Donald Trump Says Vaccines Caused An ‘Autism Epidemic’ — Wrong, Misleading and Dangerous

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

Donald Trump decided to take on the role of doctor in Wednesday’s Republican debate, boldly stating that we need to rethink the way we vaccinate children. Though he claims to be “totally in favor of vaccines,” Trump also stated that from his own personal experience, vaccinations can lead to autism.

Candidate Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, responded: “We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations.”

Health and advocacy groups were quick to react and criticize Trump. Alison Singer, president and co-founder of the Autism Science Foundation, said candidates should not politicize issues of public health. In a statement on their Facebook Page, she calls his remarks,

“A Reckless Discussion About Vaccines and Autism Hits the Political Stage

“Donald Trump is a part of a fringe movement that includes Jenny McCarthy and others who have dangerously perpetuated the false link between vaccines and autism. The facts are clear. Vaccines do not cause autism. Some people may not like the facts, but they don’t get to change them, even if they are running for president of the United States.”

Part of the ASAN Statement on GOP Primary Debate Comments on Autism and Vaccination reads,

“While no link exists between autism and vaccines, of greater concern is the willingness of those who promote this theory to suggest that exposing children to deadly diseases would be a better outcome than an autistic child. Vaccinations do not cause autism – but the use of autism as a means of scaring parents from safeguarding their children from life-threatening illness demonstrates the depths of prejudice and fear that still surrounds our disability. Autism is not caused by vaccines – and Autistic Americans deserve better than a political rhetoric that suggests that we would be better off dead than disabled.”


Even the historically reluctant, Autism Speaks had a definitive statement on the September 16 Republican Debate:

“The issue of autism took center stage during last night’s Republican presidential debate, and it must remain at the forefront of the national dialogue. There are millions of Americans affected by autism, many of whom are in need of better treatments, supports and services, and deserve more research on the cause of autism. Our elected officials must take action on behalf of them. We need a national plan that addresses the needs of people affected by autism across the entire lifespan. “As for the issue of vaccines, over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism.  The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.”

Karen Remley, executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics told USA Today,

“Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.”