Tonight, I was able to watch a debate between a provaccine pediatrician from Idaho, Dr. Alicia Lachiondo, and a woman with a bachelor’s degree in toxicology, Ashley Everly Cates. I have embedded the 45-minute show for you here, should you wish to watch. It was an interesting and well-done debate. The two hosts, CBS Boise News staff members Brent Hunsaker and Natalie Hurst, did a fine job asking meaningful questions and soliciting answers from both ladies.
Click on the link below to watch the debate yourself.
First of all, who are the participants?
Dr. Alicia Lachiondo is a pediatrician at St. Lukes Treasure Valley Pediatricians in Boise, Idaho. She is a Boise Native who went to Notre Dame for undergraduate studies and the University of Washington School of Medicine for medical school. She is a member of Get Immunized Idaho.
Ashley Everly Cates graduated from UC Davis with a degree in environmental toxicology. She currently runs Health Freedom Idaho. She does not have any advanced degrees. According to her LinkedIn, she has not had actual employment in the field of toxicology.
Sidebar: not sure why Ashley is called a “blood toxicologist” in the title.
Alicia is the doctor.
Ashley is the “toxicologist”
Here are my notes on the debate:
I think Ashley and Alicia both presented themselves as calm, reasonable, and dedicated to the topic. Ashley, however, presents herself as an expert when she actually has little to no experience in toxicology. Her knowledge comes only from a classroom and not from actual field experience. She has never worked for a public health agency or environmental agency. My own brother has degrees in environmental studies and horticulture and he has worked for years as a California state environmental scientist. He would never call himself an expert because he has not published anything nor led any actual research. My children’s father has multiple degrees in scientific fields, including an MS in biology, and works in aquatic toxicology but still does not call himself an expert. When I think of someone being able to call themselves a toxicologist I think of a person with a Ph.D. in toxicology or a related field, someone who has conducted a great deal of research and published many papers. A woman with a bachelor’s degree is not an expert.
That Ashley espouses so many anti-vax tropes and tries to qualify herself as a toxicologist is deeply troublesome. It is a false balance.
Dr. Alicia, on the other hand, is an actual doctor. She has expertise in the field of medicine. There is literally no comparison between these two ladies.
As always, think for yourself and verify claims!! And be sure to join us at Vaccinate Washington if you live in or near Washington state and want to help our community be healthier.
[click on pic to go to the vaxwa website]