NOTE: How did so many media outlets across the country get out such a similar response to the Trump Kennedy Vaccine Safety announcement yesterday afternoon? And why are they so horrified by a government committee on product safety? (Rhetorical)
Could the chickens finally be coming home to roost? We might not know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but we know that the autism epidemic came after the onslaught of vaccines. Honestly, the frightened, angry response is.... looney tunes. We invite you to buy and read Thimerosal - Let the Science Speak, from Skyhorse Publishing to draw your own conclusions. K
By Anne Dachel
A committee to explore “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.”
(Trump is even talking about a panel on autism.)
How the press is covering Robert Kennedy Jr’s appointment to Trump vaccine safety panel. Notice that he’s now referred to as a “vaccine skeptic,” not “anti-vaccine.”
(It would be rather strange to put someone “anti-vaccine” on a vaccine safety panel.)
The Chicago Tribune called it “a stunning move.”
TIME’s Jeff Kluger called Kennedy “an anti-vaccine crusader” and “the vaccine czar.”
(I wrote about Kluger’s coverage of Robert Kennedy, Jr. in TIME Attacks Kennedy and Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak in 2014.)
Mother Jones called it “evil bi-partisanship.”
Remember one thing: The media has everything at stake in this. Just like Paul Offit and every official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their careers and reputations are on the line here.
I’m sure the news that Robert Kennedy, Jr. had accepted a position looking at vaccine safety in the Trump administration left many, many people in shock.
This issue is no longer Republican. This puts the question of vaccine safety out in the news like nothing in the last decade.
So why is this prominent Democrat willing to join forces with the Republican President-elect?
People have to be asking this question.
Major networks and newspapers have to cover this. It can’t be avoided.
Here’s their coverage. Everyone assures the public that all the science shows vaccines are safe.
Several sites cite Kennedy’s book, Thimerosal-Let the Science Speak, but they don’t include a link. Most never mention it.
Prominent vaccine promoters are quoted, including Paul Offit, Peter Hotez, and even Marie McCormick, and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization.
Despite the fact that the scientific/medical community denies there’s anything wrong with our vaccine schedule, two prominent Americans, from opposite parties seem to agree that the safety of vaccines is in question. Kennedy doesn’t want to do away with them, if you listen to his announcement today.
I’m sure by tomorrow, officials, health organizations, and individual doctors will launch a massive PR blitz.
Wonderful. The controversy isn’t going away.
Parents can investigate this topic for themselves.
Here’s what’s out there.
(VIDEO) Washington Post: Vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. says Trump asked him to lead commission on ‘vaccine safety’
The stunning move pushes up against established science, medicine and the government’s position on the issue. It comes after Trump — who has long been critical of vaccines — met at Trump Tower with Kennedy, who has spearheaded efforts to roll back child vaccination laws….
“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science, and we ought to be debating the science.”
“And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have — he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I — but they’re as safe as they possibly can be,” he added.
The announcement was met with alarm from health professionals who say that putting a proponent of a conspiracy theory in a position of authority on this issue is dangerous.
Fox News: Trump asks vaccine skeptic RFK Jr. to head safety probe
President-elect Donald Trump is reviving long debunked attempts to link vaccines to autism, asking a vocal skeptic to chair a commission on vaccination safety -- a move that alarmed child health experts….
To pediatricians, there's nothing left to debate.
"Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time," Drs. Fernando Stein and Karen Remley of the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement Tuesday.
Scientists have ruled out a link between vaccines and autism. But Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. attorney general and senator, has long argued that vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal may cause autism, and has advocated for parents to more easily opt out of childhood vaccinations….
Repeated scientific studies in the U.S. and abroad have found no evidence that vaccines in general or those with thimerosal cause autism. That preservative has been removed from routine childhood immunizations; while it remains in some flu vaccines, there are thimerosal-free versions.
"The science has spoken. Thimerosal is a dead issue," said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a critic of anti-vaccine groups. "It is concerning. You have as a president-elect a science denialist."
Beyond thimerosal, research has discredited concerns that children get too many vaccines at once.
"Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease," said Stein and Remley of the pediatricians' group. It's not just children who gain, they noted: Widespread vaccination lowers the spread of disease that also threatens the elderly or people with weak immune systems.
lt's not clear what Kennedy described as a "commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity" would do.
Chicago Tribune: Trump asks vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. to lead commission on 'vaccine safety'
Donald Trump asked Robert Kennedy Jr., a proponent of a widely discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, to chair a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, according to Kennedy.
The stunning move would contradict established science, medicine and the government's position on the issue. It comes after Trump - who has long been critical of vaccines - met at Trump Tower with Kennedy, who has spearheaded efforts to roll back child vaccination laws….
"President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it," Kennedy said. "His opinion doesn't matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science, and we ought to be debating the science."
"And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have - he's very pro-vaccine, as am I - but they're as safe as they possibly can be," he added…
"That's very frightening, it's difficult to imagine anyone less qualified to serve on a commission for vaccine science," said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit that works to control, treat and eliminate vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases.
"The science is clear: massive evidence showing no link between vaccines and autism, and as both a scientist who develops vaccines for poverty related neglected diseases and the father of an adult daughter with autism, there's not even any plausibility for a link," Hotez continued. "Autism is a genetic condition."
"Our nation's public health will suffer if this nascent neo-antivaxxer movement is not stopped immediately," he added.
TIME: Why Donald Trump’s Choice of RFK Jr. as Vaccine Czar Is a Terrible Idea
Kids will pay the price for anti-vaxxer nonsense…
Now comes the Trump team’s latest planned explosion: the appointment of celebrated anti-vaccine crusader Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to chair a commission on, yes, vaccine safety and integrity.
The through-the-looking-glass news broke today in the lobby of Trump Tower, when Kennedy descended from the presidential aerie and told the gaggle of reporters camped around the elevators that Trump had called and offered him the job and he had accepted. His new responsibilities, Kennedy said, included making sure “we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects.” He also stressed that “everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines we have [are] as safe as they can possibly be.” Finally, he added that Trump “is very pro-vaccine, as am I.”
Later in the afternoon, a Trump spokesperson said in a statement that the president-elect “is exploring the possibility of forming a committee on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The president-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals.”…
In 2014, he published a book making the familiar autism argument and laying the blame at the familiar chemical boogeyman: thimerosal, a form of mercury that has been used in vaccines as a preservative and that he claims is poisoning children. As I reported at the time—and as scientists have been saying and saying and saying until they’re hoarse—his thinking is wrong on the chemistry, wrong on the epidemiology and wrong on the basic facts of the case.
First: for all practical purposes, the thimersoal just isn’t there. It has long since been removed from all vaccines except some formulations of the flu vaccine where it’s used in vanishingly small trace doses. What’s more, thimersosal is an ethylmercury product; the type of mercury that is harmful—and only in higher concentrations—is methylmercury. Finally, while it’s true that autism cases have gone up in the the U.S. in recent years, that has happened at the precise time thimerosal levels in vaccines have fallen. Epidemiologists attribute the increased autism incidence almost entirely to better diagnoses and an expanded definition of conditions that fall onto the autism spectrum.
Kennedy has remained stubbornly unmoved by all that, continuing to scare the daylights out of parents by warning that vaccines, which have saved tens of millions of lives over the decades, are somehow a menace. Well, now he’s got a president ear and a president’s support, and a much bigger megaphone than he ever had before.
If there is anything Kennedy said in his impromptu press conference today that was inarguably true, it came when he commented on Trump’s beliefs about vaccines. “His opinion doesn’t matter but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science,” he said.
Yes, we should—because it proves that the newly chosen vaccine czar does not know what he’s talking about.
Yahoo News: Trump Has Reportedly Appointed Vaccine Skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. To Lead A Study On Vaccine Safety
Are vaccines safe? The overwhelming scientific consensus is “Yes.” Despite the insistence of some that vaccines cause autism, the study claiming this has been thoroughly debunked on a repeated basis, year after year. Furthermore, vaccines are getting rid of horrible diseases like polio, strep throat and Ebola. However, the Trump administration believes there are still questions about vaccine safety and has appointed a vaccine skeptic to investigate them.
