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.
Q Mr. President, measles cases are increasing. What do you tell parents?The comments were Trump's first on vaccines since taking office. Some reports indicate that it was a shift for Trump, but in the past, he claimed to be "totally pro-vaccine" even as he was pushing the dangerous lie that combination vaccines cause autism. (Antivax nuts such as Rep. Bill Posey also claim to be "pro-vaccine.') He has never retracted his comments on vaccines and autism, and he did not do so yesterday.
THE PRESIDENT: Speak. Up, up. You got a heli- —
What do you tell parents about getting their kids vaccinated?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh. They have to get the shot. The vaccinations are so important. This is really going around now. They have to get their shot.