In a series of tweets reflecting her views on vaccines, Darla Shine complains that her children had received the MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. She added that the people of her generation – the baby boomers – are now healthier because they had measles as children.
Shine's husband, Bill Shine, is the deputy chief of staff for White House communications and was former president of Fox News. He left his position with Fox News on allegations that he had mistreated reports of sexual harassment in the network. He assumed the leadership position in the White House of President Donald Trump last summer.
Darla Shine's comments come as a measles outbreak across the country and disproportionately affect those who have not been vaccinated against the disease. Shine dismissed the reports as #Fake #Hysteria.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed in 10 states this year. The state of Washington is facing a massive outbreak that affects mostly children who have not received vaccines for the disease. On Wednesday, officials reported 53 cases of measles in just one district, Clark.
According to the World Health Organization, measles is one of the most common causes of death for children. It is an infectious virus that is spread by coughing and sneezing in the air. Symptoms include high fever, rashes, runny nose and red eyes.
The measles vaccine was developed in 1963, and the disease was declared obsolete in the US in 2000 as a result of a successful CDC vaccination program. Measles outbreaks in the US now occur when the disease is brought here by uninoculated or under-vaccinated people, when they visit the US from a place where the virus is circulating, or visit such a place from the US and return home. This is the case with the ongoing outbreaks in New York and Washington.
Many of those who oppose vaccines believe that vaccines cause autism, a theory that has been debunked by several studies.
Darla Shine defended her attitude throughout the day when she was criticized on social media.
"I had the measles that were crucial to my tweet, I have natural immunity all my life," she tweeted.
The CDC reports that nearly all children had measles in the decade prior to 1963, up to the age of 15, and that about 3 to 4 million people were infected each year.
People who suffer from measles have lifelong immunity, almost all people who receive the MMR vaccine. The CDC recommends that children receive two doses of MMR vaccine: one at the age of 12-15 months and another at the age of 4 to 6 years. After one dose, the vaccine is 93% effective; After two doses it is 97% effective – for the duration of a person's life.
She argued at one point that the "many" people suffering from the disease in Washington had received the MMR vaccine.
"People writing SMS spread lies about #vaccines. I retired doctors, scientific studies and wonder why #media unilaterally covers #MeaslesOutbreak.Many of the kids w # #Measles in #Washington were in demand #Government," Darla Shine tweeted.
According to Clark County, Washington's Public Health Department only affected one of 53 cases in which someone had received the MMR vaccine. 47 of those suffering from measles were not vaccinated and the vaccine was not detected in five cases.
In her tweets that praised the benefits of measles, Shine referred to a 2014 CNN story in which a woman who had supposedly incurable cancer was treated with a highly concentrated measles virus that interfered with her cancer in the Mayo Clinic brought to remission. The science behind the Mayo Clinic report was based on a genetically modified measles virus that is supposed to kill a specific type of cancer known as multiple myeloma. The concept known as virotherapy is not transferred to the general population.
Shine hosted a radio show in 2008 and 2009. In a CNN report from KFile, she devoted a lot of time to the show, spreading unsubstantiated and exposed conspiracy theories about vaccinations. In her show, Shine suggested a flu pandemic could be a "government setup". Shine regularly hosted members of the anti-vaccine movement on their show.