Washington Post editor Martin Baron responded to FAIR’s recent action alert (5/14/19) calling on the Post to acknowledge the role of CIA deception in fueling distrust of vaccination in Pakistan. Asked about the alert by FAIR associate Norman Solomon, Baron replied (links added by FAIR):

First, I have nothing to do with editorials. I oversee our news and features coverage. So, I had no involvement in the editorial cited by FAIR, which was mistaken in suggesting otherwise.

Second, with respect to the Post’s May 10 news story mentioned:  It notes that it was an April 22 incident that set off the recent panic, after many years in which vaccines were being administered frequently and safely, sharply reducing the incidence of polio in the country. As the New York Times noted: “In the vaccination drive that ended Saturday, Pakistan managed to vaccinate more than 37 million children, nearing its target of 39 million.”

That’s quite an achievement. As to whether a fake 2011 vaccination drive in Abbottabad related to the hunt for bin Laden bears meaningful responsibility for today’s scares and violence against medical personnel, you might wish to directly ask the reporter, Pam Constable, who has reported from the region since 1998 and who has maintained the highest journalistic standards over her long and distinguished career.

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