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Trump’s belief in autism conspiracy can hurt nation

Coming from the man who spent eight years claiming President Obama wasn’t born in America, it should be no surprise that President Donald Trump would also stir up other harmful conspiracies. But the conspiracy that vaccines cause children to develop autism spectrum disorder has had, and can continue to have, detrimental effects on our country.

In a meeting with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and educators on Feb. 14, Trump went out of his way to ask a principal from Virginia about the “increase” in autistic children asking: “So what’s going on with autism? When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really — it’s such an incredible — it’s really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase.” Because our president doesn’t speak in coherent sentences, this quote might be a little hard to understand if you don’t have any information about his previous claims.

Beginning in 2012, Trump began tweeting falsehoods about autism and vaccines, in one tweet saying “Autism WAY UP – I believe in vaccinations but not massive, all at once, shots. Too much for small child to handle. Govt. should stop NOW!” Specifically he claims that large doses of vaccines are the cause of autism and that giving children smaller doses over longer periods of time would prevent them from developing autism. Trump is not the first to claim a vaccine causes autism, but he is one of the only people to publicize his claims without even mentioning which vaccine he thinks causes autism and has never tried to support his claims with evidence.

Since Andrew Wakefield published a study with fabricated data claiming the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot caused autism, some parents have stopped vaccinating their children. Wakefield was stripped of his license in 2011 and is no longer allowed to practice medicine, but the damage was already done. In 2014, a measles outbreak at Disneyland spread through unvaccinated parkgoers; this was a result of parents choosing to believe rumors from famous individuals like Jenny McCarthy instead of doctors and scientists.

Trump tweeted in 2014: “If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take – AUTISM.” So, do vaccines cause autism? No. Time and time again it has been proven that vaccines do not cause autism. Autism is a developmental disorder present at birth but not diagnosed until a child is about 18 months old and can display the behaviors necessary for diagnosage. Is the “large” dose this vaccine is given in harmful to small children? No, not at all. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says any child 12 months or older can safely receive the MMR shot.

Trump unleashed another uneducated tweet in Oct. of 2012 saying: “Lots of autism and vaccine response. Stop these massive doses immediately. Go back to single, spread out shots! What do we have to lose.” Well, Trump is President now and we know this vaccine saves lives and protects children from three deadly diseases, so what do we have to lose if we don’t vaccinate our children at a young age when they are extremely susceptible to disease? Our children.

3 thoughts on “Trump’s belief in autism conspiracy can hurt nation

  1. “Vaccines Are Unavoidably Unsafe”
    Don’t take my word for it. These are the words of Justice Scalia in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, LLC in a Supreme Court decision in 2011. Unfortunately, due to the protections afforded the vaccine maker in the National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986, the Court ruled against a vaccine injured plaintiff in the case. How?

    In the 1980s, children were having adverse reactions to the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. Lots of lawsuits were being filed against docs and vaccine manufacturers. This caused the pharmaceutical industry to threaten pulling out of the vaccine market, and the alarm bells rang that the nation’s health and safety were at risk. Why were vaccine manufacturers getting ready to take their ball and go home? Because vaccines fall into a class of products considered “unavoidably unsafe.” I am not kidding you. This “unavoidable” word comes from the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act itself “products which, in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe.”

    In 1986, Congress decided on a way to compensate folks for these avoidable injuries and death. It is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. From 2001 until 2011 the program has compensated about 2500 families a total of $2 billion. There has been close to $4 billion paid to date since inception. But, that represents only a small fraction of those who actually brought claims to the Vaccine Court. You see, there is a 36 month window to bring the claim. There is no “tolling” granted for minors, unlike all the Civil Courts in the U.S. Guess what? Neurological injuries may not present in infants for long after 36 months. Furthermore, who knows how many cases were never brought by attorneys on behalf of a vaccine injured child, because the statute of limitations ran out?

    Don’t let anyone tell you that vaccines don’t cause injury. They have, they do and they will do so in the future. For years, Thimerosal was used as a preservative in multi-dose vials. While still proclaiming it “safe”, vaccine makers “voluntarily” removed Thimerosal. It is still present in trace amounts and in flu vaccine. Thimerosal was never approved by the FDA, as the patents predated the establishment of said regulations. Worried?

    With nearly 6,000 cases pending the USCFC held the “Omnibus Autism Hearings.” They decided not to make “autism” a “table injury.” How convenient. Since there would never be enough money to pay for all who claim an “autism” injury. But, there have been many cases compensated for “encephalopathy” as a diagnosis with reference to autism. You can read it: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1681&context=pelr

    For the record, I am not “anti-vaccine.” Both of my children were fully vaccinated. Unfortunately for us, our son was neurologically disabled by vaccines. It is indisputable, yet the government and the vaccine makers still think that there is a “greater good” to be served. They may be right. But, let’s not fool ourselves. Vaccines can be made safer. It is about money.

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