What is wrong with us?

Vaccinations have as much business in the political arena as a rotund rodent has being trusted for a 42-day weather forecast.

The measles, mumps and rubella combination vaccine has been safe and more than 99 percent effective for more than four decades.

Rand Paul and Donald Trump both say they have seen examples where otherwise healthy children were vaccinated and then suffered profound mental issues to include autism.

They may have seen examples of a child being vaccinated and then being diagnosed with issues like autism, but there is a zero percent chance that any scientific research has alleged any corollary tie between the vaccine and the condition they described.

Anecdotes aren’t evidence.

The one study that people cling to in order to tie the MMR vaccine to autism was produced for the express purpose of supporting a lawsuit for personal gain. It was released in 1998 and began to be discredited immediately. It was completely discredited and revealed for its evil fraudulent motives in 2011.

But thanks to this study, about 40 percent of people now skip or delay immunizations for their children. The lack of responsibility is difficult to imagine.

We clamor for vaccines to horrible diseases, but we have conservative presidential candidates, liberal politicians and authors and quackish doctors who tell people it is acceptable not to vaccinate their kids. These same people wanting an Ebola or AIDS vaccine still say that parents should have a choice about whether they can put their children at risk of contracting a disease because of the assumed risks.

Chris Christie is one candidate who tries to strike a smaller government tone by announcing during a recent trip to London that he believed parents should have a choice when it comes to vaccines.

That is amazing in both the amount of pandering in which he is willing to engage and also in the sheer recklessness of his comments and the resulting actions of misinformed and misguided parents.

Of course, if any political issue arises, it has to be blamed at some point on illegal immigration.

American Family Radio host Sandy Rios became the spokesperson for that ridiculous allegation.

Tuesday morning, she used her microphone to tell a story about a Joplin child who had an unknown type of paralysis – not the measles, mind you – which occurred soon after school was back in session as proof that illegal immigrant children were bringing all kinds of pestilence “not seen in this country for 100 years” across our border.

Of course she offered no evidence that any illegal immigrants were attending the boy’s school or suffering from a similar fate. No evidence exists that children of immigrants are responsible for the recent outbreak of measles. In fact, several dozen cases can be tracked back to trips to Disneyland – not a frequent destination for people who sneak across the border in order to work illegally for pennies an hour.

And Rios’ entire argument is completely moot when you realize that if American children were vaccinated, that even those disease-ridden immigrant children wouldn’t infect the precious little snowflakes.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, the host didn’t appreciate one of his panelists pointing out that all of the voices in the media recently forwarded the dangerous idea of not vaccinated children as a choice were from the far right of the political spectrum.

Joe Scarborough tried to correct panelist Steve Rattner who posed the anti-vaccination group as only a far-right phenomenon. Scarborough pushed back to make sure everyone knows his talking point that the anti-vaxxer group resides on the far right and the far left of the political spectrum.

He is right to a point. After all, none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is pushing a book he edited warning about the dangers of one ingredient of vaccines. Of course, this comes from a man who intentionally ingested heroin recreationally and has vaccinated all of his children.

But Scarborough tried to win the argument with a sound bite of Barack Obama running for president in 2008 where he used the phrase “the science is inconclusive” when discussing whether or not vaccines have led to a rise in autism.

Of course, Scarborough carefully stopped the quote before Obama went on to say, “The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it. Part of the reason I think it is very important to research it is those vaccines are also preventing huge numbers of deaths among children and preventing debilitating illnesses like polio.”

Scarborough was utilizing the exact same kind of fact slanting fraud that was used in the original study to create a controversy where there should be none.

Face the facts.

If you think exposing your child to a potentially deadly virus is a choice, you need to take a long careful look at both the evidence in real studies on this issue and also the effects of what could happen if you leave your children unprotected.

This isn’t about politics. It is about protecting your kids.

Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at kent.bush@news-star.com.