Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) apparently believes in the discredited notion.
In 2017, Jeff Spitzer-Resnick blogged about a visit to Grothman's office::This is @RepGrothman *today* at the Wisconsin Republican convention (which was held in-person) pic.twitter.com/MnsVlJryLE— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 12, 2020
Sure enough, almost immediately, Rep. Grothman walked into his office where we were already sitting down with his legislative assistant, and recognized me and said:
I have to ask you a question. Do you believe that vaccines cause autism?
While I could not have predicted exactly what outrageous question Rep. Grothman would ask me, I had anticipated that he would ask an outrageous question. I could have demurred and said that this was not what we had come to talk to him about as it was not one of our issues, but my past experience with Rep. Grothman was that he would not give up until he got an answer to his question. So, I replied by saying:
No, I do not believe they cause autism.
Of course that did not satisfy Rep. Grothman, so he persisted by asking:
How do you KNOW they don’t?
So, I replied:
You asked me if I believe they cause autism. I do not BELIEVE they cause autism because science has not demonstrated that they do.
I then proceeded to put him in his place by telling him the story of my brother who died from a pertussis vaccine in 1966. We know this because science proved it and Congress passed a vaccine compensation program for such medical mistakes. I further informed him that fortunately our son was born after scientists developed a dead virus vaccine which is safe so we could give it to him. I closed with informing him that people who do not give their children vaccines are bringing back diseases into our community and they are a public health menace.
By the time I finished, Rep. Grothman recognized that he was not going to win this argument and our meeting was able to continue in the manner that we desired by discussing the issues that we came to talk about. The lesson, of course, is that well prepared advocates will not get thrown off by those in power who choose to pursue an irrelevant agenda. By speaking truth to power, I was able to provide both personal and fact based information to Rep. Grothman and steer the meeting back to what we came to talk about.