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Foster: It Doesn’t Take A Scientist To Realize That Opposing Vaccines Is Wrong

Feb 4, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) spoke on the House floor to discuss the danger of failing to listen to science when it comes to vaccines. Foster is the only Ph.D. physicist in Congress and is the chair of the R&D caucus.

Video of Foster’s speech is available here.

Text of Foster’s remarks is below:

Mr. Speaker, once again our country is seeing the dangerous effects of failing to listen to science.

In 2000, the United States had effectively eliminated endemic measles – an effort 40 years in the making. But all of that progress is quickly coming undone – not by an act of nature, but by willful ignorance.

Last year there were 644 cases of measles in the United States – the highest number in 20 years – and already this year, there have been 102 cases in 14 states, including my home state of Illinois.

This is a dangerous game – and one that some elected officials are encouraging.

As leaders, it is our duty to inform the public of the truth. For those of us with scientific and medical backgrounds, this duty falls even more seriously. 

When you fail to vaccinate, it is not just yourself and your children that you are putting in danger, it is everyone that you come into contact with.

And when politicians give voice to misinformation and paranoia, they’re putting us all at risk.

Measles may not spread as fast as erroneous sound bites and tweets, but they both have the potential to cause a great amount of damage.

I know that many of my colleagues have reminded us that they are not scientists, as they use this as an excuse for their advocacy of bad public policy.

But it does not take a scientist to realize that opposing vaccines is wrong.

Absent a valid medical reason for exclusion, vaccines are critical for every man, woman and child in our country.  Period.

Thank you and I yield back.