How Today’s Political Polarization Has Fueled the Measles Outbreak
Emily Baumgaertner, Los Angeles Times-
“Seizing our newborn infants,
Blighting their lives with pain;
Filling their veins with poison,
Tainting each tender brain”
So go the lyrics of the Anti-Compulsory Vaccination Hymn, circulated not by the modern-day anti-vaccine band the Refusers but by the Anti-Vaccination Society of America. The group’s members campaigned against the life-saving smallpox vaccine in the late 1800s, a turbulent time when a nation grappling with the aftermath of slavery responded with “black codes” and Jim Crow laws that pushed a divided society even further apart.