Publicly available photo courtesy Facebook, Carmit and Eva.
A story which has gone around the world for the selflessness shown by a mother whose baby contracted whooping cough from her, the inevitable has come to pass. Anti-vaccination activists have attacked the mother and baby, claiming everything from a pharma-front campaign to make up for the failure of Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed documentary – so as to eventually sell more vaccines – to the mother and baby being paid crisis actors, in which the baby has also been accused of being a doll.
In rare circumstances this mother has been unfairly derided by some uninformed pro-vaccination people on Facebook; the reality is that an overwhelming majority of pro-immunisation people have been supportive and congratulatory of Carmit’s decision to make this public plea – published by Gold Coast Health on April 4 2016 – for pregnant mothers to receive the whooping cough booster:
Frankly, I could not care less if Carmit is in favour of immunisation or not, right at this moment. What matters is her baby Eva’s recovery, and Carmit’s continuing recovery. Some news organisations have referred to Carmit as “antivax”, prematurely. We simply don’t know Carmit’s opinions on this matter – right now – and it isn’t important. All we know is that Carmit did not want the whooping cough booster in her third trimester, and she now regrets this decision. Regardless, Carmit’s video is worthy of nothing but praise and admiration, having conducted the recording at a very unpleasant time for her family, in the interests of helping others.
Carmit’s altruism has been ignored by the anti-vaccination movement. From antivaxers, I rarely even saw any concern for Eva’s recovery. Instead Carmit has received vitriol and the conspiracy-tainted poison for which the anti-vaccination movement is so well known.
It all started on April 5 2016, in many anti-vaccination groups. It continues still.
Vaccine Choice Australia secret group (formerly Vaccine Free Australia):
Not a real antivaxer, AKA the No True Antivaxer fallacy. This is how the anti-vaccine “cult” singles out those whom it perceives to be traitors:
PR created by pharma “trolls”:
No True Antivaxer:
A pro-vaccine person in disguise:
Now they start really attacking Carmit’s character, including photos with her grandmother, from her profile. Carmit’s motives are also questioned:
This one alleges a grand conspiracy with the director of North Coast Public Health being involved to intimidate Carmit:
No True Antivaxer:
More conspiracies about missing videos:
A hideous email sent to Gold Coast Health, slurring Carmit’s character:
More accusations of falsehoods, and juvenile attacks:
Anti-Vaccination Australia closed group:
Serene Johnson is a registered nurse in the Hunter area of NSW. She alleges that Carmit and Eva’s story is fake and proceeds to make several anti-vaccination arguments in her efforts to prove this, including citing her job as a nurse:
More accusations that the story is fake:
Conspiracies that big pharma is behind the fake story:
Denials that Eva has whooping cough:
Accusations that Carmit is a paid actor and that this is an advertising campaign which is a false flag operation:
Lies about the parents of Riley Hughes, who passed away from whooping cough in March 2015. This is now standard for the anti-vaccination movement:
Unvaccinated Australia closed group:
Remember, the admins of this group allow this hideous commentary and partake in it. These are the admins of UA:
Carmit is No True Antivaxer:
[Edit: I forgot to include these comments from the above post when I published yesterday]
Carmit accused of being an actor:
Carmit and Eva accused of being actors in a bad script:
Accusation that Carmit is a shill who should be ashamed of herself:
Admin Steve Kefalinos is “Osiris Freedom”. He claims Carmit’s story is a fabrication:
Accusations of paid advertising:
Accusations that Carmit’s identity is fake:
Denials that Carmit’s and Eva’s story is true:
Questioning Carmit’s provision of oxygen to Eva, whilst in the hospital:
Heilbronn asked Gold Coast Health if Carmit was a paid actor. More slurs against Catherine Hughes, mother of Riley. Accusations that Carmit was brainwashed. Allegations that Gold Coast Health has done a number on Carmit:
Gita Brigham is the Queensland bereavement, drug and alcohol counselor who planted false ideas in her client’s head that he was responsible for the death of a baby. Brigham tells her anti-vaccination colleagues to contact Carmit privately. Another person advocates the use of colloidal silver for Carmit and Eva:
More claims that the story is fake from respected anti-vaccination, anti-Semitic, homophobic member of the anti-vaccination community, Adam George Crabb:
Media Watch post by Louisa Kenzig (Lulu Langford):
Kenzig is an anti-vaccination activist, unregistered health practitioner, and deregistered enrolled nurse. She is also a pathological liar who has attacked the Hughes family after their son Riley’s death:
Carmit’s motives are attacked again:
Mama & Soul secret group:
Accusations that Eva is a doll:
Accusations that Carmit and Eva are actresses:
Accusations that Eva is a doll, that Carmit is an actor, and that the video is propaganda made to cover the screening of Wakefield’s documentary:
Accusations that Carmit and Eva are deep trolls from big pharma:
Accusations that Eva is a fake baby, and panicked closure of the comment thread by group admin, Gibney:
Truthkings (partly run by Sherri Tenpenny):
Blog post alleging that Carmit is a pharma shill who helped Gold Coast Health create a hostage video:
