As I have discussed in the past, Mr. Hubbs doesn’t tend to believe that Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was very successful. In fact, Mr. Hubbs actually believes that polio rates actually increased after the release of the vaccine.
To add to this, in the past Mr. Hubbs has claimed polio was actually due to excessive amounts of “refined sugar” being consumed. Mr. Hubbs (along with one of his anti-vaccination friends) then went on to explain how polio “started the year Coke came out” as if to blame polio upon a soft drink.
Yes as sad as this is, this is actually the theory being pushed by the anti-vaccination clowns. Here is an exact quote:
“If you look at polio for example the history it started the year Coke came out. It was in the summer & because the kids were all drinking a lot of refined sugar in the hot sun it triggered the polio out break [sic].”
Now to be clear, that quote was not actually posted by Mr. Hubbs, or at the very least it wasn’t posted using the same username he was using at the time. However, Mr. Hubbs did support the theory and actually added his own “research” in an attempt to back it up even citing his own website as if that adds any credibility to the issue.
To make matters worse, around 98% of what Mr. Hubbs has used as source material for his idiotic beliefs on this issue stem from none other than whale.to, the known purveyor of all conspiracy theories known to man. According to Scopie’s Law that automatically puts Mr. Hubbs in the loser bracket for this particular debate, but I’ll humor him for at least a few minutes.
The main issue with this “Coke causes Polio” theory is that it can be disproved in approximately 15 seconds by anyone capable of performing a google search. The fact is, Coca-Cola was invented in 1885 and was in wide distribution by the 1890s. By 1895 it was sold in every state in the entire nation.
Polio on the other hand was first recognized in 1840. Major outbreaks occurred in Europe in the 1880s and soon thereafter in the US where it peaked in the 1950s and 60s. However Coke wasn’t even sold in Europe in the 1880s, so it obviously wasn’t causing polio. In fact it wasn’t sold in Europe until the 1930s and 40s, so unless Europeans were receiving shipments of Coke from Marty McFly and Doc Brown via a 1985 Delorean that also happens to be a time-machine, it doesn’t seem all that plausible that we can blame the polio outbreaks upon Coca-Cola.
Then again if we have learned anything about polio at all, we know it is a viral disease transmitted from person to person primarily via a fecal oral route, and it has nothing to do with drinking a beverage or refined sugar.
But hey – don’t take my word for it:
Mr. Hubbs also believes the polio vaccine itself actually created more polio than it ever cured, and he attributes the eradication of polio based upon – well truth be told he never really explains it other than to claim it cleared on its own.
However the facts are in 1952 there were at least 58,000 cases of polio diagnosed in the US. By 1957 after a mass immunization campaign, there were only around 5,600 cases of polio diagnosed in the US. That is over a 90% reduction in less than five years that Mr. Hubbs would chalk up to either a coincidence, or dumb luck (but it should be mentioned that sales of Coca-Cola during this period continued to rise). By 1964 there were less than 125 diagnosed cases of polio in the entire nation yet Coke was more popular than ever.
Maybe we should blame Pepsi?
So if the idea that Coke causes polio can’t be proven, then Mr. Hubbs has had to move on to other excuses. In one case Mr. Hubbs has even claimed the decrease in polio was due to the elimination of the usage of the pesticide DDT, but once again we find evidence that Mr. Hubbs apparently has his own version of history since DDT wasn’t outlawed until 1972 (long after the polio epidemics of the 1950s and 60s).
One has to wonder how anyone could claim that the vaccine itself actually increases the rate of polio however because the numbers just don’t add up. In fact, in 1994 China vaccinated over 80 million children with the polio vaccine and have we heard of massive polio outbreaks in China? No. What about the 150 million children from India that have been vaccinated – do we see huge outbreaks of polio in India? No.
By 1999 more than 450 million children worldwide had been vaccinated. In that same year the number of reported cases of polio had fallen to around 7,000 from 100,000 just six years earlier, so is this due to a sheer coincidence? No.
In fact, the areas with the highest rate of polio infections are actually those areas with the lowest amount of vaccinations. Areas such as Nigeria, the Republic of Sudan, and other African nations that have the lowest rates of vaccination continue to deal with the highest rates of polio even today.
Now please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting the vaccine is without risks, because as with any chemical or supplement or food or additive, chances are someone will suffer negative consequences. Just as many people are allergic to peanuts and can suffer serious complications from eating peanut butter up to and including death, similar risks are associated with many medications or vaccinations including the polio vaccine.
The most significant reported issue with the polio vaccine is what is called vaccine-derived poliovirus of VDPV. VDPV is basically polio which is a result of usage of the oral polio vaccine, and it occurs in approximately 1 person per 2,500,000 vaccine recipients or if you would like a percentage that is approximately 0.00004%. This tells us the remaining 99.9996% of the population are safe from the polio virus, and has lead the World Health Organization (WHO) to conclude the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of contracting VDPV.
In fact, VDPV only occurs in under-immunized populations. In fully-immunized populations people are protected from all strains of polio including VDPV. So the question is, would it be better to avoid the handful of cases of VDPV by eliminating the vaccine while allowing thousands of children to contract wild poliovirus as a result? I don’t think so, but anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists like Mr. Hubbs believe that would be an acceptable solution even though oral polio vaccines have actually prevented 6,500,000 polio deaths in the last 10 years alone.
But history and facts aside why should Mr. Hubbs care? He himself has never suffered from polio and chances are nobody in his direct family has either (probably because they were all vaccinated), so apparently that suggests that Mr. Hubbs simply doesn’t give it any concern. He doesn’t care about the millions of innocent children who have been spared from contracting polio. He doesn’t care about the hundreds of thousands who may have died or been paralyzed, and he doesn’t care about all of the suffering, pain, and difficulty experienced by polio victims. All Mr. Hubbs cares about is himself and trying to convince people that his google research and known conspiracy theorist websites should be more than enough to prove all vaccines are damaging.
Never mind the fact that throughout all of his silly and contrived arguments, Mr. Hubbs has never been able to actually provide any shred of reputable evidence to support his theories of the vaccine resulting in more cases of polio or that polio was caused by Coca-Cola or refined sugar or that DDT was a contributing factor or that the polio vaccine never worked. This continues to be the nail in the coffin which holds all of Mr. Hubbs’ arguments, because to this day he still doesn’t understand the concept of burden of proof.
Perhaps one day Mr. Hubbs will actually expand his knowledge to the point we can have rational debate about medical or scientific issues, but it is clear when someone actually thinks polio is merely some vast government or “big pharma” conspiracy in order to harm the populace under the guise of profit, or that a common soft drink actually causes polio – well needless to say that day is not coming anytime soon.
I wonder if Mr. Hubbs thinks Coke Zero causes shingles?