The President-Elect and the Anti-Vaccine Crowd

Multiple sources have reported that the anti-vaccine crowd is pleased with the results of the 2016 presidential election.

From Slate (11/22/16): Trump reportedly assured vaccine skeptics of of his support

An excerpt:

The president-elect has a long history of vaccine misinformation; he first began to express his beliefs that there might be a relationship between vaccines and autism nearly a decade ago—years after this association was scientifically discredited. He’s repeated these ideas over the years, and he never found it necessary to correct or refine his position during the election…

Jennifer Larson, CEO of the autism-focused Holland Center, in which she explained that she and other vaccination skeptics discussed their concerns with Trump at a donor event in August. According to her account, Trump assured them that he’s on their side.

From StatNews (11/30/16): Meeting with Trump emboldens anti-vaccine activists, who see an ally in the Oval Office

An excerpt:

“For the first time in a long time, I feel very positive about this, because Donald Trump is not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry,” movement leader Andrew Wakefield told STAT in a phone interview…

former doctor whose medical license was revoked, Wakefield launched the movement to question the safety of vaccines nearly two decades ago with a fraudulent study (which has since been retracted) suggesting that a widely administered vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella can cause autism…

Those who seek to undercut trust in vaccines “see in Donald Trump a fellow traveler — someone who, like them, is willing to basically ignore scientific studies and say, ‘This is true. Vaccines cause autism because I believe it’s true,’” said Dr. Paul Offit, the head of the infectious diseases department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

My take: There is a reason anti-vaxxers see Donald Trump as a fellow traveler.

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