The publicity around the uptick in measles cases has fueled open hostility toward “anti-vaccine” parents. There have been articles written in the main stream press calling for the removal of vaccine exemptions, a federal vaccine mandate, special taxes and litigation against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Even calls for arrests and outing the evil anti-vaccine ones by posting their names and addresses on a government website as though they were sex offenders. One can assume that internment camps will be suggested next.
Not surprisingly, the issue has drawn in presidential candidates from both parties.
Senator Rand Paul (Republican) earlier in February stated:
"I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines… I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing. But I think parents should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children, parents own the children and it is an issue of freedom and public health."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Republican) made these comments in 2009:
"I have met with families affected by autism from across the state and have been struck by their incredible grace and courage. Many of these families have expressed their concern over New Jersey’s highest-in-the nation vaccine mandates. I stand with them now, and will stand with them as their governor in their fight for greater parental involvement in vaccination decisions that affect their children."
Although Christie has kept vaccine mandates in his state, he followed up last week with:
"Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health…I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.
Hillary Rodham Clinton responded with this tweet:
"The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and (hashtag) vaccines work. Let's protect all our kids."
The potential Democratic presidential candidate ends her Twitter commentary with the hashtag Grandmothers Know Best.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) used a quickly assembled Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing last week to demean Senator Paul’s comments about parental claims that vaccines cause “profound mental disorders.” In a questioning that seemed scripted, Senator Warren asked Anne Schuchat, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases about vaccine safety:
“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism?”
“No,” Schuchat answered.
“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?”
“No,” Schuchat responded, “but some of the diseases we vaccinate against can.”
The public was given a clear message vaccines are completely safe and effective. Vaccines don’t cause profound mental disorders and they certainly don’t cause autism. “Anti-Vax” parents are wrong and people must make sure that children are given the MMR vaccine. Adults should get the vaccine too and exemptions should be removed.