Melinda Gates Shames Anti-Vaxxers “Who Have Forgotten What Measles Death Looks Like”

On the heels of an increasingly widening measles outbreak at Disneyland in California, where at least 28 of the people infected were reportedly unvaccinated, Melinda Gates is urging parents to take advantage of healthcare resources in the United States and get their children vaccinated.

“We take vaccines so for granted in the United States,” Gates explained during an appearance on HuffPost Live Thursday. “Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine because they have seen death.”

In detailing the struggle parents in the developing world endure to have their children vaccinated, Gates said Americans have simply “forgotten what measles death looks like.” 

Through her philanthropy work with husband Bill Gates, Melinda has long worked to help people in developing countries obtain basic healthcare treatment, including vaccine deliveries. 

“I’d say to the people of the United States: We’re incredibly lucky to have that technology and we ought to take advantage of it,” she added. 

In the United States, the highly contagious disease has reemerged in recent years thanks to the anti-vaccination movement and personal belief exemptions. Use of the controversial waivers is particularly prominent in California.

The recent outbreak at Disneyland has heightened the debate. According to the Associated Press, those infected range from just seven months to 70-years-old, including five park employees. 

Dr. James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California-Los Angeles, told the New York Times the current outbreak is “100 percent connected” to the anti-immunization movement.

“It wouldn’t have happened otherwise—it wouldn’t have gone anywhere. There are some pretty dumb people out there.”

 

 

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate