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Friday, October 17, 2014

Autism, Ebola, Vaccines, CDC, and Conspiracy Theory

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a major source for information about autism. If people are less confident about CDC, they might be less inclined to believe that information.  So a seemingly unrelated issue -- Ebola -- could affect autism politics. Even before the outbreak, a now-debunked conspiracy theory held that CDC had covered up evidence of a vaccine-autism link.

CBS reports:
Americans' faith in the agency charged with protecting the homeland from the rapidly escalating Ebola outbreak in West Africa -- which has already crept onto U.S. soil -- has dropped sharply since the crisis emerged.
A CBS News Poll has found that positive assessment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declined dramatically, with only 37 percent of respondents saying the CDC is doing an excellent or good job -- down from 60 percent in a May 2013 Gallup poll.

The CDC is rated more positively by Democrats (49 percent) than Republicans (35 percent).

Officials from the Obama administration, including the president himself, have acknowledged that missteps were made in the handling of the first confirmed Ebola case diagnosed inside the U.S; a Liberian man who died in a Dallas hospital on Oct. 8
Indeed, at iO9, Mark Strauss reports that anti-vaccine activists are already claiming that the Ebola outbreak is plot to divert attention from the conspiracy.