GOP debate: Donald Trump and Ben Carson embrace vaccine trutherism — despite admitting there's "extremely well-documented proof" of no autism link

"Even though science says bunching them up isn't a problem, I have the right to spread my vaccines out a little"


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 17, 2015 7:28AM (UTC)

Dr. Ben Carson answered a question about the measles outbreak in California by noting that there's no empirical evidence linking vaccines to autism, so Donald Trump should probably reconsider his position on the subject.

Trump said he is "totally in favor of vaccines," then launched into a story about the child of a friend who received "the vaccine" and suffered a very high fever a week later. When the fever abated, Trump said, her parents discovered that "now she's autistic."

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He embraced the vaccination truther myth that it's not the vaccines themselves -- which have been repeatedly proven to be safe -- that cause autism, but the schedule on which they're dosed out.

Instead of pushing back, when asked what to make of Trump's diagnosis, and Carson reiterated that "we have extremely well-documented proof that there's no autism associated with vaccinations -- however, it is true that we are probably giving way too many in far too short a time."

"That's all I'm saying," Trump replied -- even though he'd said much, much more than that.

Jake Tapper asked Rand Paul for "a second opinion," and Paul also argued that that he's a believer "in freedom, so even though science says bunching them up isn't a problem, I ought to have the right to spread my vaccines out a little bit."

Watch the clip here:

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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