Still singing “Hakuna Matata”? Measles death on American soil.


In “Hakuna Matata: Being anti-vaccine in an outbreak“, I pointed out the illogic of those downplaying the seriousness of measles in pointing to a lack of recent fatal cases:

Sears, and Heimer state:

[Death from measles] hasn’t happened here in at least ten years…–RS

Everything can be potentially deadly but is measles inherently deadly? Absolutely not.
Did you notice that the case mentioned above was from 1990? That was 25 years ago people. It makes perfect sense though. One couldn’t use a case from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, etc. because not a single child died from measles. –M

Therefore, hakuna matata, measles isn’t a real danger here.

I explained

[This] is exactly what we expect when there is extensive uptake of an effective vaccine for a disease. Thank God, death from measles is rare (1-5 deaths per 5000 cases) and the 2-dose MMR vaccine schedule has kept measles epidemics at bay, with only a handful of imported cases and outbreaks in unvaccinated clusters….

As we’ve had larger and less isolated pockets of unvaccinated, the cases rise. The roulette wheel is spun more and more times, increasing the likelihood of landing on death.

And, now, I am making far more somber movie allusions:

It is with sadness that I report that our luck has run out in this delusional game of roulette we’ve been playing. Washington State Department of Health has reported that this spring, a woman died due to a measles infection acquired on American soil.

The Clallam County woman, spokesman Donn Moyer reports, was most likely exposed at a local medical facility during the recent outbreak, being there at the same time as a contagious person.

Let’s be clear: this outbreak is directly attributable to the unvaccinated.

The first case was an unvaccinated man who infected an unvaccinated child. The first man infected another unvaccinated man, the third case. The child infected her unvaccinated sibling, the fourth case. The only case in a vaccinated person was a relative, vaccinated decades ago, who was infected by one of the unvaccinated children.

And it was one of these people who infected the Clallam County woman who died, unable to fight off the pneumonia, caused by the measles, which ultimately killed her.

This is a pro-life issue.

I can’t help but feel swells of anger when I think of how anti-abortion-not-necessarily-pro-life people will likely ignore this woman’s preventable death as one might ignore carrion on the side of the road. It doesn’t fit the hakuna matata narrative that they need to tell themselves to keep the cognitive dissonance of being “pro-life” and anti-vaccine from splitting their heads in two.

This woman is going to be forgotten like the thousands of nameless victims of the Culture of Death. But there won’t be marches in protest of her preventable death. There won’t be masses said for her memory from the people who say it is not the victims of preventable disease, but the vaccine refusers who “deserve our support.” No, this thus-far nameless victim will be forgotten in their ranks.
Because all lives are created equal… but apparently some lives are more equal than others.


Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.


17 thoughts on “Still singing “Hakuna Matata”? Measles death on American soil.

  1. When you say “anti-abortion, not necessarily pro life”, a couple of thoughts cross my mind. One is that I don’t believe you understand the intense moral dilemma people feel when learning about the aborted fetal cell lines and their history. The lives of these children, their names, the suffering they experienced is certainly unknown by most people. They are indeed forgotten. They are not more and not less important than the woman who recently died. You cannot place the victims in a competition for whose life was more valuable. Two, I don’t believe that you understand that the scientists and pharmaceutical companies who originally chose this path and have chosen to continue using these cell lines bear a very significant responsibility, and you don’t seem angry with them. Three, I doubt very seriously that most “vaccine refusers” fall into the category “anti-abortion, not necessarily prolife”, although I could be wrong. I would wonder who the people listed above were in terms of this category. Lots of folks are, unfortunately, vaccine refusers for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with with this.


