Derrick Wilburn is the Vice-Chair of the Colorado Republican Party. He says a lot of nutty stuff on Facebook with a self-assurance that probably seems impressive to those prone to believing it. The trouble is, Wilburn really doesn’t seem to know much about anything, be it public policy, history, or, in this case, vaccination.
One of the basic things everyone should know about vaccination and its impact on societal health is the concept of “herd immunity.”
Herd immunity is the ability to stem the outbreak of preventative illness if a large enough percentage of people are immunized against it. It’s generally around 95%. In any given group there are people who for medical or other reasons cannot be properly vaccinated. These include the elderly, infants, and people with compromised immune systems. These people tend to be fine as long as that high percentage of people around them are vaccinated. If not, they can acquire these preventable diseases and get sick or die.
In the following post and follow-ups Wilburn demonstrates his dearth of knowledge about the subject while maintaining the posture that he knows everything about it.
The combination of ignorance and arrogance Wilburn displays here is part and parcel of the current state of anti-intellectualism and anti-science embraced by many on the right.
There have always been people like Wilburn, but over the last few decades, they have ascended from being cranks and outsiders to holding official positions within the Republican party. They should be shunned and relegated to sniping from the sidelines once again.