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Vaccines in America: So There Is a Debate After All

One of the last questions that came up during the CNN-sponsored Republican presidential primary debate (click video) on September 16, 2015 had to do with vaccines. Moderator Jake Tapper asked candidate and former pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson:

A backlash against vaccines was blamed for a measles outbreak here in California. Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked vaccines, childhood vaccines, to autism, which, as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes. You’re a pediatric neurosurgeon. Should Mr. Trump stop saying this?1

The question seemed to take everybody by surprise because, up to that point, the debate had focused primarily on issues such as illegal immigration, Iran, tax reform, the economy and jobs, national security and terrorism, the Middle East, social security, criminal justice reform, and climate change. Vaccines seemed to have come out of left field.

Carson responded:

Well, let me put it this way, there has… there have been numerous studies, and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism. This was something that was spread widely 15 or 20 years ago, and it has not been adequately, you know, revealed to the public what’s actually going on. Vaccines are very important. Certain ones. The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don’t fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases. But, you know, a lot of this is… is… is pushed by big government. And I think that’s one of the things that people so vehemently want to get rid of, big government. You know, we have 4.1 million federal employees. Six hundred and fifty federal agencies and departments. That’s why they have to take so much of our taxes.1

Tapper seemed to want to stay on the topic of vaccines instead of allowing the exchange to transition back to taxes or the philosophical issue of big government. He followed up quickly, “Should he stop saying it? Should he stop saying that vaccines cause autism?”

Carson responded:

Well, you know, I’ve just explained it to him. He can read about it if he wants to. I think he’s an intelligent man and will make the correct decision after getting the real facts.1

Tapper switched over to candidate and multi-billionaire businessman Donald Trump:

Mr. Trump, as president, you would be in charge of the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, both of which say you are wrong. How would you handle this as president?1

Trump:

Autism has become an epidemic. Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control. I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Because you take a baby in… and I’ve seen it… and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time. Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump… I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me. Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic. I only say it’s not… I’m in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount.1

But just in… in little sections.1

I think… and I think you’re going to have… I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism.1

Tapper went back to Carson. “Dr. Carson, you just heard his medical take.”1

Carson:

But, you know, the fact of the matter is, we have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations. But it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time. And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done, and I think that’s appropriate.1

At that point, Tapper addressed candidate, ophthalmologist and current U.S. Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul. “Dr. Paul? Dr. Paul, I’d like to bring you in.”1

Paul:

One of the greatest… one of the greatest medical discoveries of all times was… were the vaccines, particularly for smallpox. And if you want to read a story, it’s called The Speckled Monster, it’s an amazing story, it was all done voluntary. But people came in by the droves. George Washington wouldn’t let his wife visit until she got vaccinated. So I’m all for vaccines. But I’m also for freedom. I’m also a little concerned about how they’re bunched up. My kids had all of their vaccines, and even if the science doesn’t say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread out my vaccines out a little bit at the very least.1

So there you have it. It turns out that on the matter of vaccines, there is a debate, after all. And it doesn’t seem to be confined to Carson, Trump and Paul. Republican candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina addressed the question of vaccines at an Iowa town hall meeting in August.

Measles is one thing… When you have highly communicable diseases where you have a vaccine that’s proven, like measles or mumps, then I think a parent can make that choice, but then I think a school district is well within their rights to say, ‘I’m sorry, your child cannot then attend public school. So a parent has to make that trade-off. I think when we’re talking about some of these more esoteric immunizations, then I think absolutely a parent should have a choice and a school district shouldn’t be able to say, ‘sorry, your kid can’t come to school’ for a disease that’s not communicable, that’s not contagious, and where there really isn’t any proof that they’re necessary at this point.2

In an interview with BuzzFeed in January, Fiorina stated that she believed “parents have to make choices for their family and their children.”3

I think there’s a big difference between—just in terms of the mountains of evidence we have—a vaccination for measles and a vaccination when a girl is 10 or 11 or 12 for cervical cancer just in case she’s sexually active at 11. So, I think it’s hard to make a blanket statement about it. I certainly can understand a mother’s concerns about vaccinating a 10-year-old.3

I think vaccinating for measles makes a lot of sense. But that’s me. I do think parents have to make those choices. I mean, I got measles as a kid. We used to all get measles… I got chicken pox, I got measles, I got mumps.3

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who is also a Republican candidate, has also been asked several times about his views on vaccines. On February 2, 2015, he said that “parents should have some measure of choice”4 with regard to vaccinating their children. He added, though, that he did not want to be misunderstood to mean that he absolutely wanted to leave the option to parents. He went on to say:

What I’m saying is that you have to have that balance in considering parental concerns because no parent cares about anything more than they care about protecting their own child’s health and so we have to have that conversation, but that has to move and shift in my view from disease type. Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others. So that’s what I mean by that so that I’m not misunderstood.4

The opening line of a CNN article reads, “Americans are buzzing about vaccines after Republican presidential candidates weighed in during Wednesday’s debate… “5

Yes they are. The conversation about vaccine science, policy and law has finally become a topic that can be discussed in a presidential debate because it is a serious topic that is clearly on everyone’s mind.


