Golden Globes 2019: Chris Rock addresses anti-vaccination movement

Chris Rock, the famed comedian, hosted the 2019 Golden Globes on Sunday night, kicking off the award season. Rock paraded around the stage with his characteristic sense of snark and quick comeback. As usual,…

Golden Globes 2019: Chris Rock addresses anti-vaccination movement

Chris Rock, the famed comedian, hosted the 2019 Golden Globes on Sunday night, kicking off the award season. Rock paraded around the stage with his characteristic sense of snark and quick comeback. As usual, Rock’s speech included not only big jokes, but big messages as well. While many of Rock’s jokes were easy to overlook and were strangely orchestrated, some of the comments were a little more enlightening.

One of the most pressing topics he addressed was anti-vaccination, and Rock, who has three children under the age of six, discussed it directly.

In a heated exchange, Rock told Andy Samberg, who’s been vocal about his stance on immunizations in the past, “Get your kid vaccinated because that siddie’s gonna have shit for the rest of his life. And you’re making him sick.” The audience responded with a loud groan. Rock continued, “If you’re not inoculating your kids, that’s like telling them ‘Yo, I see all these kids coming home from school who don’t have any teeth’. I don’t know, something’s wrong with you.”

It was a clear point for Rock, who has many detractors who weren’t in the audience, that anti-vaccination causes health problems. He went on to share how easily one’s children can suffer. He discussed his young son Marlon, who had difficulty breathing before his infection was diagnosed. Rock said that, after they were given the MMR vaccine, Marlon began to breathe more easily. “I love the doctor, he’s great,” he said, “but I don’t want this kid breathing. I don’t want my kid breathing.”

Some parents argue that vaccines do more harm than good and don’t offer protection against illness. Others swear by them, and most of the time, the decisions of parents are their own, but Rock’s comments were met with a round of applause and the release of a statement from the LA County Department of Public Health.

In a statement to Fox, the department said that immunization “is a very important health policy of every family and everyone must make their own choices about how to protect their children”. They continued, “But we shouldn’t make unsubstantiated claims that vaccines can cause autism and we shouldn’t undermine the most precious public health tool we have – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

This very idea has angered Rock’s detractors. “Chris Rock is everywhere. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of these claims by now,” wrote Ann Burr, editor of a vaccine-themed magazine. “He basically pushed a personal agenda to inject unnecessary fear into this discussion and that is what kills us.”

In case Burr was wondering about the AMA’s position on vaccines, she found it pretty fascinating. The article from the AMA’s website stated that “Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are safe and effective. A single, healthy child’s health benefits outweigh any potential risks.”

The Academy of Pediatrics has followed suit with a very similar position: “The health benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks.”

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