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What the Taliban and Jenny McCarthy Have in Common

Jenny McCarthy and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban commander in Pakistan, have at least one thing in common: they are both paranoid about vaccination. Bahadur blocked a vaccination campaign, scheduled to start in a few days, that would have reached 161,000 children in North Waziristan. Unlike McCarthy, the Taliban commander is not worried that vaccinations [...]

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Jenny McCarthy and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban commander in Pakistan, have at least one thing in common: they are both paranoid about vaccination. Bahadur blocked a vaccination campaign, scheduled to start in a few days, that would have reached 161,000 children in North Waziristan.

Unlike McCarthy, the Taliban commander is not worried that vaccinations will give children autism. He is worried that the vaccinations will be used as cover for American espionage.

Unlike McCarthy, Bahadur also has at least some justification for his paranoia. As The New York Times reports:

In March and April 2011, Dr. Afridi ran a vaccination campaign in Abbottabad that was designed to covertly determine whether Bin Laden lived in a house in the city. Dr. Afridi failed to obtain a DNA sample, a senior American official said, but did help establish that Bin Laden’s local protector, known as “the courier,” was inside the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad.

Americans might think of polio as a disease they stopped worrying about around the same time that poodle skirts became stylish. But Pakistan had 198 new cases last year, more than any other country in the world.

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About Sarah Laskow
Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor of Smart News. Her work has appeared in print and online for Grist, GOODSalon, The American Prospect, Newsweek, New York among other publications.

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