‘Contagion’ Gives Bill Moyers Immunity Anxiety

America’s commentator emeritus takes dim view on vaccine opt outs.

contagion, man in lab suit

Medical science, both in its preventative and curative disciplines, says Moyers, is what will save humanity from pathogen-based decimation.

Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Anyone who has enrolled children in a progressive private school, or seen Contagion, the 2011 pandemic apocalypse thriller, knows to fear vaccine-phobes.

That “anyone” includes Bill Moyers, venerable PBS journalist, Peace Corps core member and Power of Myth creator.

With our interlinking global community, a modern pandemic could make the 50 million killed in 1918’s Spanish flu look like a minor cull.

A February 24 Moyers and Company video essay takes issue with parents who insist on exempting their children from vaccines that protect the United States, and the world, against essentially contained diseases—such as whooping cough and measles. Moyers cites a viewing of Contagion, and legislation being pushed in seven states to make religious exemptions easier to obtain, as inspiration for his talk. He insists that the nation’s “herd immunity” is too important to be compromised by the science-denial of a relatively few parents, whether on grounds religion or individual liberty.

Bill Moyers Essay: Are Immunization Exemptions Fair to All? from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

The Moyers and Company segment contains memorable scenes from Contagion (a movie from TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media), but the high points are Moyers’s firsthand memories of a time when polio, small pox and killer measles were current events.

His warning, in tune with the cautionary tale of Contagion, is that these diseases, and worse, are perfectly capable of becoming current and flaring. With our interlinking global community, a modern pandemic could make the 50 million killed in 1918’s Spanish flu look like a minor cull.

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