In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns. In this campaign, a number of posts discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. He also has a bad record on disability issues more generally.
This week’s confirmation hearing for Tom Price will likely focus on the former House Budget Committee chairman’s potential conflicts of interest and on the Trump administration’s plans for repealing Obamacare. But the American Academy of Pediatrics and a host of other groups want senators to get Price on the record about vaccines.
“As you work through the confirmation process, we urge you to ensure that Chairman Price is committed to protecting the citizens of this nation from vaccine preventable diseases,” the groups said last week in a letter to key senators. (You can find a PDF version of the letter here.)
Vaccines have eradicated a number of diseases from the U.S. and are generally regarded as one of the greatest public health achievements in modern times. The president, however, has long espoused the bogus theory that they can cause autism. He met earlier this month with a proponent of that theory, who said Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety.
And Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has been a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a libertarian medical group that thinks it should be easier for people to decline vaccines for their children.