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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Autism, Vaccines,and Oz

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.   In this campaign, a number of posts have discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  He also has a bad record on disability issues more generally.

Julia Belluz writes at Vox that Trump will go on Dr. Oz's show:
If the conversation turns to vaccines, we can expect Trump to share his dangerous views that they hurt children and cause autism. He has repeatedly pandered to vaccine deniers, and made public pronouncements about the alleged harms of these life-saving shots.
There’s overwhelming evidence that this is not true — that vaccines do not cause autism. And there’s also good evidence that when confidence in vaccines flags, vaccine-preventable diseases can make a comeback.

Oz — a cardiothoracic surgeon — isn’t known for being a tough interviewer, particularly when it comes to vaccine deniers. In the past, he’s been criticized for lending his giant platform to anti-vaxxers, including the alternative medicine doctor Joe Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy.