CDC Director Smacks Down Republican’s Idiotic ‘Immigrants Brought Measles’ Theory

bill cassidy cspanedited

Speaking before a Senate hearing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, on Tuesday, rejected a Republican Senator’s attempt to link recent outbreaks of the measles to undocumented immigrants.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy (R) confronted Schuchat with a question about the measles outbreak at Disneyland. The GOP freshman Senator asked: “Tell me, of those infected in the California epidemic, how many were native born Americans and how many had immigrated here?” Schuchat responded, “Most of the importations that we have of measles each year are in Americans who are traveling abroad and come back”.

Not satisfied, Senator Cassidy questioned whether wealthy anti-vaccine parents in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles could really be responsible. It must be foreigners, he implied. He then pivoted back to trying to blame immigrants arguing, ”there are a lot of immigrants, and a lot of those immigrants may have fallen between the cracks.” Again he was rebuffed by Schuchat, who pointed out that Latin America had taken on the elimination of measles, and that in fact, Measles outbreaks in the United States are being spread in the “wealthier communities”.

As the discussion continued, Schuchat also pointed out that the largest measles outbreak in the U.S. in 2014 occurred when Amish travelers brought the disease back from the Philippines. Because the community had low rates of vaccination, the outbreak spread quickly.

While Republican lawmakers are trying their best to blame undocumented immigrants for the measles outbreak, the reality is that most immigrant children are vaccinated. Many Latin American nations have higher immunization rates than the United States. For example, according to the World Health Organization, 99 percent of one-year-olds in Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba, are vaccinated for measles. 94 percent of one-year-olds in El Salvador and 92 percent in Panama are vaccinated. All of these nations have higher vaccination rates than the United States’ rate of 91 percent. A couple of Latin American nations have slightly lower rates. Mexico (89 percent) and Guatemala (85 percent) lag slightly behind the U.S. but the difference is relatively small.

Not only does the United States have lower vaccination rates than much of South and Central America, but they have lower rates than that of many developing nations in Africa and Asia, as well. China (99 percent), Libya (98 percent), Iran (98 percent), Rwanda (97 percent), Egypt (96 percent), Botswana (94 percent), Kenya (93 percent), and Bangladesh (93 percent) all have a higher percentage of young children vaccinated than the United States does. 

Senator Cassidy tried to spin the measles problem as an illegal immigration problem. However, the CDC Director corrected him and pointed out the obvious. The American resurgence of measles is an American problem, not a problem being imported by illegal immigrants. Arresting the spread of measles in America doesn’t require putting more troops on the border, it requires putting more vaccination needles in our children, including the kids of the well to do.

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32 Replies to “CDC Director Smacks Down Republican’s Idiotic ‘Immigrants Brought Measles’ Theory”

  1. If the Director REALLY wanted to smack this Senator down then she should have told him point blank that current measles outbreak started with well to do white people who are science deniers such as himself.

  2. While I never intend to join the Democratic Party, believe me that I will ALWAYS vote for whomever has the better chance of making Republicans lose.

    These people have no soul, no shame, no decency, only bigotry and blind partisanship.

  3. Perhaps Senator Cassidy should tell his constituents to get vaccinated. That way the bad imported measles can’t kill their children. Win/Win.

    That or they can keep denying basic healthcare to their kids and pretending it’s someone else’s fault.

  4. Another Republican searching for validation of an already-publicized, evidence-devoid, agenda-driven conclusion.

  5. Question…I thought children had to show proof of vaccinations before they were allowed to attend school and/or day care! Are the school boards not enforcing the rules and letting the anti vaccined children in?
    I guess….The outbreak may be due to pre school aged children not yet required to get vaccinated! Either way, irritating!

  6. In a lot of states, you can get around the required vaccinations if you can’t get it because of medical reasons or because of your beliefs.

    I don’t know if that’s the case with the anti-vaxxers but they got around the requirement somehow (where it is required). I’d say they used the “beliefs” reason because if you say it’s for medical reasons, I believe you have to have information from your doctor – a letter, a health form, etc. That’s how it was when I was in grade school in Chicago, anyway.

    Things may have changed since then. It’s been…well, let’s just say it’s been “a while” since I’ve been in grade school. :)

  7. I think this is really deplorable. Good grief, these people are members of the United States Congress. They ought to act a little more professionally, honestly and responsibly.

