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Wife of Trump Official Faces Criticism for Celebrating Return of Measles

Darla Shine's anti-vaxx nonsense would be easier to write off if her husband wasn't the White House communications director.

Twitter / @DarlaShine

Darla Shine, wife of White House communications director Bill Shine, is a former television producer. She’s not a doctor or a nurse, and she has no medical expertise to speak of, but she didn’t let that stop her from sharing a dangerous anti-vaxx opinion on Twitter.

Shine saw a segment on CNN about the growing measles outbreak in Oregon and Washington state, where over 50 people have contracted the disease.  The piece apparently made her nostalgic for a simpler time, the golden age of communicable disease.

After calling the story fake and accusing CNN of spreading hysteria, Shine pointed out that “the entire Baby Boom population alive today” had the measles as kids. It’s a bit of an overstatement, but not entirely wrong.

She really goes off the rails when she calls for bringing back childhood diseases because “they keep you healthy & fight cancer,” which they don’t.

She’s continued to post about the topic and retweet supportive replies, which are far outnumbered by Twitter users vehemently disagreeing with her.

This isn’t the first time social media has gotten Shine in trouble. In since-deleted tweets, she lamented more than once that she couldn’t use the n-word. She also said that sunscreen is a hoax (it’s not).

Even worse was “The Darla Shine Show,” her nationally syndicated radio show. Shine called herself a sexist and said that women in the military should expect to be harassed. She also pushed standard bullshit about vaccines causing autism and more exotic theories, like her belief that the 2009 flu pandemic was a setup designed to sell more flu shots.

In the wide world of internet conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination nonsense, Shine isn’t that remarkable. What makes her dangerous is the level of access she has to the center of power. As diseases that had been nearly wiped out by widespread vaccination come back thanks to rhetoric like Shine’s, it’s concerning that opinions like hers are present so near the center of power.