Trump’s “Charity” Gave $10,000 Quack Anti-Vaccination Group
Donald Trump has spent years indulging in anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, so it’s little surprise that his shady “charity” foundation donated a chunk of cash to one of the nation’s biggest anti-vaccination campaigns.
The Daily Beast reports that in 2010, the Trump Foundation gave $10,000 to Jenny McCarthy’s Generation Rescue, a nonprofit group whose primary goal is to promote false links between vaccinations and autism.
“McCarthy’s charity promotes ‘alternative vaccination physicians’ and has a grant program to provide families with autistic children with vitamins, minerals, and supplements; urine testing; and ‘dietary intervention training,’” The Daily Beast notes.
None of the claims that Generation Rescue makes about vaccinations have any basis in scientific reality, and its “alternative” methods for disease prevention have not proven effective.
(h/t Raw Story)
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 or Jenny McCarthy 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 to propagate these false claims.