President Donald Trump has never been shy about his opposition to vaccines. And now that he is president, Trump’s anti-vaccine beliefs appear to be influencing public policy, and are emboldening many anti-vaccine advocates.
I am being proven right about massive vaccinations—the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2014
In the middle of flu season, Trump’s 2015 interview on Sirius XM’s “Opie and Anthony” show has resurfaced in the public consciousness. On the show, Trump said that that he didn’t like the idea of “injecting bad stuff into [his] body,” and that he had seen “a lot of reports that the last flu shot is virtually totally ineffective.”
Trump is also notorious for his frequent tweets supporting the (debunked) idea that vaccines cause autism. In a presidential debate the same year, Trump verbally supported the theory, saying, “You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, it looks like just it’s meant for a horse and not for a child,” Trump said. “We had so many instances [in which] a child had a vaccine and came back and a week back had a tremendous fever, got very very sick, and now is autistic.”
And his presidency hasn’t modulated his opinion on vaccination. In January of last year, anti-vax advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. told reporters that Trump had asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and integrity. A month later, Trump asked a special education teacher invited to the White House, “What’s going on with autism? When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really, it’s such an incredible… it’s a really horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase.” He also allegedly attended an event with Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced ex-doctor whose fraudulent study inspired the vaccine/autism panic.
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
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