Trump now says parents must vaccinate children
President Donald Trump weighed in on the recent measles outbreak in the United States, appearing to do an about-face on his previous claims linking child vaccinations to autism.
“They have to get the shots. The vaccinations are so important. This is really going around now. They have to get their shots,” Trump told CNN’s Joe Johns on Friday when asked what his message is for parents.
Measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000.
As of Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 626 individual cases of measles confirmed in those 22 states. This includes illnesses reported by state health departments to the CDC through April 19 and therefore does not include cases reported since then. On Wednesday morning a CNN analysis of data from state and local health departments put the total number of cases at 681 across 22 states.
Wednesday evening, the CDC confirmed the milestone. In a statement the agency said that as of 3 p.m., it counted 695 cases of the illness this year.
A UNICEF study found that measles deaths were up by 22% in 2017, and complacency and fear of vaccines were among the factors leading to less vaccinations.
A recently published study tracking the health of over 650,000 children found that the MMR vaccine did not increase the risk of autism in children who were not considered at risk for the disorder and did not trigger it in those who were.
Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that there is no link between vaccines and autism, Trump has publicly stated over the past decade that he’s skeptical of child vaccinations.
During a 2015 Republican primary presidential debate on CNN, Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he was in favor of “smaller doses (of vaccinations) over a longer period of time.”
“Autism has become an epidemic. Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control. I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time,” Trump said.
“Because you take a baby in — and I’ve seen it — and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two- or three-year period of time. Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me.”
Trump first weighed in on the issue on Twitter in 2012.