Once again, Bill Maher (and his science expert, David Duchovny) went off on a tirade against vaccination on his show, full of ignorance and stupidity and lies. Time to read Orac some more.
Bill Maher and his apologists frequently gasp in indignation whenever someone like myself or other skeptics call him antivaccine. Unfortunately, as I showed last week, antivaccine tropes fly fast and furious out of his mouth. His misleading claim about the lack of vaccinated/unvaccinated studies is not only misleading, but objectively not not true. It simply isn’t. Also, whenever antivaccine organizations try to do such studies themselves, inevitably they’re utterly worthless and/or actually show the exact opposite of what antivaccinationists had hoped. When vaccinated/unvaccinated studies are planned, they are actually attacked by antivaccine groups because these groups know that the studies won’t show what they hope they’ll show.
Yes, the claim that there’s never been a “vaccinated/unvaccinated” study is an antivaccine trope, tried and true. What Maher said about it would have been perfectly at home on the websites of antivaccine groups, such as Age of Autism, SafeMinds, VaxTruth, and the National Vaccine Information Center. Ditto his analogies about the immune system “needing a workout” by combatting “real disease,” an analogy so breathtakingly ignorant of actual immunology and infectious disease that Maher should really just hang his head in shame.
Maher has zero credibility with me.