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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. says Trump asked him to lead commission on vaccine

    Vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. says Trump asked him to lead commission on ‘vaccine safety’
    Robert Kennedy Jr. reveals plan to chair vaccine safety commission for Trump

    By Abby Phillip,, Lena H. Sun and Lenny Bernstein January 10 at 4:39 PM

    President-elect Donald Trump asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a proponent of a widely discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, to chair a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, Kennedy said Tuesday.


    The stunning move pushes up against established science, medicine and the government’s position on the issue. It comes after Trump — who has long been critical of vaccines — met at Trump Tower with Kennedy, who has spearheaded efforts to roll back child vaccination laws.


    Trump transition officials did not respond to requests for comment on the commission.


    [The origins of Donald Trump’s autism/vaccine theory and how it was completely debunked eons ago]


    Speaking to reporters Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Kennedy said Trump called him to request the meeting and that he accepted the position on the new commission. It was not immediately clear exactly what role the commission would play.


    Carson, Trump, Paul debate vaccines and autism

    Play Video1:1
    Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Rand Paul responded to a question about vaccines and autism at the GOP debate. (CNN)

    “President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science, and we ought to be debating the science.”

    “And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have — he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I — but they’re as safe as they possibly can be,” he added.


    The announcement was met with alarm from health professionals who say that putting a proponent of a conspiracy theory in a position of authority on this issue is dangerous.


    [A horrifying reminder of what life without vaccines was really like]


    “That’s very frightening; it’s difficult to imagine anyone less qualified to serve on a commission for vaccine science,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit that works to control, treat and eliminate vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases.


    “The science is clear: Massive evidence showing no link between vaccines and autism, and as both a scientist who develops vaccines for poverty-related neglected diseases and the father of an adult daughter with autism, there’s not even any plausibility for a link,” Hotez continued. “Autism is a genetic condition.”


    “Our nation’s public health will suffer if this nascent neo-antivaxxer movement is not stopped immediately,” he added.


    Everything you need to know about the vaccine debate

    Play Video1:0
    Here are some of the most common arguments for and against vaccination. (The Washington Post)

    Earlier, the meeting was announced by a spokesman for the Trump transition team, Sean Spicer, who said the two would discuss vaccines at Trump Tower.

    Trump notably expressed support for the theory at a Republican presidential debate in 2015.


    [The GOP’s dangerous ‘debate’ on vaccines and autism]


    “You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump . . .” he said of vaccinating children. “We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old, a 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.”


    The comments were widely denounced by medical professionals who say that there is no evidence that vaccines lead to autism. In fact, the study that popularized the idea has been retracted and discredited as fraudulent. Multiple high-quality studies have found no link between vaccines and autism.


    Trump’s claim was rejected on the same debate stage by neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson, whom Trump has now nominated to serve as his secretary of housing and urban development.


    “The fact of the matter is we have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations,” Carson said when asked to respond to Trump’s insistence that there was a connection.


    The controversy began in 1998 after The Lancet, a respected medical journal, published a paper by researcher Andrew Wakefield and colleagues linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. It had a sample of only 12 subjects and speculative conclusions but launched a global movement joined by celebrities including Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, who warned parents to stop vaccinating their children. A drop in MMR vaccinations followed.


    But the study was a fraud. The Lancet determined that Wakefield had been funded by attorneys for parents who had brought lawsuits against vaccine companies. In 2010, the journal retracted the paper. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license. Large studies that examined whether there is an association between vaccines and autism, including one that examined 96,000 U.S. children, found none.


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said flatly that there is no link between vaccines and autism and that vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.


    Still, the theory has retained its adherents. The Unites States has experienced recent measles outbreaks linked to unvaccinated residents, including one in 2014 that infected 383 people, most of them in Amish communities in Ohio.

    That year, 667 people nationwide came down with the measles, according to the CDC. In 2015, another multi-state outbreak was linked to California’s Disneyland theme park. In both years, the source of the infection was believed to be people who brought the virus home after visiting the Philippines.


    Trump’s views date back several years. In tweets as early as 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about vaccines, and in 2014 he said that “doctors lied” about vaccines.


    In other tweets, Trump has referred to vaccines as the cause of “doctor-inflicted autism.”


    “Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism,” Trump said in an August 2012 tweet.


    At the presidential debate in 2015, he claimed that his children had been vaccinated in small doses.


    “I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time,” Trump said. “Because you take a baby in, and I’ve seen it. I’ve had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two- or three-year period of time.”


