From Dr. Keith Ablow's unscientific attacks on Chaz Bono to Dr. Manny Alvarez's baseless suggestion that Tylenol will soon be moved behind the counter because of the Affordable Care Act, Fox News' "Medical A-Team" experts routinely advance misinformation, sometimes using their medical credentials to give credence to their arguments.
A segment on the September 16 edition of Fox News' America Live regarding presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's story about a woman who claimed that her daughter became mentally retarded due to the human papillomavirus vaccine started off well. Fox "Medical A-Team" member Dr. Manny Alvarez pointed out that, contrary to Bachmann's anecdotal claim, the HPV vaccination does not cause mental retardation, and that it's "irresponsible" for her to suggest otherwise. Fellow "Medical A-Team" member Dr. Cynara Coomer agreed, pointing out that complications from the HPV vaccine are extremely rare.
So far, so good -- all medically sound and factually based arguments. But then, Alvarez and Coomer drifted away from that.
Host Megyn Kelly then asked Alvarez, "Dr. Manny, you're not a huge fan of vaccines, right?" He responded, "I'm not." He then said in response to a follow-up question from Kelly: "Would I give it to my daughter? The answer is no."
Huh? After arguing in favor of the efficacy of the HPV vaccine, he agrees with the statement that he's "not a huge fan of vaccines" and that he wouldn't give the HPV vaccine to his daughter?
To be fair, Alvarez may have been referring to his opposition to mandated vaccinations, which he discussed in a newly published column on FoxNews.com. Alvarez has also previously pushed back against the idea that vaccines cause autism, claiming that "I have always been very bullish in impressing upon new parents that vaccinations are vital in preventing deadly diseases in our children, and keeping those that have been eradicated in this country from coming back." Still, for Alvarez to suggest on national TV that he's anti-vaccine is questionable and even dangerous.
But that's not all. Both Alvarez and Coomer went on to suggest that giving a girl the HPV vaccine was akin to giving her a license to have promiscuous sex.
From the August 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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