When Science 2.0 was in its early days, anti-vaccine sentiment was a tiny fringe of religious people in one group and then a whole swath of people on the west coast in another. If you wanted to find a hotbed of anti-science sentiment, including beliefs about vaccines and organic food, you could take a compass and draw a circle around a Whole Foods.
The company literally targeted wealthy neighborhoods full of Democrats to place their stores back then. In the 2008 election, Senator Barack Obama got 80 percent of the counties where Whole Foods was located (hilariously, Cracker Barrel counties went for Senator McCain that year - there was very little overlap between them) and he expressed his own doubts about vaccines, both prior to being elected and then in his administration's actions when refusing to allow multi-use vials during 2009's Swine Flu outbreak; because they contained thimerosal, which the anti-vax community claimed cause autism.
If you visit their book and magazine section, you can see nothing much has changed since Jeff Bezos bought it to help Amazon sell food. But anti-vax beliefs have spread out now. Instead of just being at Whole Foods, it will be in smaller organic food stores, with supplement hucksters, and now even Starbucks, as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revealed in its list of places where people with measles have been hanging out.
If you are an anti-science hippie, you now know where to go. It won't be long before they start to claim coronavirus is also a corporate conspiracy to sell new vaccines, so get a nice window seat at the organic cafe so you can witness the apocalypse you just know is happening. Organic food shops today are to science denying progressives what 1950s bowling alleys are to social conservatives.
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