Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Obama and Vaccinations

Ken Shepherd, NewsBusters, points out that while Chris Matthews is going nuts over comments made by Chris Christie and Rand Paul about vaccinations for children, he fails to mention that Obama expressed similar views when he was running for president.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews took Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) to task on his February 2 Hardball program for statements which he argued gave succor to so-called anti-vaxxers, parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of unfounded or overblown safety concerns. Matthews suggested both politicians were cynically angling for anti-vaxxer votes in the 2016 primaries at the cost of public health.

By contrast, Matthews hailed President Obama for telling NBC's Savannah Guthrie in a weekend interview that "the science is, you know, pretty indisputable.... There is every reason to get vaccinated, there aren't reasons to not get vaccinated."

For his part, MSNBC contributor Howard Dean, a medical doctor and former presidential candidate, agreed with Matthews's take.

...Of course, neither Matthews nor Dean made mention of how, in 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama stated at a campaign event that the science on a vaccine link to autism was inconclusive.

Matthews and Dean say nothing about Obama's past rejection of "science."

From Politico:

President Barack Obama called the science behind vaccinations “indisputable” on Monday, but he was not always such a staunch believer in getting children vaccinated.

In 2008, as a senator and presidential candidate, Obama discussed the possible link between vaccines and autism.

“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Obama said in April 2008 at a rally in Pennsylvania. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included.”

(Shortly after the comments, Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor supplied a video showing that Obama had pointed to a member of the audience when he said “this person included.”)

Obama continued, “The science is right now inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

...By April 2008, when Obama was claiming research was inconclusive, scientists had already overwhelmingly rejected any causal relationship between vaccinations and autism.

...Now, the U.S. faces a new outbreak of measles, due in part to the refusal of some parents to vaccinate their children. According to Frieden, the outbreak can be stopped “if we vaccinate well” and “increase those vaccination rates” so that fewer Americans are left “vulnerable.”

This time, Obama is speaking out in favor of vaccination in general — though it’s not clear whether he’s changed his mind about the link between vaccines and autism specifically. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)

“The science is, you know, pretty indisputable,” Obama told the “Today Show.” “We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”
Obama has some explaining to do.

Will the press demand that?

No. Obama doesn't need to address his inconsistencies, ever.

He can say anything. Whatever works. Whatever fits the moment.


From The Hill

Dr. Ben Carson, a potential Republican presidential candidate, on Monday strongly backed vaccinations, splitting from two possible rivals who suggested parents should decide whether to immunize their children.

"Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Carson, one of the world’s most prominent and well-regarded pediatric neurosurgeons, told The Hill in a statement.

“Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” he added.
Thank you, Dr. Carson.

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