The Hill reports Robert Kennedy Jr. — who hails from America’s most prominent Democratic political family — will be leading a commission on vaccine safety. Trump, despite his tweets and the activity of the Trump foundation, is not in fact a member of the anti-vaxx movement. Instead, Trump has stated a belief that children receive too many vaccines too early in their lives, which qualifies him as a “slow vaxxer.”
Kennedy, however, despite no formal medical training, is against the use of the preservative thiomersal in vaccines, as he believes the mercury in it causes autism in children, and has held this belief for more than a decade. A Salon article written by Kennedy more than a decade ago alleged a government cover-up of the connection between thiomersal and autism, which required multiple corrections and was ultimately retracted in 2011.
Kennedy’s opinions on thiomersal are a moot point, although it has been cleared of these accusations by later research. Thiomersal is no longer used as a preservative, except in some flu shots. It is not clear, precisely, what Kennedy will be investigating in regard to vaccine safety, as the false science promoted as “proof” was based around thiomersal. Kennedy will hopefully provide guidance about the committee at a later date.
Telegraph (UK): Donald Trump asks Robert F Kennedy Jr to chair vaccine safety commission in sign he still believes vaccines cause autism
After the meeting, Mr Kennedy said the president-elect had asked him to chair a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.
“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it,” he said. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science, and we ought to be debating the science.”...
At least 15 studies, involving hundreds of thousands of children, have been conducted and each has found that there is no correlation between vaccination and autism.
"We take the concerns seriously, we spend a lot of money trying to address those concerns, and the frustrating part is that when they are addressed people just choose not to believe it," Dr Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Centre at the Children's Hosptial of Philadephia told the Telegraph last year.
Newsday: Robert Kennedy Jr. to lead Donald Trump panel on vaccinations
He and Trump separately have voiced concerns over whether vaccinations can cause autism — a link that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical communities have said is disproved by research and dangerous to promote.
Trump has “some doubts about the current vaccine policies,” said Kennedy, …
New York Post: Trump taps vaccine-skeptic RFK Jr. to lead safety commission
The selection is sure to draw criticism as Kennedy Jr. has likened vaccines to the “holocaust.”
“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” he said 2015. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.” The vaccine skeptic would later apologize for those comments….
Kennedy Jr., a green energy advocate, visited Trump Tower Tuesday at the request of the president-elect.
The Hill: Vaccine skeptic says he's been asked to lead Trump vaccine commission
Yet the belief persists on the fringes of both the political left and right, boosted by some prominent celebrities.
As Kennedy suggested, Trump has repeatedly entertained a link between vaccines and autism, sharing a story in 2014 about a "healthy young child" developing autism after vaccinations. …
White House spokesman Earnest declined to comment on the commission but said there is "not any scientific ambiguity" about vaccination.
"The scientific advice that has been consistently offered by government and non-government scientists alike is that parents should have their children vaccinated," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“I don’t want to speak in a whole lot of detail about the incoming administration’s plans because I don’t know a whole lot about them.”
Bloomberg: Trump Says He’s ‘Exploring’ Forming Commission to Study Autism
Vaccines, a standard of pediatric care for nearly a century, offer benefits to human health that far outweigh any harms, according to the consensus of scientists and doctors.
“Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement after Kennedy’s earlier comments.
“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,” Fernando Stein, AAP president, and Karen Remley, the group’s executive vice president, said in the statement.
Bob Doherty, senior vice president of government affairs and public policy at the American College of Physicians, criticized Kennedy’s comments on the vaccine commission on Twitter.
“Lord help us. And kids who will die by giving a platform & undeserved ‘credibility’ to #antivax movement,” he tweeted.
Vox.com: Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a dangerous anti-vaxxer advocate
One of America's leading vaccine conspiracists now has the ear of the president-elect.
But the fact that Trump is consulting Kennedy on the issue at all should worry just about anyone who believes in science, public health, and dispelling myths about vaccines.
