Ethan Lindenberger, the 18-year-old who gained fame after getting vaccinated against his mother’s wishes, called on young people to “take a stand”.
Lindenberger addressed a high-level meeting about how to combat vaccine misinformation at the United Nations on Friday and said, “Young people especially have a great opportunity to be vocal leaders in a movement that collectively ruins anti-vaccine disinformation.”
He also called for an end to online misinformation. While Lindenberger denounced vaccine misinformation, he did not criticize the people who hold those beliefs.
“People like my mother believe vaccines cause autism, they cause brain damage that they aren’t safe and effective. And they’re not malicious either. It’s a lie that anti-vaccine individuals are dangerous people, that they are evil people,” he said.
He also said “They’re putting their kids in danger for reasons that are the same that we vaccinate. It’s for the health and safety of their children.”
The United States is in the midst of a major measles outbreak, despite the disease’s reported eradication in the U.S. in 2000. Major measles outbreaks have also been reported in the Philippines and Ukraine.