References:

4 Responses to Vaccines in America: So There Is a Debate After All

  1. StephanieMills Reply

    September 21, 2015 at 9:02 am

    First, you need to know that Dr Ben Carson is Chairman of the Board and a member of Vaccinogen’s Medical Advisory Board. Yes, a vaccine manufacturer. http://www.vaccinogeninc.com/vaccinogen/board-of-directors/benjamin-s-carson-sr-md

    Second, the CDC, FDA, and our Congress is corrupt. There are 20 Pharma Lobbyist for every Congressman on the Hill. No one trusts the government with their $$$. So, why would you trust them with your health???

    Third, REP. Bill Posey Calling for an Investigation of the CDC’s MMR reasearch fraud. http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4546421/rep-bill-posey-calling-investigation-cdcs-mmr-reasearch-fraud

    Research for yourself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxfgqsZ8BV0

  2. Suizou Reply

    September 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Children of today’s America are little more than lab rats. America eats its’ young.

  3. Redpill1 Reply

    September 19, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I’m so sick of the circus. Republican and the soon to arrive Dems. People who are affected by Autism think Trump is so great because he says there is a link between vaccine and autism. Well, so what! Trump never elaborates on the issue because I don’t think he knows any more. I’m reading a website where a group of commenters have decided that they will vote for president on the basis of one issue-vaccines and since Trump has mentioned autism & vaccine a number of times-Trumps their man. Good grief people grow up. Right now, these people will say anything and if you’ve followed Trump over the years he’s the biggest spinner of all. When push come to shove the issue of vaccination will go down the toilet just like the promises or promises of investigating many concerns of the population have over the decades. It’s a means to an end.

    People need to take a step back and look at all the things Trump could be saying with the many interviews he’s had over the last couple of months. He could have talked about:
    The admission of Dr. William Thompson that the CDC manipulated study results back in 2004. In his admission he stated:
    “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism”

    Trump could have talked about Merck being sued by two of its former virologist for again manipulating test results of the MMR:
    According to Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, both former Merck virologists, the Merck company engaged in all the following behavior:
    -Merck knowingly falsified its mumps vaccine test results to fabricate a “95% efficacy rate.”
    As reported in CourthouseNews.com:
    -Merck also added animal antibodies to blood samples to achieve more favorable test results, though it knew that the human immune system would never produce such antibodies, and that the antibodies created a laboratory testing scenario that “did not in any way correspond to, correlate with, or represent real life … virus neutralization in vaccinated people,” according to the complaint. (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/27/478…)
    -Merck used its false claims of “95 percent effectiveness” to monopolize the vaccine market and eliminate possible competitors.
    -threatened a virologist in Merck’s vaccine division with jail if he reported the fraud to the FDA…
    ACT FILED Merck & Co.inc . Defendant
    http://sanevax(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Merck-mumps-suit.pdf

    He could have talked about:
    Chatom Primary Care sues Merck for Sherman Act monopolization, breach of warranty, violation of consumer protection laws.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/documents/Chatom...
    It alleges, among other shocking things:
    -[Merck engaged in] …a decade-long scheme to falsify and misrepresent the true efficacy of its vaccine.
    -Merck designed a testing methodology that evaluated its vaccine against a less virulent strain of the mumps virus. After the results failed to yield Merck’s desired efficacy, Merck abandoned the methodology and concealed the study’s findings.
    -incorporating the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results…
    -destroying evidence of the falsified data and then lying to an FDA investigator…

    Trump could talk about how the suit has been moved forward by the courts:
    -Judge: Lawsuit Against Merck’s MMR Vaccine Fraud to Continue
    http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/judge-lawsuit-against-mercks-mmr-vaccine-fraud-to-continue/
    -Memorandum issued by Judge explaining his ruling.
    http://www.rescuepost.com/files/59-opinion.pdf

    Finally Trump could have talked about:
    Congressman Posey presenting this information on the floor of the house:
    -Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) at 1:02:29 http://www.c-span.org/video/?327309-1/us-house-morning-hour&live=
    -transcript: http://www.ageofautism.com/2015/07/breaking-news-congressman-posey-on-house-floor-cdc-authors-of-2004-mmr-paper-destroyed-documents.html#comments.

    Trump, nor any of the others won’t talk to the media and the populace about any of the info above because they know it’s political suicide. Trump will only go so far and frankly I don’t think he knows any of the information I presented. He’s never talked in dept about vaccines, only superficially. Carson is just a clown as far as I’m concerned. Has the man ever seen a vaccine damaged child or an autistic child? Probably not. Paul-no need to discuss the flip flopper and the rest are just part of the circus.

    When the circus leave town in the next few weeks Trump will not be the man standing. Why? Two word. Political Capitol. He doesn’t have enough of it and it’s more than just money.

  4. Siobhan Justin Reply

    September 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I would love to see all of the vaccine information groups such as your group, NVIC, etc. and the doctors and scientists, such as Suzanne Humphries, Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Tony Bark, Christopher Exley and others, come together and present a program to all of the presidential candidates. The program could be live or just videotaped. The program could be then disseminated to the wider public. That would make me so happy!

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