Image found here.
I watched the debate on CNN Wednesday night, and I'm not going to discuss Republican or Democrat political ideology here; but the nurse in me simply can't sit on my hands and be silent in my opinion (because I can't talk without waving my arms around) of Donald Trump's comments about his belief that vaccinations are the direct cause of autism.
I would disagree with Mr. Trump. Dr. Steven Novella, author of the blog NeuroLogica and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, has written a far better response to Trump's assertions than I ever could:
I generally don’t cover purely political issues on this blog, but the second Republican primary debate from last night ventured into the area of vaccines and autism. Donald Trump has said in the past that he thinks the current “epidemic” of autism is caused by vaccines. He was challenged on this position during the debate, and face palms ensued.
Orac, perhaps presciently, gave a good recap of Trump’s anti-vaccine nonsense just yesterday. In 2007 Trump said:
“When I was growing up, autism wasn’t really a factor,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden, it’s an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’ve giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.”
That is pretty much exactly what Trump said during the second debate, almost word-for-word. This demonstrates several things about Trump, in my opinion. First, he feels comfortable forming his own opinions, based on nothing but casual observation and anecdote, even on complex scientific issues, without adequate information. The fact that the scientific community has come to an opposite opinion does not even seem to give him pause. Finally, he has learned exactly nothing on this issue over the last 8 years – nothing. He has added no depth or nuance to his position, let alone correcting his factual errors......