Just because most of us aren’t scientists doesn’t mean we must make bad decisions based on flimsy evidence. There are many large organizations of well-trained scientists we can rely on for sound advice.

Decades ago, Congress recognized the value of credible scientific advice and established the National Academy of Sciences to advise political decision-makers.

Today, some politicians have decided they know better than our most respected scientific institutions on a range of critical scientific matters including climate change and vaccines.

Sen. Rand Paul, himself once a practicing ophthalmologist, was recently quoted by CNBC that he believed most vaccines should be voluntary because he had “heard of” bad consequences. Aren’t medical specialists expected to defend their determinations with good science, not anecdotes?

Do you want a surgeon to operate on your child on the basis of unscientific “information” that they have “heard” might work? Our best scientific information comes from up-to-date, thoroughly reviewed, well-designed and repeated studies, often based on investigating outcomes with hundreds or thousands of individuals. The best studies are carried out by appropriately credentialed researchers in highly respected institutions and published in our most revered scientific journals.

Do we stop driving based on the often-daily information we hear about traffic accidents? No. Our own experience and the overwhelming body of data related to driving indicate that a high percentage of auto trips end safely.

Because vaccines have been so successful, deaths from diseases such as measles are exceptionally rare, and our own experiences are probably not enough to inform us of the incredible net value vaccinations offer.

Our most respected medical organizations report that the overwhelming weight of reliable evidence conclusively demonstrates that vaccines safely improve and save lives.

Dudley Greeley

Cumberland