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Monday, May 21, 2018

Trump, Autism, Vaccines, Gates

 In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.   In the 2016 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.

In 2017, Trump seemed to have forgotten his position, but the myth was apparently still on his mind.

 Josh Keefe at Newsweek:
In newly released footage from a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation event, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said President Donald Trump told him he was considering a commission to look into the “bad effects” of vaccines. "Don't do that," Gates said he told the president, and Trump has never publicly proposed such a commission. Yet the incident recalls Trump's longtime skeptical comments about vaccines.

Gates said that in two separate meetings since he was elected, Trump asked the billionaire philanthropist if “vaccines weren’t a bad thing.”

“He was considering a commission to look into the bad effects of vaccines and somebody, I think his name was Robert Kennedy Jr., was advising him that vaccines were causing bad things,” Gates recalled. “And I said ‘No, that's a dead end, that would be a bad thing, don’t do that.”