In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney has finally seen the light about vaccines — sort of.
The Upper East Side/Queens congresswoman for years bought into the myth that vaccines can cause autism.
So it’s good that a Maloney spokesman on Sunday announced that she’s dropped the lunacy:
“Congresswoman Maloney believes in the efficacy and safety of vaccines. She was at the forefront of efforts to protect funding for vaccines in the Affordable Care Act.”
Yet even after passage of the ACA, she compared — in congressional testimony — those who reject the supposed autism-vaccine link to those Big Tobacco apologists who denied that smoking causes cancer.
To be fair, that was partly because she has a heart, citing “verbal evidence coming from parents where they break down, [and say], ‘I had a normal child, I gave him a vaccination, and then they came down with autism.’ ”
But playing to that sentiment has led all too many parents to skip immunizations for their children — putting them and other kids at risk.
This, when medical experts long ago utterly debunked the connection: The Lancet, the journal that published the original study “proving” a vaccination-autism link, retracted it as utterly flawed back in 2010.
It’s a small win for science that Maloney’s admitting the truth. It’ll be a bigger one if she (and others who did the same) apologizes for promoting a deadly myth.