Letter: Failing to vaccinate puts others at risk; Bedford show promoting anti-vaccination view won’t be aired again

To the Editor:

I couldn’t help but shake my head when I read a letter to the editor in your April 25 edition in which Ms. Laura Condon once again wrote about her opposition to vaccines, and the belief of her group that their choices to not be vaccinated are reasonable and should be copied by other people.

Her letter was apparently prompted by the recent Bedford Community Television rebroadcast of a “Tell It Like It Is” show that I did some months ago with well-known physician and vaccine expert Dr. David Fredenburg on immunizations and the public health benefits that have been long evidenced due to accepted and widespread vaccination programs – benefits that include the almost obliteration of several devastating and life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

In her letter, Ms. Condon questioned why a show taped with her did not also get rebroadcast, despite the fact that I made it very clear that the pro-immunization show was being shown again due to a large outbreak of measles now occurring in both New York City and in California. This is a growing epidemic happening in large part because of those who believe that it is their God-given right to not be vaccinated, regardless of the risk that they pose to hundreds of thousands of people who can suffer severe health impacts and even death if exposed to things like measles. In this day and age, these epidemics are unconscionable, and are the product of a group of people who apparently are centered on their own elitism and their conviction that their personal preferences trump the health dangers that they are perpetrating on the vast majority.

As the producer of “Tell It Like It Is”, I own the copyright to each and every show. The show that featured Ms. Condon and her views was originally aired at the same time as the opposing show, which presented the benefits of immunizations. Quite frankly, as the copyrighted owner of both shows, I see no need to further present the views of those whom I believe to be a menace to public health. I acknowledge that the show exists if someone chooses to watch it, but in good conscience, I shall not promote it any manner. Why? I would hate to think that it would motivate a single person to embrace the practice of refusing to be vaccinated when such flies in the face of protecting public health.

I’ll use this letter to remind Ms. Condon that I granted her the right to post the show in which she appeared only on her own website, and only if the pro-immunization show was also posted. Any violation will result in the immediate demand that “her” show be removed, and will also result in that show being wiped out of existence. As its copyrighted owner, I can and will make certain that it can never again be used to promote and further something that uses personal freedom as a justification for potentially killing other people. How different is that from drinking a bottle of gin and jumping into a car to perhaps drive into another unsuspecting driver? Oh wait a minute … there is a difference. Maybe the other driver will see the culprit and be able to get out of the way. Unfortunately, we can’t get out of the way of diseases for which we have no idea that we’re being exposed.

Respectfully,

KATHY BENUCK

Bedford