Trump Links Vaccines to Autism

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his controversial stance that vaccinations are linked to what he described as an autism “epidemic.”

“I’ve seen it,” he said at the second main-stage GOP debate on CNN Wednesday night.

“You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — it looks just like it’s meant for a horse,” he said of vaccines.

“We’ve had so many instances … a child went to have the vaccine, got very, very sick, and now is autistic.”

The GOP front-runner said he still supported certain vaccines, but in smaller doses over a longer period of time. Under current procedures, he said it’s dangerous for the public.

“Autism has become an epidemic, he said. “It has gotten totally out of control.”

Trump was one of several Republican candidates to question the current medical standards for vaccination, including two medical doctors: neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an ophthalmologist.

Responding to a question, Trump said certain vaccines are “very important.” But he added that there should be “some discretion” given to families — a stance increasingly popular within the GOP despite rising numbers of preventable diseases like the measles.

Carson denied that vaccinations had been linked to autism, citing “numerous studies” that have failed to find any correlations. But he suggested that there still could be a link.

“It has not been adequately revealed to the public what’s actually going on,” Carson said.

Paul, who has previously faced flak for suggesting that vaccines are linked to mental disorders, appeared to walk back his stance on Wednesday.

He described vaccines as “one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time,” while adding, “I’m also for freedom.”

“I ought to have the right so spread my vaccines out, at the very least,” Paul said.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not cause autism.

A little back story… way back in 1998 there was a Doctor called Andrew Wakefield who published a study in the well-respected medical journal The Lancet that linked the MMR vaccine to autism. Funny thing about well-respected scientific journals is, people in your field of study read your paper and try to duplicate the results, this is called peer-review. Nobody could duplicate the results so people became suspicious. Looking harder they found a sub-standard sample size of only 13 subjects, many subjects who already showed signs of autism at the start of the study, discovered data that was fraudulently modified, uncovered plans by Wakefield exploit the new market he created by profiting from his findings, and a discovered conflict of interest. Every single study that has been performed in regards to vaccines and autism continues to find no link between the two. In short Doctor Wakefield is now Mr. Wakefield and can never study medicine again and vaccines remain one of the greatest discoveries of human history.

Just like Mr. Trump, you probably have one friend, who is not a doctor or scientist, who has some story that might shed doubt in your mind that vaccines do cause autism. Think about this; That is just one story versus the vast body of evidence in well-performed scientific studies over decades of time, all publicly available to read, and all show absolutely no link. Know anyone with polio? Know anyone who died from smallpox? I’ll bet good money the answer is no. Thank you vaccines. And thank you evidence-based science.

There should be zero surprise that year after year we experience outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease in the areas that have the lowest vaccination rates where many adults and children die. We’re not at all implying that Donald Trump is responsible for these deaths. What we are saying is that when you are a leader and you go around promoting dangerous conspiracy theories, what you are doing is reinforcing someone’s deeply held beliefs and this makes it all the more harder for them to accept new factual information. It is very irresponsible and dangerous on the part of Donald Trump, Doctor Rand Paul, and Doctor Ben Carson to propagate these false claims.

More info can be found in the links below.

Media

Links

Here is the journalist who helped shed light on Mr. Wakefield’s skullduggery.

Here is an explanation in pretty comic book form.

The original, now retracted, study in The Lancet.

Here’s a study that looked at half a million subjects with zero link found.

Trump’s tweet in 2014 that prompted the question.

 

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