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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Trump, Gates, Vaccines

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.

Previous posts have discussed Trump's advocacy of this idea.

Amber Ferguson reports at The Huffington Post:
Philanthropist Melinda Gates blasted Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump this week for his assertions that childhood vaccinations can lead to autism, calling them “ridiculous” and “misinformed.”
During the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Gates sat down with HuffPost Rise and discussed why Trump’s statements on vaccines are wrong.
Trump has claimed several times that there's a correlation between vaccines and the developmental disorder autism -- a claim that is unsupported by science, and that has its roots in a discredited 1998 study by a British doctor who was laterstripped of his license. Researchers have investigated the possibility of a link between vaccines and autism and have not found evidence that one exists.
Lucy Tiven writes at ATTN:
Trump's anti-vaxx rhetoric neatly illustrates what many find most troubling about his campaign platform and aggressive posturing.

"As Trump demonstrated, it's a way to position yourself as reasonable while still perpetuating the false belief that getting your jabs is going to destroy your brain," Slate observed following the early September GOP Debate.
"Politically, the moment was a perfect summation of Donald Trump's candidacy," writer Amanda Marcotte concludes, "his ability to pair off-the-charts self-confidence with complete ignorance about whatever subject he's opining about."
Other outspoken anti-vaxxers include former television host Jenny McCarthy, actor Charlie Sheen, and Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins.