At this point, there really shouldn’t be anything that comes out of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s mouth that qualifies as surprising. And yet.
Bevin joined WKCT, a Bowling Green radio station, on Tuesday to chat about a number of his ideological positions; chief among them was whether parents should vaccinate their children. As was reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal, the highest-ranking public official in Bluegrass State politics admitted on air to purposefully infecting all nine (!) of his children with chickenpox.
“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin said, per the Courier-Journal. “They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it, and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”
Bevin followed that shocking admission of what sounds a lot like clear-cut mistreatment of children with a wonderfully stale anti-vaxxer diatribe about the fundamental need to keep the federal government out of the business of...protecting public health.
“And I think, why are we forcing kids to get it?” Bevin said. “If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child ... But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t.”
The Courier-Journal, God bless them, did a great job of properly contextualizing Bevin’s insanity by placing his statements between the responses of a pair of medical professionals, whose retorts amounted to calling him an idiot and saying you should vaccinate your kids.
That said, Bevin is right about one thing, and one thing only: This is indeed America, where shithead anti-vaxxers can not only ascend to some of the highest offices in the land—don’t forget, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spouted the same bullshit just two weeks ago—but can then go on a rant about having to vaccinate their nine (!!!) kids and think to themselves that they served as a positive influence on society.