The comments section from the blog post assert that Carmit and Eva are badly trained crisis actors, and that Eva is a fake doll:
A second blog post highlighting what they believe is a grand conspiracy, because Gold Coast Health assisted Carmit in recording the video. Of course they did. They overtly state it:
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network:
The AVsN and its ideologue Meryl Dorey have long been at the forefront of vilifying parents of babies who have fallen ill, or have died, from vaccine preventable disease. It is no surprise that this organisation – which has a public health warning against its name – is vilifying yet another parent:
The AVN asserts that doctors who ask parents if they would like to share their story are “predatory”:
Members on the AVsN page actively discourage and attempt to dissuade a hesitant mother-to-be from immunising herself. The AVsN allows this to remain on their page, despite this being a clear breach of the Public Health (General) Regulation 2002 Schedule 3 Section 7 paragraph 1, which notes that “A health practitioner must not attempt to dissuade clients from seeking or continuing with treatment by a registered medical practitioner”:
Rixta Francis claims that the whole story is fake:
Kat Livingstone claims that Carmit was paid to make the video, whilst Francis again slurs Carmit’s character:
Anti-Vaccination Australia post by “close friend” Simon Calvert:
This person claims to be a close friend of Carmit:
Calvert also claims that Carmit will “100% not be vaccinating her new bub”, contrary to what was claimed in the Daily Mail article posted on the AVsN page:
And, finally, this comment still appears on Calvert’s post in Anti-Vaccination Australia. Michelle Petersen repeats the claim that Eva is a doll:
There is so much more vicious commentary like all of that above; but, I’ve had to cull it. As noted above, these comments are still being made in many anti-vaccination groups and pages, all condoned by the admins of these groups and pages by their very presence.
And to Carmit and Eva, we hope you continue to get well and stay well. And thank you so much for your wonderful video.
Update April 10 2016
Anti-Vaccination Australia closed group:
Breana Stanley is an admin of AVA:
Registered nurse Serene Johnson again asserts that the story was concocted:
Unvaccinated Australia closed group:
Carmit is again accused of making a fake video:
More accusations that the video is a fake and that Eva is fake:
You/we probably should have expected nothing less of the cult on this. That is what they do: Lying liars lie. They have nothing else going for them, so they just make stuff up that suits their narrative.
Thank you again Reasonable Hank for your indefatigable defence of truth. For the record, Riley’s Grandpa is a Professor in Biochemistry and his research has absolutely no funding from pharmaceutical companies.
Thank you so much, Helen. This means a lot.
You deserve thanks, appreciation and more for shining a spotlight on their hypocrisy and idiotic posts. The more people see the real face of an average anti-vaxxer the more society will view them all with revulsion.
I’ve tangled with Angela Coral Eisenhauer on FB…
She’s a former Phlebotomist who claims she’s a Pathologist… (her claim pretty much got shot down in flames with her blatherings about Aluminium being a heavy metal…*LOLs*)
She also believes that the Pertussis vaccine doesn’t work.
She trots out all the standard anti vaxxer lies, and says she’s just better ‘informed’ than anyone that challenges her.
I pretty much dismantled her & sent her off all butthurt.
She’s batshit insane.
“No anti vaxxer upon learning the truth, there is no going back … Ever”
I understand what she means but I cannot help but add an “… or else” when I read that.
I just kept thinking that anyone ignorant enough to join the cult is probably too ignorant to understand the science that would cause them to change views. It would take a catastrophe for most of them to realize the stupidity they have been steeped in.
This reminds me of the Thalia Gardner anti-vax drama. She was a baby who supposedly died a little under two weeks after being vaccinated, but then it was alleged she died of Shaken-Baby Syndrome OR of investing heroin her father left all over the floor (?!) I was never able to find ANY reference showing that she or her family even existed outside of a few blogs on both sides of the debate. Did I make a big paranoid stink about it? None of my business except to feel sympathy!
But nothing in those ugly comment exchanges on those blogs were ever as nasty as the reactions collected and displayed here. Logical distortions and fallacies are one thing; the heartlessness shown by some of these people who are supposedly advocating for children’s wellbeing is shocking – apparently it’s easier to believe she’s a doll than a genuinely sick and suffering infant who deserves only best wishes.
I wonder if a four-week-old baby that spent most of those weeks suffering from whooping cough would necessarily look like a four-week-old baby – even it was possible to accurately discern age – within a tiny margin of error – from a photo of the back of its head?
I struggle to age babies when they’re right in front of me. For me it’s:
1) Newborn (tiny)
3) Verging on toddler
How they can accuse a baby that’s been ill of not looking its age, from a shot that doesn’t show scale and face, is beyond me.
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How does someone like Serene Johnson not get sanctioned by the nursing board?