Culture

You Have To See This Teenager Calmly Fact Check His Mother’s Anti-Vax Views

"This is why education is important."

Anti-Vaxxers: Teenager refutes mother's views on vaccination in congress testimony

An American high school student has calmly refuted his mother’s views on vaccinations while testifying before Congress. Which, aside from anything else, is a pretty baller way to rebel against your parents.

Ethan Lindenberger made headlines last year after getting vaccinated at the age of 18 against the wishes of his anti-vaxxer mother. On Wednesday he fronted the US Senate in Washington D.C., where he explained that he decided to get vaccinated after doing independent research.

“My mother is an anti-vax advocate that believes vaccines cause autism, brain damage and do not benefit the health and safety of society, despite the fact such opinions have been debunked numerous times by the scientific community,” Lindenberger testified. “I went my entire life without numerous vaccines against diseases such as measles, chicken pox and even polio.”

“My decision to get myself vaccinated was based on the health and safety of myself and other people.”

Lindenberger explained that his mother relied on “anti-vaccine groups online and on social media” to reinforce her views about vaccinations, and warned that this sort of “deeply rooted misinformation” was dangerous.

“Many people don’t resonate well with data and numbers – they resonate better through stories,” he said. “We see that with the anti-vaccine community. A lot of the foundation they build with parents is on an anecdotal level, sharing stories and experiences. That speaks volumes to people because it reaffirms, especially for my mom, that her position is correct.”

The teenager added that he knew his mother loved him, but that her actions put him in harm’s way.

“Her love, affection and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress,” he said. “This is why education is important and misinformation is so dangerous.”

You can watch part of Ethan Lindenberger’s testimony below.