The anti-vaccine movement is at the intersection of conspiracy theory and pseudo-science. Therefore, it is of little surprise that those pathetic fools in this so-called “movement” see an ally in President-elect Donald Trump.
According to a piece recently published in STAT, poster boy for the anti-vaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield, is ecstatic that he may very well now have a sympathetic ear in the White House. An ear as disconnected from reality as his own. He told STAT:
“For the first time in a long time, I feel very positive about this, because Donald Trump is not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry. He didn’t rely upon [drug makers] to get him elected. And he’s a man who seems to speak his mind and act accordingly. So we shall see.”
Keep in mind that Wakefield had his license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom stripped because of his reckless and false study that linked autism to life-saving childhood vaccinations.
Add to the list of lies and conspiracy theories Donald Trump has tweeted in the past, the dangerous myth linking vaccines to autism:
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
One can easily see why quacks like Wakefield are emboldened.
Dr. Paul Offit, the head of the infectious diseases department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of several books analyzing and criticizing the anti-vaccine movement such as Autism’s False Prophets and Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, said:
“Even if he [Trump] doesn’t change federal policy, he still is no doubt strengthening the belief some parents have that vaccines have done harm and therefore they should choose not to vaccinate their children.”
It is up to the scientifically literate among us to be diligent, particularly when it comes to our exposure to infectious yet vaccine-preventable diseases. We have lost the voice of reason in the bully pulpit of the White House.
Here’s an excellent video from Penn and Teller explaining how vaccinations work to protect us all:
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.