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Meet America's Anti-Anti-Science Crusader

Stashed in: Science!, America!, Vaccinate!

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I have to admit that I am perhaps a little TOO interested in pandemics and the people who deal with them professionally...

That's not a bad thing. She's teaching people to vaccinate. 

It's Anne Schuchat's job to take on this last group of misinformationists—and help the public understand the science of disease.

As deputy director at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Schuchat has battled the anti-vaccer position on Capitol Hill. When asked at a February 2015 Senate hearing if there exists scientific evidence between vaccines and what the deniers call clear links to mental illness, she flatly said, "No."

When the health committee cited a scholarly paper purporting to prove the link, and being widely circulated online, she called the research "fraudulent" and "totally discredited."

Schuchat sees the science doubters for what they are: a roadblock to public health. It's a field she knows well. She's worked in it for 27 years, tamping down the 2001 anthrax attacks; traveling to the front line of the SARS outbreak in 2009; sounding the alarm about influenza, which can kill as many as 50,000 people in the U.S. each year; and even agreeing to consult on a Hollywood film about her little-known work as a global virus hunter.

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