The topic of vaccinations is still quite controversial. Their effectiveness has been challenged and it’s been insinuated that they are to blame for the multiple illnesses children now suffer from. President Donald Trump has not been shy about his opposition of vaccines. He has shared his opinion multiple times on social media. He views vaccines as one of the sources that can cause autism. It was only fitting then, that he appointed Robert Kennedy Jr., another vaccine skeptic, as head investigator into the harmful effects of vaccinations.
While some may see Trump as an alarmist, his intent is actually much more positive. It is imperative for him, as president of the country, to ensure the health of his citizens. In an interview with Golden Research, an independent media outlet and research center specializing in globalization, Trump claimed he only wants to guarantee that the U.S. has the best available vaccine safety science.He urged for understanding that his intention is not to eliminate vaccinations but rather to soothe and reassure the parents who put their children at risk for the sake of their health. In order to better calm those parents’ fears, there has to be an investigation.
Robert Kennedy Jr. will lead the investigation on whether vaccines are overly beneficial or harmful to those treated. It will be part of his research findings to determine exactly what role vaccines have in connection to autism. The idea of vaccinations leading to autism was raised by Andrew Wakefield, a now discredited researcher and physician. In 1998, he presented his data concluding that there is a link between the two. However, he was accused of manipulating his results in his favor, providing fake evidence and eventually stripped of his medical license. Nevertheless, the probability of a vaccine to autism link remained.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) completely rejected Wakefield’s theory and claims there is no concrete evidence to support any link. But there was a report released in 2009 by Generation Rescue that suggests otherwise. In the report, there were connections drawn between the U.S. infant mortality rate and the country’s rate of autism. Despite administering twice the globally recommended number of vaccines (ranging from 36-40, total), U.S. children are suffering.
The supposed idea behind this high number is that the vaccinations would help to offset or lower U.S. children’s mortality rates. The U.S. is surpassing the world in terms of autistic children, at a 1 to 150 child ratio. In other Western nations, where the vaccine numbers are lower, the infant mortality rate for children under 5 years old is also lower. But these are some of the things Kennedy will address in his research when he presents the evidence to the public.
The public’s knowledge of the harmful effects of vaccinations has seen vaccination support from large groups like the CDC. The CDC has claimed that there is no proof of connection between autism and the vaccination component thimerosal. Thimerosal is an anti-fungal and anti-septic agent that was used in children’s vaccines until 2001. It is also a neurotoxin, meaning it is poisonous and destructive to internal nerve tissue. Though completely removed from pediatric vaccination, it is still used for other treatments like the flu.
Kennedy has challenged this continued practice of administering a reportedly unsafe component. His intention, much like Trump, is not to frighten the American people but to educate them on what they’re putting into their and their children’s bodies. Kennedy has been, in some media outlets, portrayed in a negative light, despite his efforts. Some would label him anti-vaccines but that is not a title he accepts. He is pushing only for better understanding of vaccines and how, if at all, they will hurt those who are exposed to them.
With Kennedy heading the investigation into the effects of thimerosal and other such vaccines, it is likely that there will be more information available. This way, the public can make more informed decisions. Kennedy’s research will help parents but also be a benefit to the scientific community. The continued medical debates will have more solid evidence to base their arguments on. They will also have a better understanding of autism and how to treat it and possibly stop its development.