    • Ok, here’s the thing about moral dilemmas— morality isn’t about feelings. It’s about properly forming your conscience and acting in accord, regardless of your “feelings.” As it’s been stated, if a person were to infect and cause harm as a result of failing to immunize, that person is in “much more proximate cooperation with evil” than if he had accepted a morally questionable vaccine to begin with. (

      I am NOT placing lives in competition. Rather, it is those who are anti-abortion-not-necessarily-pro-life who have done so. You severely twist the ethical conundrum and make it seem as if you’re being asked to sacrifice one life for another. The children are dead. They have been dead for decades. No choice we make can undo that injustice. That is why logic and the Church have determined that these vaccines are not formal or immediate material (and therefore impermissible) cooperation in evil. But some have ostensibly decided that their lives are more valuable than any life, even lives of the unborn, that could be saved from a vaccine-preventable disease. That’s not “pro-life”, that’s anti-abortion.

      I have never, not once, in my years of vaccine advocacy seen anyone who claims their vaccine refusal is for “pro-life” reasons who both acknowledged (or truly understood) the threat these diseases present— that lives are on the line— and implied that they are undergoing a significant inner turmoil about the harm they could cause, which is what one would expect if they are truly pro-life and think they’re being asked to choose. Not one. EVER. No, they mitigate it or are in willful denial. “These diseases aren’t THAT dangerous.” “ONLY a few people can be expected to die.” “It’s not really THAT big of a threat here.” “Well, it’s PHARMA’s fault, not mine, if someone gets sick and dies.” And they imply that it’s just fine and dandy if some innocent lives are sacrificed (as would necessarily be the case if Catholics were “mobilized”) for the cause. This is why no one outside of the bubble of like-minded people believe them or are willing to take them at their word. That’s why no one takes the “pro-life” rationalization seriously. As most secular voices say over and over and over again on this topic, “they’re the ones who are ‘pro-death.'”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, then you’ve just met one. One who has undergone significant inner turmoil and acknowledges the threat that these diseases present. I do vaccinate, but it was not easy for me to decide if that was the right thing to do, because of the fetal cell lines. A primary concern was whether I have the right to use the vaccines knowing that this encourages the scientific/research community to see my use of the vaccines as acceptance of their ongoing abuse of human life. That is an ethical conundrum, and it does in fact put lives in competition.

        You are right that the children exploited for cell lines are dead, however abortion continues to this day and the use of fetal tissue continues to this day, and the ongoing procurement of fetal tissue for research continues to this day. In large part that is because this evil has not been exposed nor acknowledged. I would like to know if you acknowledge that the scientists involved in procuring the fetal tissue and developing these cell lines bear significant responsibility for the lives that they’ve used and failed to speak up for? And currently, do scientists who use fetal tissue bear responsibility? The Pontifical Academy for Life letter indicates that these people do bear responsibility.

        I believe the letter from the Pontifical Academy gives us the proper direction to take. And I agree that we should use the vaccines. But this is tenuous, it cannot be accepted to remain this way indefinitely. There must be a push towards moral production of vaccines and moral medical research in general. As of this time, I have yet to come across a pro vaccine source that fully acknowledges this moral problem and firmly intends to work to change it.



      • Are we talking about fetal tissue or fetal cell lines? It’s important to make that distinction because while it is not right to use either, the proximity to evil is obviously much, much greater and far, far more scandalous in experimentation on fetal tissue.

        I think you’re failing to appreciate where most people, particularly scientists, are coming from. Most people have piecemealed together a utilitarian-style ethic with few absolutes. They don’t do so with malice and are trying to achieve the greatest good. Plotkin was trying to save babies (from rubella), not destroy them, but anyone who acknowledges the good intentions, even if we point out the illicit means, of many of these scientists is automatically “not credible” [direct quote]. There’s a difference between acknowledging the problem and trying to educate the ignorant of the ethical problems and attributing that ignorance to willful disregard of life or malice. It feels like you’re expecting pro-vaccine people to do the latter, and I just can’t do that.

