Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently announced that Trump had asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity to “make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety.”1 This is highly concerning because RFK Jr. has a known history of spreading the dangerous and widely discredited link between vaccines and autism.
Trump has repeatedly made statements and tweets endorsing a theory that vaccines cause autism. However, medical experts overwhelming reject the idea and believe that encouraging this rhetoric is endangering public health. The Center for Disease has consistently tried to fight against this belief, and further educate the public about this topic. Despite scientific evidence, some parents still choose not to vaccinate their children leading to otherwise preventable public-health crisis’. Here are 3 well-known examples of this:
- Nearly 15 years ago, measles was declared vanquished in America. But, in January 2015 a large multistate measles outbreak occurred, and it was all linked back to Disneyland. While Patient 0 was never identified, a high percentage of unvaccinated children likely fueled the outbreak.
- In 2012, the United States was in the midst of the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years. Most notably, Washington state suffered from the highest percentage of whooping cough cases, while also choosing not to vaccinate their kindergartners at a higher rate than any other state.
- Also in 2012, Indiana experienced the United States largest Chickenpox outbreak. More than 80 cases were reported, and they all can be traced back to an unvaccinated child.
Scientific integrity in the vaccine process is precisely our current state of affairs. Reducing the diseases that vaccines help prevent is one of the highest achievements of modern medicine. An administration that champions an anti-vaccination sentiment may put our country at risk of reversing an achievement which so powerfully protects the current as well as future generations of Americans.
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