"Typhoid Inoculation" by John Vachon / Public Domain

Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

Jun 20, 2019

By Lena H. Sun and Amy Brittain

A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events — including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The groups’ false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots. As a result, health officials have said, the potentially deadly disease has surged to at least 1,044 cases this year, the highest number in nearly three decades.

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2 comments on “Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

  • ShadowMind says:
    The idiots should be arrested for public endangerment or something! They’re more-or-less equivalent to arms dealers.

    The US has plenty of those idiots in power as well!


    The US Senate has voted to block the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, striking a blow to President Donald Trump.
    Mr Trump bypassed Congress last month in an attempt to push through the $8bn (£6bn) deal, citing threats to Saudi Arabia from its bitter rival Iran.

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