Yes, I am a Sorceress

Representative Jonathan Stickland has brought the dark truth at the heart of pediatric medicine to light.

Nothing would spark more joy in the evil heart of Satan than seeing Texas kids fully protected against vaccine-preventable disease!
Nothing would spark more joy in the evil heart of Satan than seeing Texas kids fully protected against vaccine-preventable disease! Wikimedia/United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs

Representative Jonathan Stickland has brought the dark truth at the heart of pediatric medicine to light.

Nothing would spark more joy in the evil heart of Satan than seeing Texas kids fully protected against vaccine-preventable disease!
Nothing would spark more joy in the evil heart of Satan than seeing Texas kids fully protected against vaccine-preventable disease! Wikimedia/United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs

Last week, Baylor pediatrician-scientist and vaccine advocate Dr. Peter Hotez pointed out on Twitter that vaccination rates in some Texas schools have fallen below a level that is safe for kids. In response, state Representative Jonathan Stickland accused Dr. Hotez of peddling “sorcery.”

With his series of astute tweets, Stickland, a Republican from Bedford, has forced the dark truth at the heart of pediatric medicine to come to light. Like Dr. Hotez, I am a pediatrician-researcher. I am a vaccine advocate. And I am also a sorcerer.

I spent many years pursuing formal education in the great state of Texas: I went to public school in Port Aransas, to the University of Texas at Austin for my bachelor’s degree, then obtained both my M.D. and Ph.D at the University of Texas Medical Branch. In order to broaden my perspective on pediatric medicine, I went out of state to a top-flight residency program. And sure, I now have a deep understanding of physiology and pathology; I can resuscitate tiny babies and care for critically ill children in an intensive care unit. But why would I use my 15 years of higher education and intensive practical training, when I can just slice open a frog and know what the future holds?

As you are likely aware, Representative Stickland, I often work 80-hour weeks as a resident physician. If you average my pay out by hour, I make less than minimum wage. I frequently pull 24-hour shifts caring for ill and medically complex children. But all this work has been for naught, because the dark powers at my command as a sorceress are much more effective than silly old medicine.

State Representative Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford  Sam DeGrave

Your righteous tweets exposed the vile nature of Dr. Hotez, who has dedicated his life to caring for children both here in Texas and all over the world. Like the great sorcerers of yore — Drs. Jonas Salk, Alexander Fleming and Louis Pasteur, for example — Dr. Hotez is wary of pulling off his white coat and revealing the pulsating third eye that lurks between his shoulder blades. But Texans deserve the truth! He’s a doctor, sure — but he’s also a wizard!

Thank goodness we have you to turn to, Representative Stickland, for homespun wisdom that isn’t tainted by either higher education or the sulfurous fumes of Beelzebub. As a licensed pest control technician, you are well-positioned to critique the instruments of the occult.

I mean, of course, vaccines. Vaccines are powerful dark magic that have eliminated child-killing diseases such as polio, smallpox and — until recently, in this country — measles. If left unchecked, necromancers such as Dr. Hotez and myself would gladly vaccinate every child in Texas who doesn’t have a medical condition affecting their immune system. Our sorcery already prevents 2 to 3 million unnecessary deaths every year, and we would gladly prevent even more.

peter hotez
Dr. Peter Hotez  Sophie Novack

We would cackle over our big steaming cauldrons as we prevent children from contracting tetanus and experiencing such intense muscle spasms that they break the bones in their spines!

We would interpret diabolical messages from the blood of salamanders as we vaccinate kids against whooping cough, which can kill babies by driving their oxygen levels so low that their hearts slow and they experience cardiac arrest!

The demons lurking among us would howl in ecstasy as we prevent mumps, which can sterilize boys, and measles, which can cause a slow, incurable inflammation of the brain. Nothing would spark more joy in the evil heart of Satan than seeing Texas kids fully protected against vaccine-preventable disease!

As an M.D.-Ph.D, a pediatrician and a bona-fide sorceress, I want to thank you, Representative Stickland, for all the time, effort and hard work you have put into protecting the health of Texas kids.

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Rachel Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., is a native Texan and a pediatrics resident. She wrote No Apparent Distress: A Doctor’s Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine.


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