinate their children.” (Note that she does not say that she vaccinates her own children).
In the Instagram post, Biel also says that she is joining Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (a known anti-vaxxer) in rejecting SB 277, although what she really means is SB 276, the bill that is actually going through California’s legislature right now. She says that her concern is with “medical exemptions.”
To be clear, SB 276 does not prohibit medical exemptions. All that SB 276 does is ensure that a public health official reviews medical exemptions before they are approved. Without that safeguard, wealthy people like Jessica Biel, can shop around for doctors or pay an unscrupulous medical professional to provide them with a medical exemption. That obviously would not be out of the ordinary in a state like California, where parents bribe officials to get their kids into college all the time!
How easy would it be to get a medical exemption otherwise? Well, how easy is it to get a medical marijuana card in California? There’s your answer (to be clear, I have no problem making access to marijuana easy). SB 276 merely ensures that the medical exemptions are valid, so, if Jessica Biel’s friend’s kid really warranted a medical exemption from vaccination, a public health official would approve that. Biel and other privileged opponents to SB 276 are basically saying, “The doctor I pay to tell me what I want to hear knows better than a public health official.” And that, folks, is rich white-lady nonsense.