NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:
The virus is not yet contained, but the outbreak of cowardice is receding: After more than 1,000 cases of measles, including more than 850 here in New York State, the Legislature Thursday came to its senses and voted to end religious exemptions for vaccination in this state.
The exemption was being abused by parents who have fallen prey to insidiously irresponsible anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists peddling long-discredited junk science that vaccines cause autism. But parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids do not merely express their religious beliefs; they actively endanger infants and children who can’t get vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons.
Take heart that, following Gov. Cuomo’s appropriately swift signature, New York now has a fighting chance to stop the next viral outbreak.
But it is premature to applaud, for three reasons.
First, because, even in victory, the vote showcased dangerous contempt for science. In the Assembly, the “yays” had it by only a razor-thin margin, and only after elected officials entered hogwash into the record.
Assemblyman Nader Sayegh of Yonkers voted against the bill because he didn’t think the measles outbreak here had reached the level of an “epidemic.” Multiple members of the Assembly Health Committee — the Health Committee! — openly expressed skepticism about vaccines, despite the mountain of evidence confirming their safety. The state’s Republican lawmakers stood almost united against the measure.