In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. And among those diseases could be COVID-19.
Unfortunately, Republican politicians and conservative media figures are increasingly joining up with the anti-vaxxers. Even before COVID, they were fighting vaccine mandates and other public health measures.
The anti-vax movement has a great deal of overlap with MAGA, QAnon, and old-school conspiracy theory.
Grethel Aguila at The Miami Herald via Yahoo News:
Starting Thursday evening, crowds are expected to gather at former President Donald Trump’s Doral resort for a weekend conference of conservative figures, some of whom have praised Hitler or espoused debunked claims about elections and vaccines.
Thousands are meeting at Trump National Doral Miami for the latest stop of the ReAwaken America Tour, an event that features Christian themes and appearances around the country by some of Trump’s inner circle. According to its founder, the gathering seeks to save the nation by exposing the truth about fraud in elections, healthcare and the media.
The event shows the extent to which election deniers, anti-vaxxers and Jan. 6 sympathizers continue to surround Trump, the leading candidate to secure the 2024 Republican nomination for president.
The tour, which began in 2021, has promoted conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump and that “elites” operating a child sex-trafficking ring conspired against the former president. The event’s founder Clay Clark, an entrepreneur and former candidate for mayor of Tulsa, has described the COVID-19 vaccine as a “bio-weapon” on Rumble, an alternative to YouTube that gained popularity with conservatives during the pandemic.
Here are some of the speakers on the conference’s lineup.
▪ Alex Jones is the founder of InfoWars, a website that promotes conspiracy theories. Jones claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, in which 26 elementary school students and school professionals were killed, was a hoax. Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to families of victims in 2022.
▪ Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a Democratic candidate in the 2024 presidential election. Kennedy is known for spreading anti-vax misinformation, including the debunked theory that vaccines cause autism, ADHD, cancer and autoimmune conditions.