The President-Elect of the United States of America has said he believes that vaccines are harmful, and has repeatedly and erroneously claimed that they cause autism. This is untrue and it’s dangerous.Back in 1998, British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield published a paper in the health journal The Lancet which claimed to show a link between children who were given the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism and bowel disease.No other scientists were able to reproduce his results — something that is vital in research. Most of Wakefield’s co-authors withdrew their support for the study. After conducting an official inquiry, a tribunal of the British General Medical Council concluded that Wakefield acted dishonestly and irresponsibly, and even performed unnecessary invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies on the children.
The Lancet eventually retracted the paper and Wakefield was struck from the UK medical register with a statement identifying that he’d deliberately falsified scientific results.By then, however, the damage had already been done. Many people in the US and Europe still believe that vaccinations cause illnesses and conditions in children, including autism. Despite official medical advice that says vaccines are safe and vital, many parents still worry about inoculating their children. The belief is heavily ingrained in a lot of people’s minds, including celebrities such as Jim Carrey.
According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, about one in 10 Americans believe that vaccines are not safe. One of those ten people is the President-Elect. “I’ve seen people where they have a perfectly healthy child, and they go for the vaccinations, and a month later the child is no longer healthy,” Trump said on Fox in 2012. “It happened to somebody that worked for me recently. I mean, they had this beautiful child, not a problem in the world. And all of a sudden, they go in, they get this monster shot. You ever see the size of it? It’s like they’re pumping in — you know, it’s terrible, the amount. And they pump this into this little body. And then all of the sudden, the child is different a month later. And I strongly believe that’s it.”
During the GOP debate in September 2015 he spoke about that supposed case again, and claimed that vaccines were causing an “autism epidemic.””people that work for me, just the other day, two years old, 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,” he said.For starters, there is no epidemic. Secondly, Trump’s opinions of vaccines do not appear to be backed up by any sort of scientific research either. He has claimed to be for vaccination, but argues that they should be given over an extended period of time.