This 16-Year-Old Scam is Still Getting Children Sick

An infographic tackles the dangerous fallout from a fraudulent medical study

Photo by John Vachon for the United States Farm Security Administration, 1943

In 1998, the Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, published a paper by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that asserted a connection between vaccines and the development of autism. The study was a complete fraud. Since then, Wakefield’s findings have been disproved over and over again, he has been barred from practicing medicine in the U.K., and the Lancet has retracted the publication. But Wakefield’s work has still managed to have far-reaching consequences, and can be traced to as the source of the modern anti-vaccination movement, popularized by ex-Playboy model Jenny McCarthy and taken up by terrified yuppie parents, conspiracy theorists, and smug “natural living” fanatics everywhere.

Unfortunately, the actions of this paranoid coalition have had real-world repercussions, and countries like the U.S. and the U.K. are starting to see outbreaks of diseases like measles and pertussis (whooping cough) that were all but eradicated only a generation ago. Just to give you an idea of the problem’s scope, in certain wealthy Los Angeles neighborhoods, vaccination rates have dropped to as low as those in South Sudan. By failing to vaccinate their children, these parents—well meaning as they might be—put everyone at risk.

The Lexington, KY-based infographic agency Nowsourcing has put together an informative, illustrated piece outlining the fallout of Wakefield’s destructive influence over the last 16 years.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less