Even his fans, or at least a lot of them, realize that Donald Trump has a habit of spouting nonsense, much of which is soon forgotten and of no particular significance anyway. Who cares that he still claims to doubt that President Obama was born in the United States (which of course he was; see this article and this one)?
But during Wednesday’s GOP presidential candidates’ debate Trump promoted nonsense that actually puts lives at risk, namely the demonstrably false idea that vaccines cause autism. While Dr Ben Carson quickly denounced that claim, even he regrettably backed the vague and unsupported notion that the current standard vaccination schedule is too concentrated.
So I was happy to see that The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement (link) correcting this misinformation. Here’s what it says:
American Academy of Pediatrics Reiterates Safety and Importance of Vaccines
by: Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, Executive Director, American Academy of Pediatrics
“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made during the Republican presidential debate last night regarding vaccines. Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.
“There is no ‘alternative’ immunization schedule. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease for a longer period of time; it does not make vaccinating safer.
“Vaccines work, plain and simple. Vaccines are one of the safest, most effective and most important medical innovations of our time. Pediatricians partner with parents to provide what is best for their child, and what is best is for children to be fully vaccinated.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
Trump’s comments were also condemned by Alison Singer, president of the Manhattan-based Autism Science Foundation (link), and by many other medical authorities (see for example this link and this one).