By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
Daryl Metcalfe, state rep from Butler County and confirmed jackass, has introduced yet another piece of legislation aimed at proving how much of a moronic zealot he is when it comes to pushing right-wing conspiracy theories that spit in the face of both common sense and science.
House Bill 286 “would prohibit pediatric denials of care and other forms of discrimination by health care practitioners, health care facilities, insurance companies and child protective service agencies, against patients, or parents and guardians of patients, that personally decide to delay or decline a vaccination.”
Metcalfe’s support of the whole anti-vax movement is unsurprising. Any person, especially an elected official, who believes there were so-called “crisis actors” involved in faking the Parkland School shootings, would be proud to introduce a law like this. In fact, I’m convinced that if Daryl Metcalfe was a Massachusetts state legislator at the time of the Salem Witch Trials he’d say, “better safe than sorry.”
A disease like measles was completely eradicated in this country. But now, after years of the anti-vaxxer movement gaining momentum, we are now in the middle of the largest outbreak of the disease in 20 years.
The law just doesn’t make sense and here’s why. The law says doctors and insurance companies are discriminating against children and their families because they choose not to have their kids vaccinated. But it’s not discrimination, it’s the same free choice practiced by the anti-vax crowd.
If you’re a parent who chooses to ignore ACTUAL SCIENCE and not have your kid vaccinated, that’s your choice. But likewise, if a doctor doesn’t want you in their practice, it’s because they would be exposing other patients to your bad decision. Anti-vaxxers are hardcore in their beliefs and can often resort to threats and harassment of both doctors and just regular folks just dealing with a tragic loss.
This kind of nonsense is precisely the type of issue that Metcalfe jumps on. It’s inflammatory, it comes with a strong, loud, obnoxious base of supporters who will now follow him on this crazy, dangerous crusade. Metcalfe is a panderer of the highest order. He loves when people give credence to his small-minded, uninformed nut-jobbery.
On Tuesday, April 30, Metcalfe had a press conference in Harrisburg, surrounded by anti-vax parents and their unvaccinated children. In it, Metcalfe did his usual song-and-dance about protecting personal freedoms so the United States doesn’t turn into a godforsaken country that only President Trump would take orders from.
Metcalfe said he introduced the bill “to insure that children still have access to pediatric care and cannot be denied care because their parents are exercising their parental rights in doing their own due diligence to make what they believe are the best informed decisions for their Children regarding vaccinations. Our children don’t belong to the state. This is not communist Russia. …To have something injected into your body is a decision that you or your parent or guardian should make, not the state.”
Several parents and anti-vax “experts” also spoke about the necessity of this bill. Metcalfe and the speakers say that doctors refusing to treat their children because of a personal decision was “discrimination.” The fact is, I agree that these parents have the right to make these decisions for their kids. I strongly disagree with it, but at the end of the day that’s their call.
What I find hard to believe though, is that these folks and Metcalfe don’t understand why the decisions of these physicians should be theirs to make, not the state’s. Why? Because bringing your uninoculated kid into the doctor’s office could infect others. It’s Metcalfe once again bitching and moaning about rights that he believes in being violated and not caring one iota that his bill would endanger the lives and health of people who disagree with their choice.
Metcalfe has been proven time-and-again to be this state’s worst hypocrite. He believes these parents are being discriminated against, but he has for years discriminated against and blocked legislation that would forbid discrimination against the LGBTQ community. He’s also a hypocrite when it comes to healthcare. For years before medical marijuana was legalized, Metcalfe blocked legislation that would allow a group of parents to have their extremely sick children treated with a drug that the parents believed would help.
This is a guy who once said that veterans who believe in climate change were, “traitors,” and once refused to support legislation calling October “Domestic Violence Awareness Day” because the bill came with a “homosexual agenda.”
This new legislation is typical Daryl Metcalfe — respect my rights and the hell with yours. He will hold hearings on this bill, strut his self-righteous indignation and bring in speakers who will spout unproven theories and junk science. He will waste everyone’s time and continue to do nothing for his constituents, a great number of whom will probably catch black lung from sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, breathing in fumes from other cars because spends time on crap like this instead of fixing real problems in his district.
If only there was a vaccine to cure stupid.