This week we’re telling YOU to snap out of it, Bill Maher! And we tell you this with sincere love. Four years ago, you caused a real stir among your fellow atheists as they sought to reward you for your vigilant stance for what’s right, as well as speaking up loudly for those of us who lack faith in imaginary beings. We gave you an award for your groundbreaking documentary, ‘Religulous,’ because you frankly deserved it. Yet you had to spoil everything by siding too closely with vaccine deniers who had already been largely discredited by that point. You disappointed us all by confusing the noise with the music and giving professional bimbos like Jenny McCarthy additional credibility. It was a betrayal as deep and as hurtful as if Al Franken somehow endorsed Sarah Palin’s bid for the presidency!
Yes, you have since toned down your rhetoric, declining for a time to speak out against vaccines in general. And you have also had the good decency to keep your mouth shut about the subject for a few years while you focused your attention on political bullshit instead. Yet in the aftermath of anti-vaccination sheeple allowing measles to creep back into our nation and threaten our kids, you have allowed yourself to be pulled back into the debate. You seem to have backpedaled on your original anti-vaccination stance, somewhat. You even told us all in your most recent broadcast of Real Time that you were not an anti-vaxxer and were in favor of basic health essentials such as the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps and rubella) being given to children. That’s a little bit better. Yet somehow you still maintain that the flu virus is somehow a scam perpetrated by Big Pharma. For evidence of this, you cite a report that says that the flu vaccine was only 23% effective at stopping the flu this season, and this, you tell us, is your vindication for all the flak you took on this subject four years ago.
Well, Bill, let me break this down for you in terms even Chris Christie and Rand Paul can understand: There are hundreds and hundreds of varying strains of the flu virus out there! And any one of them could potentially give you the flu. When someone receives a flu shot in a given season, that flu shot only contains what the CDC has determined to be the three, maybe four, likeliest strains of flu to be common that year. Any more than that, and the cost of producing the vaccine becomes too high. But if a flu strain other than one of those three spreads unpredictably, the flu shot won’t work. It’s a little like protecting yourself from the rain with a leaky umbrella. It won’t keep you 100% dry, but it’s sure better than nothing.
Well, an unpredictable strain of the flu is infinitely more likely to spread if more and more people don’t get their annual flu shot. People who get their shots year after year are more immune than those who do not, and that helps protect the other people around them. This, because a different strain of the flu might not be in this year’s flu shot, but maybe it was part of last year’s batch. Or the year before. The more people who do regular flu shots, the better. In other words, the umbrellas may be leaky, but if everyone huddles together, not as much rain will get through.
But Bill, fewer and fewer people are getting their flu shots than ever before. If fewer people get their flu shot, then any potential flu virus is more likely to spread. And if fewer people got their shot in the past, that adds to the likelihood that an unpredicted strain will cause an epidemic. This year that’s exactly what happened! You, Bill, are part of the reason that happened! Your 23% figure is not a vindication of your original point, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy which you, unwittingly, helped to orchestrate! You can say that you’re not an anti-vaxxer all you want, but the truth is, you ARE an anti-vaxxer! Maybe not as insane as Jenny McCarthy, but for some damned reason, just as stubborn! While you blame the McCarthys of the world for their silliness in letting measles back into society, you fail to see how your own big, fat mouth played a crucial role in all of it, especially among those sensible enough to be otherwise more progressive in their views! And, sadly, several children have died from this anti-vaccination nonsense – no, not from measles, but from the flu! The embarrassment of your role in all this is hanging outside of your zipper, tiny, pink and shriveled, for all the world to see!
Big Pharma profits from flu vaccines, you say? Let’s take a good look at that: Yes, the companies that make flu vaccines are the big pharmacy companies. The top five are Sanofi, Merk, Glaxo Smith-Kline, Pfizer, and Novartis – names we are all familiar with. But the scam is not in their production of vaccines, but in their lack of production of them. If they produce enough vaccine for everybody, then some of the vaccine will not be used due to over-production. This results in a very large financial loss to these companies. So, to ensure that their profit margin isn't jeopardized, they deliberately produce too little of the vaccines needed in a given year. This keeps the price artificially high, and prevents any possibility of overproduction biting into their profits. This is why, whenever there is a huge flu outbreak, the media reports that only children and the elderly should receive the flu shots. There isn't enough to go around, and so the most vulnerable need to move to the front of the line!
But the outrage doesn't end there. When fewer people get their vaccines, the various flu viruses get to spread! This increases demand and jacks up the price of that which they already under-produced! The more anti-vaccination people there are out there, the higher Big Pharma’s profit margin gets! The scam isn't in the vaccines, it’s in the lack of vaccines! And it’s high time you understood that!
Bill, we love you, but damn it all, our heroes being right only 98% of the time just plain drives us bat-shit crazy! Therefore, Mr. Real Time, we at the Sacred Cow Wursthaus take great pride in ripping off your overpriced silken necktie and whipping it across that bigass nose sitting on your unjustifiably smug face. Bill Maher, snap out of it!