Policy

Trump and Carson’s vaccine flub at the GOP debate, as told by today’s headlines

Headlines are hating on the GOP Debate vaccination comments from both Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, a lauded pediatric neurosurgeon who, many believe, should know better.

There’s been enormous criticism over the GOP Debate vaccination comments from both Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, a lauded pediatric neurosurgeon who, many believe, should know better.

Here’s a breakdown of the broader reaction to last night’s vaccination debate, as told by headlines.

“Donald Trump, Ben Carson Pander to Vaccine Deniers” Huffington Post

Donald Trump has linked autism to vaccinations for quite some time now, and again he circuitously pushed the anti-vax agenda during last night’s GOP Debate.

“I’m in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount, but just in little sections and I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism,” Trump said.

Yet he brought up the example of an employee whose child “went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.” Making that connection is quite the logical fallacy, many argue.

“GOP debate: Donald Trump and Ben Carson embrace vaccine trutherism – despite admitting there’s ‘extremely well-documented proof’ of no autism link” – Salon.com

What surprised many viewers was Carson’s half-hearted attempt to rebut Trump’s statements. Carson, a scientist and neurosurgeon, should have fought harder to counter Trump’s claims. Instead, he half-agreed.

“Well, let me put it this way,” he faltered. “There has – there have been numerous studies, and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism.”

And Carson actually sided with Trump’s assertion that vaccines are administered on an inappropriate schedule.

“We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccination – however, it is true that we are probably giving way too many in far too short a time,” Carson said.

Trump and Carson think it’s okay to delay vaccines. Doctors say they’re wrong. – Vox

Indeed, the mid-ground between autism-fearing anti-vaxxers and those in favor of preventing unnecessary death with vaccinations are the “vaccine delayers.”

“Vaccines are very important. Certain ones,” Carson said. “The ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, a multitude of vaccines which probably don’t fit in that category and there should be some discretion in those cases.”

However, peer-reviewed studies indicate that delaying vaccines is scientifically unsound:

Researchers point out that there’s absolutely no science to this “too many, too soon” idea of stressing kids’ systems with vaccines, and that the government-approved schedule is based on the best-available research about when kids are most at-risk for diseases and when their immune systems are most receptive to them. Also, the data that we have for routine vaccines suggests harms are infinitesimally remote.

“Donald Trump and Ben Carson Share Awkward High Five at Republican Debate” – ABC News

Yep. The vaccination debate was just lazy, scientifically bankrupt, and awkward.