California is in the midst of a controversy over whether or not "personal belief" exemptions for vaccinations should be eliminated. Now steps in Robert Kennedy Jr. to lend his voice to the anti-vaxxers. According to the local CBS station:
Kennedy spoke to a crowd Tuesday screening a film that claims a link between autism in children and thimerosal, an ingredient in vaccines, according to the Sacramento Bee.
"They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone," Kennedy reportedly told the crowd. "This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country."
Kennedy blames the preservative thimerosal in vaccines for causing autism. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. In any case, thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines. As I noted in an earlier post debunking Kennedy's fulminations:
Bemusingly, thimerosal was removed as a precautionary measure from all childhood vaccines in the United States except those for influenza in 2001. During that time the reported autism rate in the U.S. has soared. The CDC did not report autism spectrum disorder diagnoses until 2004 at which time it reported a rate in the range of 1 in 500 to 1 in 166 children. By 2014, the CDC reported a diagnosis rate of 1 in 68 children.
What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?
Kennedy is not only against vaccination-affirmers, he also has some interesting views about what to do with climate change-deniers.