Donald Trump, anti-vaccination rhetoric is not the way to “make America great again”.
It’s a dangerous prospect when the man who might become the leader of the United States argues that autism and vaccinations are linked.
But that’s exactly what Donald Trump has suggested during the latest Republican presidential debate.
Trump has quickly gone from being a man best known for telling reality television contestants that they’re fired to being a Republican frontrunner who is starting to look like a serious presidential candidate.
And it’s a terrifying possibility. Trump’s campaign to secure the Republican nomination has been filled with rhetoric that would be entertaining if his beliefs weren’t downright dangerous.
His campaign has been filled with sound bites that made former prime minister Tony Abbott seem like a progressive leader.
From his promise to build a wall at the United States – Mexico border to the suggestion that journalist Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever”, The Donald is now facing some much deserved criticism for linking rising autism rates to vaccinations.
It’s a pretty ludicrous – not to mention dangerous – message to be touting.
And Donald Trump thinks vaccinations cause Autism. Oh really? Where’s your evidence? Oh wait, it was falsified.
— Samantha Schildroth (@SamSchildroth) September 17, 2015
The suggestion that there is a correlation between vaccination and autism is a view that has been refuted by the medical profession time and time again. Watch Donald speak about vaccinations during the debate here. Post continues below.
Despite continuous lobbying by the anti-vaccination community to suggest a link exists, scientists continue to discredit the claim and the Australian Medical Association have said that those who campaign against vaccinations are responsible for peddling misinformation. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from claiming that autism is “an epidemic” that has become “totally out of control”. It’s a suggestion that is not only insulting to those who have autism, but something that is simply not true.
While the number of people diagnosed with autism has increased over time, the Journal of the American Medical Association – who have found no link between vaccinations and autism – believe that the increase in diagnosis is due to changes in how we diagnose autism.
In spite of the science that clearly shows that vaccinations do not cause autism, Trump decided to use anecdotal evidence to suggest a link, sharing the story of an employee whose toddler was diagnosed as autistic after being vaccinated.
“A beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick and is now autistic,” Trump said, suggesting that vaccination dosages should be decreased. If doses were decreased? “I think you’re going to see a big impact on 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
Lots of autism and vaccine response. Stop these massive doses immediately. Go back to single, spread out shots! What do we have to lose. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2012
This year, the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported that whooping cough incidences had increased 15% between 2013 and 2014. And as vaccination rates continue to fall across the United States, its leaders should not be feeding the fear and mistrust that has helped to contribute to the outbreak of preventable illnesses such as whooping cough and measles.
Donald Trump wants to be President. But a true leader isn’t about fear mongering and touting anecdotal evidence over proven science. But Trump’s campaign is built on fear.
Despite being married three times, Trump believes in “traditional marriage” and has told BloombergPolitics that he is against abortion, except in the cases of incest, rape or where the life of the mother is at risk. Whilst gun violence continues to be a major problem across the U.S, Trump opposes gun control and has labelled global warming to be “a total hoax”.
Trump’s comments on immigration have been criticised by fellow Republicans after he labelled the Mexicans that currently reside in the U.S as “unwanted” by the Mexican government in July.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said, with his “build a wall” solution that makes the “stop the boats” policy seem compassionate.
Sadly, his anti-vaccination comments are just the latest in a long line of disappointing comments from a man who aspires to hold one of the most influential office’s in the world. Donald Trump is a a real estate tycoon. He is a successful business man. But he’s not a doctor. And he has no place suggesting that vaccinating our children against illnesses which can wreak devastating consequences causes autism.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2015
What do you think about Donald Trump’s views on vaccination?