The wife of White House communications director Bill Shine on Wednesday went on an anti-vaccine tirade while spreading conspiracy theories about an outbreak of measles in the Pacific north-west.
In a series of tweets, Darla Shine lashed out against a CNN segment detailing the outbreak, which has seen more than 50 unvaccinated people contract measles in Washington state and Oregon.
“Here we go LOL #measlesoutbreak on #CNN #Fake #Hysteria,” Darla Shine tweeted. “The entire Baby Boom population alive today had the #Measles as kids … Bring back our #ChildhoodDiseases they keep you healthy & fight cancer.”
“I had the #Measles #Mumps #ChickenPox as a child and so did every kid I knew,” she went on to claim, adding: “Sadly my kids had #MMR so they will never have the life long natural immunity I have. Come breathe on me!”
MMR refers to the vaccine that has long been advised for children to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella. Developed more than four decades ago, the vaccine marked a major breakthrough in the prevention of such diseases and has been declared effective by numerous studies.
Darla Shine, a former TV producer, is married to Bill Shine, the former executive at Fox News who was appointed last year as Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff for communications.
Faced with criticism over her comments, Shine accused “the Left” of attempting to smear her. She also suggested, without evidence, that measles can cure cancer, pointing to a 2014 case that was far more complex and did not draw any kind of definitive conclusions.
This is not the first time Darla’s Shine’s public statements have sparked controversy. She once declared that sunscreen was “a hoax” and on numerous occasions pushed debunked theories about the danger of vaccines.
Other unearthed tweets found Darla Shine making profane remarks about race, questioning why white people were considered racist for using “the n’word” given its use by black people and defending the Confederate flag.
She has repeatedly struck a dismissive tone when discussing allegations of sexual assault, be it in the military or at Fox News.
When allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Roger Ailes, the network’s late former chairman, and ex-host Bill O’Reilly, Darla Shine sought to discredit their accusers.
Her husband, Bill, was forced to resign as co-president of Fox News following the allegations and has been accused of ignoring of seeking to suppress the accounts of their accusers.
Darla Shine’s tweets on vaccines come as state legislatures in Washington and Oregon consider changes to their laws that allow school-vaccination exemptions for children on medical, religious and personal or philosophical grounds.
• This article was amended on 13 February 2019. An earlier version had incorrectly stated that Darla Shine had worked at Fox News.