        And, sadly, I’ve never seen an anti-fetal-cell line organization show that they firmly intend to work to change it. It’s only ever post hoc complaining or a willingness to sacrifice lives (either through bad science or mass refusal) to achieve it. Money and resources that could be used to develop alternatives or make the alternatives accessible is spent disparaging the tainted vaccine. Show me (or start) an organization that I can trust not to do that and I pledge to donate $10K! Maybe I’m pessimistic, but I’m inclined to think global eradication might be a more realistic proposition than the former given the “voices” who are the loudest and most organized.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a huge problem when orgs against the fetal-cell-line-derived vaccines have no problem railing against completely ethical vaccines. Is it no wonder that the objection to the cell-line vaccines is then viewed as merely an anti-vaccine front? As Laura points out, it’s going to be hard to get grants for ethical vaccines if scientists can’t even be sure that these groups won’t find some other reason to object to the vaccines.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure they can exist; I just haven’t encountered anyone (among the advocacy organizations, bloggers, commentators and real life) who accepts science, cares about the lives at stake with preventable disease, has read the guidance of the Church, and STILL just feels so horribly ethically-compelled to reject the vaccines.


      • I would respond to you above, but there is no reply button there. Well I’m not sure I follow your logic and you didn’t answer my question. But I’ll try to answer , if I’m understanding you correctly.

        The fetal cell lines come from fetal tissue. The cell lines were developed by taking tissue from aborted fetuses. The fetuses in question do not all have detailed history attached to them, however it is clear in the early development of these cell lines the scientists were closely involved with the abortion procedure itself and needed tissue as “fresh” as possible. There was a working relationship between the parties involved, and it should be evident that the researchers did not act on behalf of the fetus, but on behalf of their interests in obtaining tissue.

        In you original response to me you said that morality isn’t about feelings. But just now you’ve described how the researchers involved, though objectively committing a grave evil, were doing so because they believed they were doing good. You give them a pass, but you are not giving people who experience this moral dilemma a pass. Well it can’t be both ways, either morality is objective or it is not.

        It is my understanding that the fetuses harvested for tissue to develop cell lines were prescreened, were removed from the mother as intact as possible, and very likely ( based on the practices used) cut into pieces while still showing signs of life. Their tissues were removed and were minced up. That you like to imagine that there was no disregard for life or malice, is pure fantasy. There is no reason that knowledgeable people would be in he dark about what happens to these fetuses.

        If the work of these scientists is to be whitewashed and the strained consciences of pro life people are to be maligned, well sorry, but I just can’t do that.


    • AH, if you’ve read other blog posts on this site, RatCat bloggers have discussed the moral dilemma we face with the unethical vaccines. Try “Ethically Confronting the Measles Outbreak”. I am ultimately guided by the PAL’s assertion that “the burden of this important battle cannot and must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population – especially with regard to pregnant women.”


  2. Re: morality being about feelings-
    I just wanted to jump in and say that I didn’t think the author was giving a pass to those scientists in the past who had worked on the fetal cell lines or the fetal tissue obtained. In my reading of her comments, it sounded to me that she was acknowledging that they thought they were doing a greater good. She was not implying that their intentions made it OK, nor that the morality may be subjective in that case. It was and is wrong.
    Just that we can’t also assign sinister motives where there were none. The act of abortion is evil in se, no question.


    • The author did not respond to my question as to whether the scientists in the past and those who currently do work with tissues and cell lines bear responsibility for the lives they have used and not tried to defend in any way. She is, in my opinion, holding “antiabortion, not necessarily prolife” people responsible, but she does not hold the people involved in making these objectionable vaccines responsible for their actions past or present. She implies that such anti abortion people really don’t care about other people. She maligns them but doesn’t understand that a real challenge exists for many prolife people who have to sort through this moral mess. She assumes that on the one hand they don’t care about the greater good, but assumes on the other that the scientists/researchers do.


  3. I wanted to share this as it relates to the ongoing issue of exploiting women and unborn children for the procurement and sale of fetal tissue, for medical research. This tissue is “procured” for bio research companies. Today, in our time, children’s lives are being snuffed out, their bodies dissected, while they are alive, for parts. The research done in the development of cell lines for vaccine production paved the way for the acceptance of using “discarded” fetuses in medical research today. Sometimes people don’t believe this is happening today, but it is.


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