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The lucrative world of anti-vaxx bullshit

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Mafia soldiers aren’t the only people who kill people for profit, and there are some methods that aren’t even illegal:

Four major nonprofits that rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing on the spread of medical misinformation collectively gained more than $118 million between 2020 and 2022, enabling the organizations to deepen their influence in statehouses, courtrooms and communities across the country, a Washington Post analysis of tax records shows.

Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine group founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., received $23.5 million in contributions, grants and other revenue in 2022 alone — eight times what it collected the year before the pandemic began — allowing it to expand its state-based lobbying operations to cover half the country. Another influential anti-vaccine group, Informed Consent Action Network, nearly quadrupled its revenue during that time to about $13.4 million in 2022, giving it the resources to finance lawsuits seeking to roll back vaccine requirements as Americans’ faith in vaccines drops.

Two other groups, Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance and America’s Frontline Doctors, went from receiving $1 million combined when they formed in 2020 to collecting more than $21 million combined in 2022, according to the latest tax filings available for the groups.

The four groups routinely buck scientific consensus. Children’s Health Defense and Informed Consent Action Network raise doubts about the safety of vaccines despite assurances from federal regulators. “Vaccines have never been safer than they are today,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its webpage outlining vaccine safety.

Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance and America’s Frontline Doctors promote anti-parasitic or anti-malarial drugs as treatments for COVID, long after regulators and clinical trials found the medications to be ineffective or potentially harmful. Leaders of these groups say they disagree with medical consensus and argue that their promotion of alternative treatments for COVID and other conditions is safe.

Arthur Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, said that in his view, the four groups endanger lives with their spread of misinformation.

Absolutely revolting, and already having catastrophic consequences as these profit-takers get actual critical public positions.

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