Autism

Donald Trump Thinks Vaccines Cause Autism, Which Should Probably Preclude A Person From Becoming President

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donald-trumpIf anyone is playing “reasons not to vote for Donald Trump” BINGO at home, you should check your cards to see if you have the “thinks vaccines cause autism” square, because during this week’s Republican presidential debates Trump reiterated his anti-vaccination position and asserted that he’s seen firsthand “proof” that vaccines cause autism.

According to the Daily Kos, during the debate, moderator Jake Tapper gave GOP candidate Dr. Ben Carson an opportunity to set Trump straight. Carson is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, so one would hope he would take the opportunity to whack Trump with a podium and say, “Vaccines don’t cause autism, you Christmas ham in a hairdo!”

Instead, Carson picked a halfway point and equivocated, saying: “We have extremely well documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations,” Carson said. “But it is true that we’re giving way too many [vaccines] in too short a period of time. And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and they’re cutting down on the number and the proximity.”

It’s a sick, sad world in which anti-vaxxers are a big enough voting bloc that presidential candidates are afraid to just outright say that vaccines don’t cause autism and save lives and everyone should get them unless there’s a medical reason that would preclude that.

Trump does a lot of things, but he does not equivocate, so he then took the floor to talk about his first-hand experience with vaccines and autism, which is that a woman who works for him says vaccines gave her child autism.

“Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic,” Trump said.

Trump insists that he is not a full anti-vaxxer, and that he just supports spreading out vaccines instead of following the recommended vaccination schedule, which is a position that doesn’t have any science behind it. The recommended vaccination schedule is designed to protect children from as many diseases as possible as early as possible, so waiting around does not do anything but put children at greater risk of catching vaccine-preventable diseases.

This is also far from the first time Trump has espoused anti-vax opinions, it’s just that the last few times he did it people weren’t paying as much attention because he was not the Republican presidential frontrunner.

 

One would hope that spreading this kind of misinformation would preclude a person from being elected to public office, but I don’t think we can trust that to be the case anymore. So for your own safety and the safety of others, please remember that vaccines do not cause autism, and please–for the love of God–do not forget to vote.

(Photo: Getty Images/Darren McCollester)

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