I like Bill Maher. There are a few things about him I don't like. One is his anti-science, anti-modern medicine views. Today, in his opening interview, he outed himself as an anti-vaxxer. If anyone has children in high school or college who'd like to do a report on logical fallacies, his comments could fill pages. You'd could fill a couple of pages just on his numerous straw-man arguments.
Now I'm clutching my pearls at the horror of it.
I have to admit that I have very mixed feelings about this. I'm not an anti-vaxxer. I believe in science, and the scientific method. I get my flu shot every year. But back in 1993, I watched my baby son go from seemingly normal, healthy behavior, to exhibiting symptoms of autism, within days of getting his scheduled round of vaccinations. This was when the vaccines were heavily laced with a mercury preservative, thimerosal, and autism was a word I wasn't even familiar with. I don't think even most of the medical profession was familiar with it back then, either. They first told us that his sudden lack of interpersonal skills probably meant that he was deaf. When he finally was correctly diagnosed (it took nearly a year), they told us that he would probably never learn to speak or write, and that we should consider institutionalizing him. A three year-old.
We pushed hard for him to be in regular school classes, even once having to hire a lawyer and threaten to sue the school district, because they weren't even fulfilling their state-mandated requirements for disabled children. Now he is 28, speaks and reads just fine, and plays all kinds of complicated video games on the internet that I don't understand. He doesn't have the ability to hold down a full day job, and is awkward in social situations, but other than that, he has come out of it very well.
I know all the studies that say that thimerosal wasn't the cause. They've since discontinued it. But it certainly depends on how much you trust Big Pharma, and who bankrolled those studies.