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 science and disability issues more generally.
Dozens of activists who reject the robust science supporting vaccinations held a march and rally Friday, capped off with a speech from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. A noted and vociferous vaccine skeptic, Kennedy accused the media, drug companies, and the government of a conspiracy to cover up supposed links between vaccines and autism — an allegation that has been thoroughly discredited.
The day of demonstrations followed an intense lobbying push on Thursday. Activists held 80 meetings on Capitol Hill, many of them with staffers for members of Congress, according to Irene Pi, an organizer from Arizona. Among their goals: Push President Trump to establish a vaccine safety committee led by Kennedy.
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“We’re being heard, and we’re going to enact change,” activist Jena Dalpez said.
A vast body of scientific research shows that vaccines do not cause autism and are essential in preventing the spread of potentially fatal infectious diseases. When too many parents fail to vaccinate their children, it can jeopardize entire communities — with people whose immune systems are compromised due to illness or chemotherapy most at risk.