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Borowitz writes: "The reanimated corpse of Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical researcher who developed the first polio vaccine, rose from the grave Friday morning on what authorities believe is a mission to hunt down idiots."

Jonas Salk in his lab. (photo: Getty Images)
Jonas Salk in his lab. (photo: Getty Images)


Zombie Jonas Salk Rises From Grave to Hunt Idiots

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

08 February 15

 

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

he reanimated corpse of Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical researcher who developed the first polio vaccine, rose from the grave Friday morning on what authorities believe is a mission to hunt down idiots.

The zombie version of Salk, wearing a tattered white lab coat and looking “incredibly angry” according to one eyewitness, was seen advancing on the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 11 A.M.

While Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, hid in the Senate cloakroom, armed security forces repelled the zombie virologist, who, seemingly unharmed, moved on in search of new prey.

According to law enforcement, the reanimated Salk then stole a car and headed off in the direction of Trenton, New Jersey.

“We have reason to believe he’s coming for Governor Christie,” said a staff member from Chris Christie’s office. “Fortunately, the Governor is never here.”

With both Disneyland and Marin County on high alert, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security warned that, as long as the rampaging vaccine pioneer was at large, law enforcement would be stretched thin.

“Unfortunately, we do not possess the resources to protect every idiot in this country,” the spokesman said.


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+58 # nogardflow 2015-02-08 22:54
“Unfortunately, we do not possess the resources to protect every idiot in this country,”

Nuff said.
 
 
+7 # HowardMH 2015-02-09 11:19
Salk just has to wait a few days and Dept of Homeland Security will all be on indefinite furlough thanks to the Publicans.
 
 
+41 # DaveM 2015-02-08 22:54
Mercifully, nature tends to step in to deal with idiots as they deserve. It is unfortunate indeed that society works overtime to attempt to protect them. Which accomplishes nothing but to deprive non-idiots of services they could use to far better effect.
 
 
+21 # wrknight 2015-02-09 05:08
Quoting DaveM:
Mercifully, nature tends to step in to deal with idiots as they deserve. It is unfortunate indeed that society works overtime to attempt to protect them. Which accomplishes nothing but to deprive non-idiots of services they could use to far better effect.
But unfortunately, not mercifully enough as nature allows them to spawn more idiots before dealing with them.
 
 
+17 # elkingo 2015-02-09 01:47
Idiots indeed, and I see parents who deny children vaccines on ideological grounds as guilty of child neglect and child abuse. But why pick on the poor idiots, when the whole society is moronized. Marcuse's term,not mine.
 
 
+6 # ericlipps 2015-02-09 05:50
Quoting elkingo:
Idiots indeed, and I see parents who deny children vaccines on ideological grounds as guilty of child neglect and child abuse.

You aren't the only one. Such parents are at risk of having their kids removed from their custody by child welfare services for what's called "medical neglect." I know--I used to work for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, and their rules made no bones about it.
 
 
+5 # REDPILLED 2015-02-09 10:59
Remember that such parents put others at risk as well. Measles is easily spread.
 
 
+13 # kando@ltidewater.net 2015-02-09 07:01
The trouble is that we tend to excuse idiots from criminal responsibility. We need a better term for these idiots, most of whom are smart enough to assume the role for pay. And we elect and reelect them. Perhaps we are the real idiots.

When the Salk vaccine came to communist Hungary back in the 1950s, we were all vaccinated. As we were, our names were checked off on the offical list of every person in the district. Those whose names were not checked by a deadline were hunted down and vaccinated -- in the interest of the common good. To this day I think that was the right thing to do, both for the stragglers themselves and for society.
 
 
+10 # bmiluski 2015-02-09 09:17
I was in Chicago and I remember when every child in my neighborhood was vaccinated. We all had to report to a park district field house and the same thing as you kando....we were vaccinated and our names were checked off a list. Anyone who was not checked off was not allowed into school that Sept.
 
