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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Maloney Takes Hits for Her Antivax Past

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism

In the past, Rep. Carolyn Maloney embraced that notion, though she later changed her position.

Alex Maroño Porto at West Side Rag:
The generational strife at the heart of the Democratic primary race for New York’s 12th district congressional seat (which includes the Upper West Side) resonated throughout Tuesday night’s candidate debate.

On the one hand, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, both elected to Congress in 1992 and reelected every two years since, tried to defend their records and praise the benefits of congressional seniority. On the other hand, challenger Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old with no previous legislative experience, called for a renewal of leadership.

“It’s 2022. It’s time to turn the page on 1992,” Patel said in his opening statement, echoing the issue he’s made the heart of his campaign.

During the 90-minute debate, each of the three Democratic candidates tried to convince voters in the newly-created district, the first in more than fifty years to combine Manhattan’s Upper West and the Upper East sides, to support their platform in the August 23 primary. Issues ranged from how to deal with rising inflation, to bail reform, to the efficacy of vaccines.

As he has throughout the campaign, Patel depicted Maloney as “committedly anti-vaxxer,” citing her co-sponsorship of a 2015 Republican-led bill to study the risk of autism between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated population.

“I support vaccines,” Maloney shot back when challenged again by Patel. “I support the science behind vaccines,” Maloney said, citing a variety of actions she said she had taken to promote vaccines.