‘World’s number one anti-vaxxer’ Kent Heckenlively banned entry to Australia: Dutton

By @chelean on
Kent Heckenlively photo taken from Facebook
Kent Heckenlively photo taken from Facebook kent.heckenlively/Facebook

Self-proclaimed “world’s number one anti-vaxxer” Kent Heckenlively would not be able to give lecture in Australia in December after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that he was not allowed in the country. The American author was planning a “Dangerous Science” lecture tour to spread his message that vaccines were bad.

Heckenlively wrote a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month, telling the Australian leader that he could meet him at the airport or at Turnbull’s primary residence, The Lodge, when he landed later this year. Though apparently in jest, he told Turnbull that he should not make a fuss over his arrival, but Heckenlively would accept an award in recognition of his work “to liberate Australia from the grip of the pharmaceutical industry.”

His scheduled arrival alarmed the Opposition, with Labor’s health spokeswoman Catherine King writing to Turnbull to warn that the “dangerous anti-vaccination zealot” was dangerous to the country. She said they should take Heckenlively’s visit seriously.

“While our immunisation program has historically been effective, there is growing evidence that anti-vaccination advocates and their political allies like Pauline Hanson are now undermining our success – as shown by the doubling of measles cases between 2013 and 2014,” she wrote in a letter obtained by News Corp. “I write to urge you to deny entry to Australia to the dangerous anti-vaccination zealot Kent Heckenlively.”

The request appeared to have been granted as Dutton said the American has been denied entry to the country. “Kent has not got any travel plans to Australia because we are not going to allow him to come here, we are not going to issue a visa for this particular individual,” he told radio station 2GB.

He added that Heckenlively and other anti-vaxxers like him were “dangerous people.” “It is clear to me that it is not in our national interest that he should come here,” he concluded.

Before his ban has been announced, Heckenlively wrote on a blog to call on Turnbull and his wife Lucy to publicly apologise to parents of “vaccine-injured children” for the government’s vaccination campaign. He pointed out that the PM has holdings in pharmaceutical companies that push vaccines, and so he wanted Turnbull to sell his stocks.

“The Prime Minister and his wife will be allowed to keep their money, be provided safe passage to a neutral country without extradition (I’m thinking of the Maldives Islands), and we will pay for the extensive psychotherapy they will need when they realise they have been part of a campaign of human extermination,” Heckenlively wrote, determined that politicians were “corrupt, money-grubbing, corporate prostitutes for the pharmaceutical companies.”

He had also called on US President Donald Trump, “who knows vaccine injury is real because he has seen it happen to people he knows,” to head a commission on vaccine safety and to consider an “immediate naval blockade of Australia” until his visa application was granted and the ban against an autism mum, Polly Tommey, was rescinded. He wrote the blog before Dutton’s announcement.

The Turnbull Government launched a $5.5 million immunisation education campaign earlier this month to combat the views of anti-vaccination endorsers. As the ABC notes, the immunisation rate in the country is 93 percent, but it can reach as low as 60 percent in other parts.

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