Donald Trump

Trump Anti-Vax Idiotarian

Really smart people don't blame vaccinations for causing autism.



Presidential candidate TV reality star Donald Trump clearly does not care whether or not what he says has a close relationship to real reality. In the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, Trump asserted:

TRUMP: 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. 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.

Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

I only say it's not — I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount.

First, Trump keeps telling us, ad nausem, how smart he is, but if he is so smart he should know that the claim that vaccines cause autism has been completely discredited. One of the more recent studies was published last year in the journal Vaccine that reported

Findings of this meta-analysis suggest that vaccinations are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the components of the vaccines (thimerosal or mercury) or multiple vaccines (MMR) are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder.

Trump's suggestion that vaccinations need to be spaced out was more or less endorsed by fellow candidates Ben Carson and Rand Paul. All three need to read up on the data which show that spacing out vaccinations does not improve safety, but does leave children unnecessarily exposed to the risk of disease.

Finally, is autism becoming an epidemic? Many researchers note that the diagnoses have been going up, but argue that does not mean that there has been an increase in actual cases. For example, the PLoS public health blog has a good summary of a recent Swedish study that found:

  • The rise in prevalence was reported during the same time period that the diagnostic criteria widened;
  • Increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorder causes 'diagnostic substitution': when children who would have previously been diagnosed with a learning disability or other mental illness or retardation are now diagnosed with autism;
  • Patient referral and availability of services increases due to increasing awareness; and,
  • Differential availability of case records and the way in which cases are diagnosed between similar geographical regions leads to wide variation in measured and actual prevalence.

The folks at PLoS concluded …

…that their data do not support a secular increase in the rate of autism spectrum phenotype, meaning that the way in which autism cases are diagnosed and recorded may explain the rising cases of autism observed over recent decades.

This is just another instance of Trump proving that he is a know-nothing blowhard, but in this case his nonsense could end up hurting children.


NEXT: Liberal Donors Urge Biden to Run, Cops Tackle Teen for Jaywalking, 95 Percent of Former NFL Players Have Brain Disease: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Just remember, before someone says otherwise, Rand Paul’s remark about brain damage probably referred not to autism but to encephalopathies from pertussis vaccine.


      I wish Ron would take a less anti vax-choice stance. There is plenty of evidence linking autism to vaccines. Sharyl compiled many for your reading pleasure. Is Ron and Reason taking a pharma pay check? Why would reason take an anti government idiocracy stance on about every issue except vaccines?
      At least Rand, Trump, and Carson are provax choice. Advocating to get rid of vaccines is anti vaccine. Politicians taking away your right is anti vaccine choice. Politicians who think vaccines should be up to parents and pediatricians would be for vaccine choice. Please quit demanding medical tyranny.

      1. I would have no problem if those who chose not to vaccinate against the most serious and contagious of infectious diseases such as polio and whooping cough faced civil or criminal suits should their own child become an infectious carrier of the disease they refused vaccination for, should their unvaccinated child infect others. Choosing not to vaccinate can ruin many lives, not just that of one’s own child. The choice to put others at risk of death or serious illness should have real costs .

        1. what is a criminal suit?

        2. Would the reverse be true?
          If your vaccinated kid sheds the virus giving it to my kid, can I sue you? The source of whooping cough in kids comes from vaccinated kids. The vaccine isn’t effective over long term. It’s so bad that they want you to vaccinate pregnant mothers now. Whooping cough also has multiple strands now much like the flu. Most people who catch pertussis were already vaccinated for it.

          If my kid was injured by a vaccine, can I sue the pediatrician who forced it on me? The politicians who won’t let us have a choice in our healthcare? How bout the defective vaccine maker? The drug company? CAN I SUE ANYONE? NO. They are all granted impunity. I can sue no one.

          If you give me the flu and I die, can my wife sue you for my annual salary until you die? After you die can she put a claim your life insurance and your kid’s inheritance? Where does the legal system have a claim over nature anyway? I’d like to sue mother nature for hurricane katrina. Perhaps I can sue you for not praying for New Orleanians.

