.Letter: ‘In the past 50 years, children are sicker than ever …’

The telltale Harte

Why must you print Don Harte’s letter, which is basically just an ad for his own chiropractic practice? It’s almost word-for-word what he wrote to the SF Chronicle on Jan. 28; he just cuts and pastes the same tired arguments against vaccines. Lots of people in Marin fall for those arguments, which will lead to more kids not being vaccinated, more people getting diseases.

The claims he makes are such obviously fuzzy thinking: “In the past 50 years, children are sicker than ever”—really? Didn’t there used to be a lot more polio, pertussis, smallpox and influenza epidemics? Equating vaccines with Nazis, eugenics and Big Brother—doesn’t that kind of over-the-top language give us a clue that he’s gone beyond rational argument? And does he really not understand how herd immunity works? If a high enough percentage of the population are vaccinated, the few who are not—because they have medical reasons, compromised immune systems, are too young, or are poor or lack access to good health care—will be protected; the disease doesn’t spread far. The fact that occasional outbreaks of a disease occur doesn’t mean all vaccinations don’t work, that’s a leap of logic.

Mr. Harte then revealingly concludes by saying children won’t get diseases if you just “eat right” and get chiropractic care from someone like him. Of course he’s anti-doctor, that’s how he makes money. Blatant self-promotion, not to be believed, but some will.

John Larmer, Mill Valley

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