Boston Globe: Trump asks Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vaccine skeptic, to chair vaccine safety panel
“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said of his meeting with Trump.
Trump has expressed skepticism about vaccines in the past. He has previously met with vaccination critics and in 2014 tweeted ‘‘Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!’’
The claim has been denounced as dangerous by doctors.
Bloomberg: Trump Asks Vaccine Skeptic Kennedy to Lead U.S. Safety Panel
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has alleged vaccines can be dangerous
- Public health officials and scientists say he’s wrong
President-elect Donald Trump has asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lead a committee on the safety of vaccines, selecting an environmentalist who has linked the shots to autism in defiance of broad scientific consensus.
Kennedy met with the incoming president at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday and afterward told reporters that he had accepted an offer to lead a panel on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” Kennedy opposes the use of a preservative called thimerosal in vaccines because it contains a form of mercury that he calls “a devastating brain poison.” He says the shots can cause autism and have created a public health crisis, disregarding scientific studies that have concluded they do not….
Kennedy, a Democrat, has alleged in speeches that vaccines -- some of the best-studied medical products in the world -- are dangerous and that public health officials who oversee them have been corrupted and cannot be trusted. He has fought laws in some states that would remove a parent’s ability to exempt their children from the shots. Vaccines, a standard of pediatric care for nearly a century, have benefits to human health that far outweigh any harms, according to the consensus of scientists and doctors….
Kennedy, who edited the book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” is specifically incensed about the use of the mercury-containing preservative, which was included in some vaccines since the 1930s. It prevents contamination in vials that contain multiple doses of vaccines.
Thimerosal was removed from all immunizations given to children under the age of 6 in 2001, with the exception of an inactivated influenza vaccine, at the urging of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Epidemiologists have found no resulting decrease in the number of American children diagnosed with autism since the change took effect.
Washington Post: The facts about vaccines, autism and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s conspiracy theory
First things first: Vaccines do not cause autism.
So say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with dozens of studies published in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals. The scientific consensus on vaccines and autism is thorough and solid: There is no evidence of a connection.
This is not new news. But it bears repeating now that President-elect Donald Trump wants Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to chair a new commission on vaccine safety. Because unlike thousands of doctors and scientists, Kennedy — a lawyer who does not have a medical degree — is not convinced….
The consensus of the medical and scientific establishment hasn't deterred vaccine skeptics, many of whom say that the government must be covering up the risk. This conspiracy theory found fertile ground in Kennedy….
Soon after news of Kennedy's appointment broke, the AAP issued a statement from its president, Fernando Stein, and vice president, Karen Remley, affirming the “safety and importance of vaccines.” They emphasized the risks of delaying vaccinations, something that Trump said he was in favor of during a 2015 Republican primary debate. “I want smaller doses over a longer period of time,” Trump said.
The AAP's response was blunt: “Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives,” Stein and Remley wrote. “We stand ready to work with the White House and the federal government to share the extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the safety of vaccines, including the recommended schedule.” The real danger, they point out, lies in refusing or delaying vaccines.
Slate: Donald Trump and RFK Jr. Are Vaccine-Skeptical Soulmates They present their skepticism of established science as reasonable. And that makes their views even scarier….
The innocuous title of “a commission on vaccine safety” is indicative of exactly what makes the Trump–RFK Jr. pairing so frightening—and why it might be effective. Both men reject the established science on vaccination—science that shows that vaccines are safe and that they save lives. (The irony of vaccines is that they’ve been so successful at eradicating terrible diseases that many people now feel able to question their utility.)
And yet both men also pretend they are not as bad as the “anti-vaxxers” who erroneously think vaccines cause autism. Kennedy and Trump have each made pointed statements about the fact that they vaccinated their own children. They seem to think this should allow them to say whatever else they want about vaccination without receiving the same sort of criticism that anti-vaxxers get. Of course, as prominent public figures the exact opposite should be true: They should be held to a higher standard than confused parents when it comes to vaccination. Instead they both spew dangerous falsehoods—falsehoods that apparently may now make their way into actual policy….