    But those statements were denounced as “false” by the American Academy of Pediatrics, who released a strongly worded condemnation following the Republican debate.


    “Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature,” said Karen Remley, executive director of the AAP. “It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.”


    “There is no ‘alternative’ immunization schedule. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease for a longer period of time; it does not make vaccinating safer. Vaccines work, plain and simple,” she added.


    Autism, in fact, is now considered a spectrum of brain disorders with a multitude of causes. According to Autism Speaks, people with the disorder can have trouble with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. One in 68 U.S. children are considered to be on the autism spectrum — a tenfold increase from 40 years earlier, largely due to changes in how autism is defined and diagnosed.


    The disorder is most likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including parents’ age at time of conception, maternal illness during pregnancy, extreme prematurity, very low birth weight and oxygen deprivation to a newborn’s brain during birth, according to the organization’s web site.


    [Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril]
    Kennedy has been a notable proponent of nonmedical exemptions for parents who seek to prevent their children from being vaccinated, which is mandatory in most states.

    He has argued that mercury-based additives in vaccines explain the link to autism. And he has alleged that government scientists, journalists and pharmaceutical companies have colluded to hide the truth from the public.


    “They get the shot. That night they have a fever of 103. They go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” Kennedy said at the premiere of an anti-vaccination film screening in California in 2015. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”


    Mark Berman contributed to this report.


    Read more:

    Trump names Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general suing EPA on climate change, to head the EPA

    7 things about vaccines and autism that the movie ‘Vaxxed’ won’t tell you


    The ultimate Q&A about health care under a Trump presidency



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    Lena H. Sun is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on health.
    Follow @bylenasun

    Lenny Bernstein covers health and medicine. He started as an editor on the Post’s National Desk in 2000 and has worked in Metro and Sports.
    Follow @LennyMBernstein
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...dd7_story.html
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Illegal immigration touches on this topic, too. Millions of illegal aliens and foreigners bringing diseases, reintroducing almost eradicated diseases as well as bringing new diseases to the people of the United States. This leads to the potential for more vaccines, more trial and error and potential risks to the citizenry.
    Judy likes this.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


    Democrat
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump aide denies he asked vaccine skeptic RFK Jr. to chair commission on vaccine safety

    by Sinclair Broadcast Group & Associated Press
    Tuesday, January 10th 2017


    (SBG/AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a vocal vaccination skeptic, told reporters Tuesday President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety, but a Trump aide said no final decisions have been made.
    View image on Twitter

    Leaving Trump Tower after a meeting, Kennedy claimed Trump asked him to chair "a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity."

    Hours later, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks released a statement insisting he has not yet decided whether to form such a commission.


    "The president-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of autism with many groups and individuals," Hicks said.


    View image on Twitter


    Follow

    Bradd Jaffy
    @BraddJaffy


    Trump team on RFK, Jr. meeting: Trump is considering a "committee on Autism" but "no decisions have been made"
    2:48 PM - 10 Jan 2017


    Like Kennedy, Trump has voiced doubts about vaccinations, tweeting in the past that he knew a child who developed autism after receiving immunizations. He did not supply evidence for that claim.

    He also has advocated for children to get smaller doses of vaccines spread out over time.
    4h
    Bradd Jaffy
    @BraddJaffy


    RFK Jr says Trump asked him to chair vaccine commission: "President-elect Trump has some doubts about—about the current vaccine policies..." pic.twitter.com/VnCdSueuGI


    Scientists have debunked the link between vaccines and autism. But Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. attorney general, believes there is connection and has advocated for parents to be allowed to opt out of vaccinations for their children.

    Follow

    Dan Merica
    @danmericaCNN


    Trump to meet w/ RFK Jr. today on vaccines, per spox. Kennedy, incorrectly, believes a vaccine preservative makes autism more likely.
    7:59 AM - 10 Jan 2017


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    Jake Tapper
    @jaketapper


    Transition: PEOTUS will meet with RFK Jr to discuss their shared view of vaccines, opposed by @CDCgov @NIH@AmerAcadPeds @AmerMedicalAssn
    8:05 AM - 10 Jan 2017



    Kennedy said Trump invited him to the meeting Tuesday in New York.

    http://kfoxtv.com/news/connect-to-congress/anti-vaccine-activist-rfk-jr-says-trump-asked-him-to-chair-commission-on-vaccine-safety

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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