17 Sep 2015

Donald Trump says vaccinations are causing an autism 'epidemic'

Donald Trump has linked vaccinations to what he dubbed an autism “epidemic” during a presidential debate.
Mr Trump, who is the current frontrunner among the Republican presidential hopefuls, claimed autism rates have risen into an “epidemic” over the last few decades that is “totally out of control”.
“Autism has become an epidemic. 25 years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, it’s not even close. It has gotten totally out of control,” he said. 
The property developer and TV personality said he had evidence of a relationship between autism and vaccinations after seeing an employee’s child diagnosed with the disability following an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
Any link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been widely discredited after a 1998 researcher paper by Andrew Wakefield, claiming to prove the connection, was revealed to be fraudulent.
The editor-in-chief of the Lancet, who published the paper, retracted the research saying it was “utterly false”. Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register three-months later.
But Trump claimed he has "seen" evidence of a child suffering after effects of the vaccine. “I’ve seen it,” he said, “a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine… a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”
Mr Trump also suggested vaccinations given to babies and children where similar to those “pumped” into “a horse”.
The Republican called for vaccinations to be administered in “smaller doses over a longer period of time”.
Mr Trump made the comments after presidential candidate Ben Carson, a retired paediatric neurosurgeon, said there is no link between vaccinations and autism. 
“The fact of the matter is, we have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations,” said Mr Carson.

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