Kennedy has already shown himself to be willing to sacrifice much of his political clout over beliefs that, when examined by experts in the field, do not stand up to scrutiny. Apparently it was worth it: His previously unpalatable opinions are about to be elevated by the most powerful man in the world.
CNBC: Donald Trump gives vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. chair of new panel that will probe vaccine
Both Trump and Kennedy — the son of slain Sen. Robert Kennedy — have voiced fears about vaccines causing autism, fears that scientists have repeatedly determined to be without merit….
Kennedy edited a book entitled "Timerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury — a Known Neurotoxin — from Vaccines."
That book argues that thimerosal, which has been used for the past nine decades in vaccines, causes autism. (Link to FDA statement on thimerosal. No link to Kennedy’s book.)
Denver Post: Donald Trump asks vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. to lead commission on “vaccine safety”
The comments were widely denounced by medical professionals who say that there is no evidence that vaccines lead to autism. In fact, the study that popularized the idea has been retracted and discredited as fraudulent. Multiple high-quality studies have found no link between vaccines and autism.
But Trump’s views date back several years.
In tweets as early as 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about vaccines, and in 2014 said that “doctors lied” about vaccines.
Kennedy has been a notable proponent of nonmedical exemptions for parents who seek to prevent their children from being vaccinated, which is mandatory in most states.
He has argued that mercury-based additives in vaccines explain the link to autism.
Huffington: Vaccine Skeptic RFK Jr. Says Trump Asked Him To Lead Panel On ‘Vaccine Safety’
The president-elect has long espoused the bogus conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism….
The American Academy of Pediatrics put out a statement in response to Trump’s meeting with Kennedy reiterating its position that vaccines are safe and that they save lives.
“Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time,” AAP President Fernando Stein and Vice President Karen Remley said in the statement.
“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,” Fernando and Remly said.
Vaccine skeptics often point to that alleged connection between vaccines and autism, in which a preservative called thimerosal is a chief culprit. But that link has been studied and debunked so many times that for it to actually exist, the medical and public health community would have to be engaged in a coverup conspiracy of global proportions.
Kennedy’s 2014 book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury ― a Known Neurotoxin ― from Vaccines, laid out the supposed evidence for just such a conspiracy….
Public health groups, including the World Health Organization and the AAP, have said thimerosal is safe for use as a preservative in vaccines, citing piles of scientific evidence….
Yet the ominous warnings and conspiracy theories peddled by people like Trump and Kennedy have had the effect of spreading fear among parents and may have contributed to falling immunization rates in some communities, and the subsequent outbreak of diseases like measles.
If Trump were to go ahead with a commission to study “vaccine safety,” he would be sending yet another such message ― this time, from the Oval Office ― that vaccinating your kids may not be safe. The public health implications of such a move could be disastrous.
The Daily Beast: BE AFRAID Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Compared Vaccines To A Holocaust—And Now Trump Wants Him To Investigate Their ‘Safety’
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—Camelot heir, lawyer, environmentalist, and crackpot anti-vaxxer—met with President-Elect Donald Trump today to talk about vaccines. Kennedy later told reporters that Trump has tapped him to chair a commission on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.”
This meeting alone is likely to embolden discredited conspiracy theorists who have cheered Trump’s election—and it should send shivers down the spines of parents, doctors, and believers in science everywhere. …
The notion that Kennedy is pro-vaccine would be laughable if it weren't so terrifying.
For over a decade, Kennedy has been a public face of the anti-vaxxer movement. In 2005, he penned a piece published on Salon and in Rolling Stone titled, "Deadly Immunity” in which he told the “the story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public.”
Thimerosal is a mercury-based vaccine preservative and study after study after study has proven there is no association between it and autism. The article had so many issues and needed so many corrections that Salon retracted it, saying the response from scientists and experts “eroded any faith we had in the story’s value.”
…medical professionals the world over agree: there is no link, no link at all, between autism and vaccinations. The one study that alleged such a causal link existed—a 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield suggesting measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines caused autism—has been debunked, retracted, and the author’s medical license revoked for ethical violations.