 
+2 # AndreM5 2015-02-09 12:23
Same in San Diego area, but we were vaccinated twice: once with the landmark and longer-lasting Salk vaccine (dead polio virus) and later with the Sabin oral vaccine (weakened polio).
 
 
+1 # Bruce Gruber 2015-02-09 07:49
Parents believing the deniability of science and vaccination need only supply a signed, dated permission slip from their god (or the priestly one who speaks for their god) in order to transfer their societal responsibility to the will of a third party. Otherwise their humanity, patriotism ("in defense of our freedoms") and/or 'personal' responsibility to 'live' the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the "indivisible" ... "for ALL" ought to be recalled anad emphsized.
 
 
-2 # lfeuille 2015-02-09 16:03
Quoting Bruce Gruber:
Parents believing the deniability of science and vaccination need only supply a signed, dated permission slip from their god (or the priestly one who speaks for their god) in order to transfer their societal responsibility to the will of a third party. Otherwise their humanity, patriotism ("in defense of our freedoms") and/or 'personal' responsibility to 'live' the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the "indivisible" ... "for ALL" ought to be recalled anad emphsized.


Depends on where they live. Mississippi only honors medical exemptions. There is now a bill in the CA legislation calling for the same thing.
 
 
+1 # Minn RN 2015-02-09 08:33
I have been shocked to see the vitriolic comments against people who question the desirability of certain vaccines for their children. I am an RN and Certified Nurse Midwife---retir ed after almost 40 years. Have worked in Public Health, gave many many immunizations. Children are now subject in the USA to 25 vaccinations before kindergarten!!! We are not talking about DPT and Polio. Immense pressure on parents. We are talking Hep B at birth (with mercury preservative) Hep A (food borne illness).
Yet we have the sickest generation of children ever. CDC just had a scandal that they covered up evidence of MMR vaccine and regressive autism in Black male children.
This is not just an issue in the US. Europe and Japan also have concerned citizen resistance. Look it up. Each person must make a risk/benefit analysis for themselves and their children. If regulatory capture, corruption and massive profits were not fact, decisions could be made more rationally.

Finally-why don't you guys channel your passionate concern for our country's health into single payer health care and paid sick leave for parents. Do you see a problem here? Is it possible you are being "used" by the biggest or one of the biggest corporate lobbies in the world?
 
 
+16 # bmiluski 2015-02-09 10:36
Sorry Minn RN.....when a child's health is at risk because someone agrees with discredited reports then a certain amount of vitriolic comments are to be expected.
Also, your comment that " Yet we have the sickest generation of children EVER" puts your entire post into question. Have you ever read any history about the infant mortality rates of the 1800's or even the early 1900's? And let's not even talk about medieval times.
 
 
0 # CAMUS1111 2015-02-09 13:22
hey, she said she's a certifiable midwife so cut her some slack here...
 
 
-1 # Minn RN 2015-02-09 13:40
bmilkuski- I am not comparing today's generation with the 19th and earlier 20th century. I am comparing it to my own cohort. I am almost 70. Again the rudeness and ignorance on every thread about vaccines is impressive and ignorant.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2015-02-09 15:09
"Yet we have the sickest generation of children ever."
When I clled you out on it you then replied........

"I am comparing it to my own cohort."
Is that your own group, associate, gang...what?
Because if that's what you meant you certainly did not say so. You refered to EVER which is a very, very, very long time.
 
 
+7 # Bruce Gruber 2015-02-09 15:32
The "general public" is looking for answers - not someone to blame. Blaming 'vaccination' - as a States Rights issue in an anti-intellectu al, anti-science era - by describing it as a "BIG government plot with a 'hidden agenda' (whether communist, socialist, dictatorial, Kenyan or pointy headed) may inflame the 15-18% of Americans who "learn their facts (?!?) from Rush or Fox. But it does not offer any SOLUTIONS or IDEAS or ALTERNATIVES.
Among the many ideas afoot, Universal Single Payer Healthcare IS important, but so is a potential epidemic of measles, or polio, or smallpox. Cherry picking vaccinations is NOT an individual right in an arena of PUBLIC health.
Your observation on the general health of youth today may reflect our failure to reduce or regulate increased pollution from particulates, heavy metals, and chemicals from increased use of petrochemicals and industrial processes. Though often disputed by anti-regulatory BIG PROFIT interests, such pollution, in the form of climate change, MAY well be causing "health" issues in the oceans, forests and crop growing regions of the earth. Anti-vaccinatio n "rights" claims are symptomatic of our tendency to bury our heads in the sand rather than making an investment of time, effort and research into REAL facts and solutions. Good research in to fluoridation, vaccination, hydrogels and more is needed. But SMALL government isn't going to get us there.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-02-09 22:19
GREAT COMMENT.
 
 
+3 # Dust 2015-02-09 13:32
While I can understand a certain amount of hesitancy regarding vaccines that were developed after the pharmaceutical industry realized just how much money could be made by both inventing and "curing" diseases, the DPT/MMR vaccines appear robust (my wife is a nurse practitioner and we've gone round and round about this).

BUT - regarding the paper supposedly connecting MMR and autism, not only has it been retracted by the publishing journal, I read it and it's a piece of statistical garbage. Hang on and I'll post an analysis..
 
 
+1 # Dust 2015-02-09 13:40
Hooker (the author of the paper finding a correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism) went back and re-analyzed a dataset from an earlier paper, DeStefano et al. (2004). In short terms, DeStefano did what is called a case study - he gathered two groups of kids (controls and cases), matched them in terms of age, gender, and school. (He also controlled for things such as low birth weight) He then applied conditional logistic regression, which transforms your target condition into a binary variables (0 or 1, yes or no), although there are multivariate forms of it as well. What this does is make your response variable (presence of autism) a statistical function of your predictor variable (age at vaccination). Recall: y = ax + b; the 'ax' term means that for x to be associated with y, there must be a linear (thus the binary transform) and quantifiable relationship between x and y.

He found no statistically significant relationships between case and control groups. But he did have one line in the conclusion that (I think) was Hooker's entire motivation to "re-analyze" this data set: "Vaccination before 36 months was more common among case children than control children, especially among children 3 to 5 years of age, likely reflecting immunization requirements for enrollment in early intervention programs."

-cont-
 
 
+3 # Dust 2015-02-09 13:41
I think Hooker grabbed onto that line, saw it as a chance to advance his personal views, and went back to work on the dataset with a very poor statistical agenda: to find a correlation, ANY correlation, between age at vaccination and autism, regardless of controls or drivers.

The first thing he did was to abandon the case study format, which is a massive red flag right there - these data were gathered under one protocol; arbitrarily deciding to pretend they were gathered under another is incorrect. So instead of a case study, he did what looks like a cohort study, in which he grouped the kids by age of first immunization, and then proceeded to look for some correlation between SOME FACTOR (basically, ANY factor) of the group with autism. He used a chi-squared test, which implies correlation without causality (unlike the logistic regression) AND FUNCTIONS BEST WITH LARGE DATASETS, which Hooker does NOT have!! In other words, his analysis was unable to quantify causality, his analysis was not looking for autism but ANY variable that might allow him to say "Oh, look! A correlation!" and he used a method designed for very large sample sizes that can produce false positives with small sizes, which he has.

Combined with the fact that his conclusions identified a tiny subset (African American males), it strongly suggests that his 'findings' are extremely skewed due to small sample size. He was on a fishing expedition with BAD statistical conduct.
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2015-02-09 16:05
Quoting Minn RN:
...
Finally-why don't you guys channel your passionate concern for our country's health into single payer health care and paid sick leave for parents. Do you see a problem here? Is it possible you are being "used" by the biggest or one of the biggest corporate lobbies in the world?


Some of us do. Why would you think it has to be either or?
 
 
0 # elvenflow 2015-02-09 22:19
Now that hearty wild polio has been eliminated, its niche is being filled by equally virulent enteroviruses:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141006-polio-california-disease-paralysis-children-health/
So tell him to get back to work!
 

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