    I realize that’s asking for a lot but these idiots are bringing the curve down for the whole country. All this xenophobia does nothing but make us all look like fools.

  8. THIS

    Not only does the United States have lower vaccination rates than much of South and Central America, but they have lower rates than that of many developing nations in Africa and Asia, as well. China (99 percent), Libya (98 percent), Iran (98 percent), Rwanda (97 percent), Egypt (96 percent), Botswana (94 percent), Kenya (93 percent), and Bangladesh (93 percent) all have a higher percentage of young children vaccinated than the United States does.

    Should be a national embarrassment.

  9. The facts are that this Senator is a medical doctor, a liver specialist, ran/won purely by repeating “she voted with Barack Obama 97% of the time”. Those points are left out of the story, yet are essential to understanding the man and the plan.

  10. “Stupid is as stupid does”

    If he is in fact a licensed MD, then 1), he must have received his degree from some mail order school, and 2), the State of Louisiana medical licensing board must be a farce.

    Clearly he was playing for a TV sound bite on New Orleans TV

  11. These guys don’t miss a beat. Just when I think I’ve heard it all some republican reads from his list of “stupid things to say that GOP voters will believe”.

  12. This Junior Senator from Louisiana has to buy diapers for his daughter who had a child out of wedlock.

    The Senior Senator is accused of running around in a diaper.

  13. At least they did not blame Obama…
    Everything that is wrong in this country gets blamed on Obama or the Latinos.
    This time is the Latinos turn.

    That way the representatives do not have to strain their two neurons to come with realistic options or intelligent solutions, just play the blame game on fox & “we are done”

  14. The problem is, John, they are like “Roly Polys” — you slap them down, they come right back up, still as stupid as ever!

  15. He has spoken out about the need for vaccinations, the problem is the media is owned by the RW so facts they don’t like are not something they routinely print. They don’t like this Dr, in particular because he wants guns to be discussed as the health hazards they are, especially for children.

  16. YOU SIR HAVE SAID A MOUTHFUL OF TRUTH the GOP the party of Lincoln has become the party of LIMBAUGH ~~ HANNITY ~~ GINGRICH ~~ AND FAUX NOOS and they are all just as you said and I cannot post here what I really think of them

  17. This partisan article doesn’t even quote the exchange properly. BTW the senator in question is an M.D. and Dr. Schuchat couldn’t say who brought the disease in, whether US citizens, resident aliens returning from the Philippines or illegal immigrants but only guessed and certainly didn’t answer his question as to whether it is a larger problem among immigrants. She also mentioned adult immigrants aren’t subject to the same requirements of being vaccinated as children. He then was the one who asked if the Philippines had stepped up immunizations and asked about warnings for travelers there to be immunized when getting visas. He said much more also asking about changes in immunization rates since 2009 and later whether programs on immunization education are up to date with the ability to pinpoint locations at risk but that apparently doesn’t fit the propaganda narrative of this ridiculously partisan misrepresentation of the hearing.

  18. Who blamed brown people? Do you blame black people, white? red? Go read the text or listen to the hearing. The Philippines fell far behind on vaccinations according to Dr Schuchat. The problem I’m commenting about is the gross misrepresentation of Senator Cassidy’s comments and the leftwing tools who swallow the byline wholeheartedly and have no moral standing above ignorant rightwing birthers, a plague upon both your lowbrow houses. You’re a pox to America.

  19. BTW you asked me what makes the comments uninformed and for me not to be “shy”, below. Unfortunately the reply button doesn’t work on your comment, so I’ll have to reply here. The reason is that everyone is commenting based on the Extremely partisan misrepresentation of the hearing, kind of like programmed robots. I bet not one of the ones saying maybe that senator ought to get people to get vaccinated looked at it or know that’s what he has been trying to do. Thanks for your consideration

  20. Oh, it’s still Obamas fault. You see, if this wackjob thinks that illegal immigrants are bringing in measles, then you must conclude he thinks it’s Obamas fault because he “won’t protect our borders!” because “he wants all dem dare illegals to vote for his third term and then for his reign as king!”

    *shivers in disgust* I hate knowing so well how they think.

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