American Airlines will air dangerous antivax propaganda


UPDATE: American Airlines has decided to pull the interview:

Yay! The power of reality, when backed by a strong and firm voice, will not be denied.

+American Airlines is planning on printing and airing an interview with rabid antivaxxer Meryl Dorey - a stunt that's not only ridiculous, but downright dangerous. Last year, 100 AA passengers had to be tracked down, and more than two dozen quarantined, because a child infected with measles was brought on a flight. And now they want to spread antivaccination misinformation?

Their response on Twitter to complaints was... unsatisfactory, to say the least. There's now an online petition going around to get them to change their mind about airing the interview, and I've posted links to where you can find information on where to send letters to AA as well.

Let me be clear: I will not fly on American Airlines until they agree to not air and print this interview, and publicly apologize for even considering it. If they do run the interview, I will never fly on them again. And I'll make sure people know why I made this decision.
Ann Balanecki's profile photoPaul Ingraham's profile photoTom “T-Rex” Ligman's profile photoUnai Montes-Irueste's profile photo
Pat D
Well, I know which airline I will never fly with...
Ah, just what I want when I'm locked in an enormous, levitating, cylindrical germ incubator: people who've foregone their vaccinations. Turn that AC up!
Wow. Yet another reason to not fly AA (and this one more health-related than the previous ones).
Yet another reason not to fly, in general. Do you really want to be exposed to that many people in such close-quarters for that long of a period?
I'd go further than you and suggest that flying American Airlines could become downright dangerous if they encourage this anti-science crap. Air travel is already a vector for respiratory illness and other bugs; taken to its logical conclusion, this could make it deadly.
+Chad Wilson Life is full of risk. The off-chance of getting a serious disease from close proximity to others is easily offset by the tremendous advantages of travelling and seeing the world, in my mind.

Mind you, when a company like AA does something like this, that's definitely a solid reason to find another carrier.
By American Airlines now publicly-stated criteria, I should be permitted to show a "documentary" about how the so-called laws of aerodymics are uncertain if not fraudulent. And so aircraft manufacturers are lying to the public that any aircraft is safe to ride.
Seriously, how can anyone not see what's wrong with people who don't know medicine trying to influence other people's medical decisions in a forum where no one can respond to what they're saying? (Maybe "forum" is the wrong word here.)

+Raphael Miranda You have a list? I'm impressed. Gotta get myself one of those.
Eric Lortie
+Ron Roberts Wait, what? You don't get what the deal is about the measles? It has a fatality rate of 1/1000 and is preventable via vaccine.

So yeah. Someone infects you with the measles and you die, because they didn't want a vaccine, that's the same as driving your car through their kitchen because you felt steering wasn't necessary.
In the USA, to attend pretty much any public school, it is required to have your kids vaccinated. The list of vaccs seems to have grown a bit since I was 10. My two boys had to go back three times to the doctor to get all of the shots.
Not just parents - apparently, some US doctors aren't keeping up with how often booster shots need to be given. So frustrating.
is there a link to the actual ad?..i can't seem to find it
While this is an important issue, I don't see this being a priority for AA right now with their bankruptcy and possible merger with US Airways.

In the meantime, vaccinate yourself and your children, and speak with your dollars.
Considering how contagious diseases can spread in small, densely occupied spaces, it should be one of their primary concerns...especially for the health of their crews.
Welcome to American Airlines. Here is your complimentary breath mask and pair of hypo-allergenic gloves. Enjoy your flight!
+Christine Reece
I think we've also seen how AA cares about the health of their crew with recent flight attendant stories that have made the news. What should be of concern, and what actually are often are not the same.
I have no words for this. My PhD was work on Bordetella. i worked in a vaccine development center...
I just can't say how dangerous I think this is
no one who has ever had measles will tell you it's no big deal
I wound up with chicken pox at the age of 32. That wasn't three weeks of "no big deal" either.
Sent them a letter and did the online petition. And put it on Facebook and LiveJournal. And G+ momentarily.
yeah. My labmate got chicken pox in grad school. She was about 28. I had measles, mumps, and chicken pox all in the same spring. i was away from school for 6 weeks.
I'm just about to shop for $4-5K worth of tickets for a full-family international travel next summer. Guess which company is now out of my list.
Books I've Read

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear
By Seth Mnookin

Mnookin starts with the history of vaccines and their impact on world health then explores the invented controversies over the MMR shot "causing" autism (he makes a very strong case that no causation was ever proved). His contention is that as people are spooked into refusing to immunize their children, the resulting threat to public health in general is grave.
AA has always been a horrible airline. Not surprising.
Word on "the Street"- Wall Street is that US Air is fixing to gobble up AA in a merger soon.
There is nothing bad that AA will share alternative opinion with people, it's called "freedom of speech". At least people could think twice about vaccines, educate themselves and make a decision for themselves. I support their move.
Unfortunately, it's not a propaganda it's the true life. A few doctors will tell you a true story behind vaccines because it's their, big pharm's and hospital's business. It's just so much easier and much profitable to vaccinate everybody that all negative side effects can be neglected. They value their profit and convenience more than human life.
+Janet Kragen I don't know which study the book you mentioned is referring to, but the original paper by Andrew Wakefield published in 1998 has been investigated, shown to have contained bad data and shoddy interpretation, and the article has been retracted in 2010. In addition, Wakefield lost his license to practice upon discovery of how he treated some of the autistic patients in his study.

Here's a wiki link:
I presume you have had your Smallpox vaccine which can cause blindness, and your Anthrax vaccine which can cause death?
+Eric Weber Please provide data on the number of vaccine-caused deaths as compared to the number of deaths caused by by the relevant diseases before vaccination because widespread.
+Vladimir Samoylenko I'm not saying that your skepticism may not have any amount of reason; but when we see that (a) the US is the single country where this debate exists, (b) all high-profile antivaxxers are obvious nutjobs (not to mention proven fraudsters like Dr. Wakefield), (c) there is no debate among serious scientists (and I won't swallow a conspiracy or incompetence theory that involves the entire, worldwide scientific community) -- it's VERY hard to give more credit to this "controversy" than, for example, to the "controversy" about evolution.
+Billy Hung Wakefield is one of the studies the book talks about. It was a good book--gives a lot of background and science on the topic. More than just a few sound bites, which is all you can really get in a comment.
Small pox is extinct in the wild because humans are the sole vector for transfer & worldwide cooperation made the vaccine available. Vaccination for small pox was discontinued years ago.

I favor leaving fools to their ignorance. It is their descendants who are at risk, not mine. Patience will make the world a better place.
From the CDC web site: Before measles vaccine, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. Each year in the United States about 450-500 people died because of measles, 48,000 were hospitalized, 7,000 had seizures, and about 1,000 suffered permanent brain damage or deafness. Today there are only about 50 cases a year reported in the United States, and most of these originate outside the country.


The MMR vaccine has been associated with a very small risk of febrile seizure as a side effect. Two recent studies indicate that for every 10,000 children who get the MMR and varicella vaccines for their first vaccinations when they are 12-23 months old, about 4 will have a febrile seizure during the 5-12 days following vaccination.


Febrile seizures often result in a visit to an emergency room for the child and can be very frightening for parents and caregivers. However, most children who have febrile seizures recover quickly and have no lasting effects.

There's your risk vs. benefit.
American Airlines should be ashamed, but clearly are not - presumably because they value the advertising dollars more than the lives of their passengers. Let's make them rethink that calculation.
+Pat Kight is correct +Sandy Orenstein - without a minimum (and usually quite high) percentage of vaccinated individuals, herd immunity dissipates and instance of break outs of disease, even among those already vaccinated (particularly children and the elderly), increases significantly. I am content to let someone eat or smoke themselves to death, even to have some of my taxes pay for their healthcare, as that largely only affects them and their families. Vaccination is another thing entirely, and truly requires the commitment of the community to ensure its effectiveness.
My petition comment:

Given the fact that people who are in favor of vaccination are now less likely to fly on your plane, this means that the rate of unvaccinated individuals on board is going to steadily increase...which means that when I bring my toddler on board, there's a greater chance she'll catch a disease from the lowered herd immunity (she's not old enough to have every single vaccine that they make) on board.

Congratulations - you've now just made American Airlines the official carrier of diseased, unvaccinated people. Enjoy your sick passengers.
+Eric Weber I actually have my smallpox vaccination. I received an experimental dilution in 2002 to test whether or not the existing supply could be diluted to protective levels in order to save the country.

My sister has had the anthrax vaccine, and she's fine today.

Neither one is issued to people on a regular basis due to the severe (for vaccines) side effects that outweigh the risks of not vaccinating. Smallpox because it is effectively eradicated, anthrax because there is a low risk of natural (non bio-weapons) exposure.

Thats not what these people are b*tching about - they're complaining about vaccines where the risk of NOT vaccinating is very high (pertussis, measles, chicken pox, etc...) and the risks from vaccination are very low.
+Dennis Guskov Many substances that are therapeutic in minute doses can be toxic consumed in drinkable quantities.

(Also: I know Jock Doubleday, the source of that spurious bet. He's a pleasant enough guy, and a reasonably good actor, but he's also a total - and completely self-educated - health crackpot.)
The truth about vaccines being that your immune system is exposed to something that appears similar to a disease agent, but without making you actually sick.
Oh good - is this a FEMA conspiracy theory? Vaccines are a PRODUCT of the DEVIL LIZARD god who runs FEMA ALMIGHTY!

OK, let's round robin this, Thomas. You go now.
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