So of course Trump met with the discredited ex-physician Wakefield and several of his fraudulent movement’s leaders in the final weeks of the campaign. “I found him to be extremely interested, genuinely interested, and open-minded on this issue, so that was enormously refreshing,” Wakefield told STAT News of the meeting.
The conspiracy theorists Trump surrounds himself with are celebrating his victory. And why not? Trump has repeatedly signaled he would be a powerful ally for the anti-vaccination movement.
(VIDEO) NBC: Anti-Vaccine Activist Says Trump Asked Him to Head Commission on Vaccine Safety
Both Trump and Kennedy have spread fringe theories linking vaccines to autism in children, an idea that medical experts overwhelmingly reject and have warned is endangering public health by discouraging parents from immunizing their kids….
On Tuesday, the AAP's leaders offered "to share the extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the safety of vaccines" with the new commission.
"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," the group said in a statement. "Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease."…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there is no link between autism and vaccines, citing numerous subsequent studies. An Immunization Safety Commission organized by the Institute of Medicine examined the issue and reached the same conclusion in multiple reports.
But the theory persists, aided in part by celebrity advocates. Experts have warned that this small but vocal group of doubters is helping fuel outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough in communities where parents decline to vaccinate their children.
Marie McCormick, a Harvard professor of maternal and child health who chaired the Immunization Safety Commission, expressed concern that Trump and Kennedy might lend a presidential seal to misinformation.
"If the committee comes out saying there is an [autism] association, there will be people who avoid vaccines," McCormick told NBC News. "There have been actual deaths attributed to lower immunization rates."
(VIDEO added: “New study: No link between autism and MMR vaccine and a video on Robert De Niro)
Mother Jones: Donald Trump and Robert KenndyJr Team Up to Spread Nonsense About Vaccines This is the bad kind of bipartisanship.
Surprise! It's evil biparisanship! This is the most anti-science Republicans joining the most anti-science Democratic to push dangerous anti-vaxx lunacy.
Vaccines work and they don't cause autism….
Trump has a long history of spreading anti-vaxx bullshit. So, too, does RFK Jr (when he's not slinging insane theories about Diebold and Ohio). More than 10 years ago he went on the Daily Show and, in one of Jon Stewart's most shameful moments, was allowed to spew his brand of anti-vaxx crack-pottery. Liberals like RFK Jr because liberals like love RFK, but Robert the Younger is loony tunes on vaccines. He's in the same boat as Jenny McCarthy….
Vaccinate. Your. Kids. Don't listen to lunatics even if they do come bearing the seal of the President
CNN: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: I'll head vaccine group (VIDEO)
NPR: Despite The Facts, Trump Once Again Embraces Vaccine Skeptics
Kennedy, who said the goal is "to make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects," noted that Trump requested the meeting. Trump happened to take the meeting on one of the busiest days in politics in one of the busiest weeks in politics since the presidential election. Trump's attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, is sitting for the first of two days of hearings that questioning past allegations of racism and highlighting where he differs from the president-elect.
NJ.com: RFK Jr., known for anti-vaccine views, named to Trump panel, reports say
Kennedy, 63, is an lawyer and environmental activist who believes that vaccines might be linked to autism and that researchers and the pharmaceutical industry have no interest in exploring the issue.
Those views go against the conclusion of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reviewed concerns linking vaccines to the development of autism. It conclusion was clear: "Vaccines do not cause autism" is the title of a web page summing up that research.
Trump's nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Georgia Congressman and orthopedist Tom Price, has not spoken about vaccines. However, he has spoken in general about his distaste for government-mandated treatment, and his belief that families should be allowed to make care decisions on their own.
As head of HHS, Price will manage not only the CDC, but the National Institutes of Health - the two key agencies that run government health research.
Washington Examiner: Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says he'll chair vaccine commission for Trump
President-elect Trump has reportedly asked Robert Kennedy Jr., a notable figure in the anti-vaxxer movement, to chair a commission under his administration that will focus on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, Kennedy said Tuesday.
Kennedy and Trump met at Trump Tower on Tuesday to discuss "vaccines and immunizations," transition spokesman Sean Spicer had told reporters earlier in the day.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.