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Background of the vaccination conspiracy theory

Reader comment on item: Islamism's Decade of Spreading Polio

Submitted by Sigmund Derman (United States), Jun 9, 2013 at 15:51

The conspiracy theory did not come totally out of the blue. There was a bogus theory popularized by Edward Hooper, a British journalist, which asserted that early tests in Africa of a live polio virus vaccine by Hilary Kaprowski (the developer of the first polio vaccine—the one that never was adopted for use in the United States) caused the AIDS epidemic. Even at the time this theory came out (the 90's) no reputable expert on AIDS, polio, or vaccines believed it. But it took until the early 2000's for it to be totally refuted by modern molecular biological techniques. Some people still believe this and refer to it on the internet.

Among other places, this theory was published in that well known scientific journal, Rolling Stone. It's a fascinating story. Though Hooper's story suggest that AIDS was an accidental result of polio immunization, the fact that the developers of the polio vaccines (Hilary Kaprowski, Jonas Salk, and Albert Sabin) were Jewish feeds right into making this into a conspiracy rather than an accident (those evil Jewish scientists strike again). The only thing it lacks is truth, but that is usually irrelevant.

Now maybe the REAL conspiracy is by Hooper. In promoting this story he may have known that the Muslims would pick it up to their detriment.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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