On top of everything else awful about Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, he's an anti-vaxxer dipstick who exposed his kids to chickenpox without vaccinating them so they would get sick on purpose.
In a move experts say is medically unsound — and can be dangerous — Gov. Matt Bevin said in a radio interview Tuesday that he deliberately exposed all nine of his children to chickenpox so they would catch the disease and become immune.
“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox," Bevin said in an interview with WKCT, a Bowling Green talk radio station. "They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”
Three medical experts called the practice unsafe and unwise.
"I would never recommend or advise it," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician and expert in vaccines and childhood diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "It's just dangerous."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also urges against deliberately exposing kids to chicken pox, including the past practice of "chicken pox parties" held by some parents
"Chickenpox can be serious and can lead to severe complications and death, even in healthy children," according to the CDC website.
A Bevin spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children, ages 5 to 16, according to his campaign website.
Again, Bevin's example is putting the people of Kentucky at risk. It's ludicrous.
In the interview, Bevin also suggested that the government stay out of mandating vaccines. In Kentucky, varicella (chickenpox) is among vaccines mandated for all children entering kindergarten, though parents may seek religious exemptions or provide medical proof that a child has already had the disease.
“And I think, why are we forcing kids to get it?" Bevin said in the radio interview, speaking about the chickenpox vaccine. "If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child. ... But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t."
Jacobson said he recommends vaccines as a safe and effective way to prevent disease.
"We're no longer living in the 17th century," he said. "I really recommend to my parents that they vaccinate their children, that they do it in a timely manner, and they recognize they are doing the right thing for their children."
In response to Bevin's comments, the Kentucky Democratic Party called on the governor to clarify his position on vaccination against the hepatitis A virus, which has killed 44 people in the state.
“Kentucky is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of Hepatitis A in the country. It is a major public health risk at this point. The last thing we need is Governor Bevin suggesting that immunization is not important," KDP spokeswoman Marisa McNee said in an email. "Governor Bevin should reassure the public that he supports the recommendation of the entire medical community with respect to controlling an outbreak of Hepatitis A, which is immunization.”
Bevin's comments followed news reports this week of a chickenpox outbreak at a Northern Kentucky Catholic school, where at least one student reported not being vaccinated for religious reasons.
I'm so tired of this. The government doesn't mandate that you don't jump off cliffs without safety gear, but people don't choose to do it just to spite the government, and more importantly they don't push their own kids off cliffs in order to prove God exists or something.
And actually, that's manslaughter and felony child endangerment pretty much in all 50 states.