Health

Anti-vaxxer Darla Shine, Wife of Trump Aide Bill, Has Unleashed an Almighty Propaganda War on Twitter

The wife of White House communications advisor Bill Shine has gone on a Twitter rant against vaccines in which she repeated a number of discredited claims, including that measles can fight cancer.

Darla Shine had expressed anti-vaccination views for years and said she regretted that her children had received the MMR vaccine, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella. Among other things, the anti-vaccination movement continues to make the debunked claim that vaccines can cause autism.

On Wednesday, Shine unleashed a tweetstorm in which she said a CNN report on the outbreak of measles in the Pacific North-West, was “fake” and “hysteria.”

Her opponents and supporters responded vociferously as she ramped up her anti-vax rhetoric over several hours, retweeting positive messages such as one that thanked her “for speaking the truth.”

Maya Nicholls also backed Shine, tweeting: “Thank you for speaking up on this topic!!! Vaccines harm and kill and cause autism!!! Our kids are not guinea pigs for big pharma!”

Julianne tweeted: “Stay steady on course @DarlaShine history will tell the story and as long as you sound the alarm you may save a few a long the way."

After Christian Vanderbrouk replied to her tweet saying that she was spreading “anti-vaxx nonsense on social media,” Shine responded by tweeting, “was waiting for the left to come after me. As soon as I retweet a fact about vaccines they come after me. Bring it on!”

Shine repeated her claim that measles keep people healthy and can fight cancer, tweeting a CNN report about a 2014 study in which a genetically-modified measles virus was designed to kill a specific kind of cancer.

However, experts say this could not be extrapolated to the general population and offers no proof that it would be an effective cancer treatment.

Shine also took on CNN presenter Don Lemon and demanded that he apologize for his criticism of her on his show. “Remember when Don Lemon said: 'The biggest threat in America is white men' well I guess now it's me. He's off attacking white men and teenage boys in red MAGA hats and now onto white women in aprons,” she said.

The World Health Organization has listed “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the 10 global health threats in 2019. Experts say the measles outbreak across the U.S. is impacting those who had not been vaccinated as authorities in 10 states are dealing with dozens of cases.

The outbreak comes as lawmakers in several states look at whether to change their laws that allow exemptions from vaccination for children on medical, religious and personal or philosophical grounds.

Shine has expressed controversial views in the past. Last July, in audio that had been unearthed and broadcast by CNN's KFile, she said that women serving in the military should not be surprised if they are sexually harassed. She also declared sunscreen a “hoax.”

Her husband, Bill Shine, is the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Briefly the co-president of Fox News, he was forced to quit in 2017 following claims he had mishandled sexual harassment claims at the company.

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