          My wife’s best friend vaccinated her kid for pertussis, and that kid caught pertussis the same year. Can she sue the drug company for making shitty products that work only some of the time? Her kid also became autistic after vaccines, and he still caught pertussis anyway.

          Why would libertarians quickly choose to lose personal freedom on an issue so important to a parent.

      2. You are a complete dipshit. Please die of a communicable disease.

  2. Trump’s suggestion that vaccinations need to be spaced out was more or less endorsed by fellow candidates Ben Carson and Rand Paul.

    Thanks Ron. I now know who won’t be operating on my eyes or separating my cranially-conjoined twins.

    1. Ron, perhaps you could enlighten the commentariat about how 100% vaccination rate is imperative to achieve herd immunity. Well, not 100%, obviously, but nearly 100%. Small pox was eradicated with 99% vaccination rate or was it 98%? 97%?

      I know that it is a scientific fact that even tiny numbers of people not getting vaccinated puts everyone at risk, I just don’t know the exact science. Perhaps you, or others, could educate me?

      1. For most diseases herd immunity can be achieved with 85-90% vaccination rate. If you can vaccinate enough and humans are the reservoir then a disease can be eradicated (e.g. smallpox).

    2. You realize, of course, that “vaccines cause autism” and “vaccines should be spaced out” are completely different things, yes?

      [Disclaimer: my sarcmeter is on its way to Somalia to be refurbished at the new Sarcmeter Orphanage facility.]

      1. Obviously, the two candidates with medical degrees are wrong because a study contradicts their recommendations.

        1. There’s a study that says there’s no benefit to spacing out vaccinations? I have no clue about this topic, really.

          1. I think they are saying space things out if it makes the parents more comfortable.
            I’ve never seen anyone claim there was a medical benefit. Just that it’s low risk and it will make people happier.

    3. He’ll space out the operation. Besides, if you have your kids vaccinated, who cares if other’s don’t, it’s not like your vaccinated kids are in danger. Let the others get the diseases and die, they parents should then be pretty proud they stood their ground.

      1. Except vaccinations don’t work 100%. We need herd immunity to protect people whose vaccinations don’t take and those who have severe immunities to one of the vaccine ingredients. There is precious little wiggle room for catering to the demands of idiots.

      2. “if you have your kids vaccinated, who cares if other’s don’t”

        No vaccine is 100% effective. The only true defense against most communicable diseases is herd immunity.

        Infants cannot receive most vaccines. Even if you follow the recommended schedule, children have not gotten most of their vaccinations until 12-18 months.

        Many children cannot get certain vaccinations because of other medical conditions. They depend on herd immunity.

  3. Hey, whatever happened to the clever alt-text for photos? This seems a perfect candidate…

  4. Really smart people don’t blame vaccinations for causing autism.

    No, the smart people these days blame them for the rise in peanut allergies.

    1. I don’t know about vaccines and peanut allergies but infants given antibiotics have much higher instances of asthma in later life then infants who did not take antibiotics.

      1. There isn’t a good theory for why vaccines would cause autism, but peanut allergies are another matter. It’s an immune system malfunction, so tinkering with the immune system would be the logical place to look. Some claim that the use of peanut-based adjuvants to increase the power of the vaccinations cause the body to develop a potentially fatal immune response later in life to the same peanut proteins. But it is not a mainstream medical idea. I keep thinking studies debunking this will appear on PubMed but have not seen them yet.

  5. There is no evidence that vaccines are linked to

  6. I don’t know about autism…most studies say no…but vaccines can cause complications and those complications can lead to serious damage to ones health and even death.

    The whole framing of this issue reeks of bullshit.

    Why the fuck care about autism when it can fucking kill your kid?

    And when you live in the US the chances of actually getting a disease that the vaccines prevent are so low that they come close to the same chances a person has from getting serious complications from the vaccine.

    1. This much is presently true. There are more adverse incidents from measles vaccine per year than there are adverse incidents from measles itself. To conclude that the vaccine should be skipped from that alone would be a sophistry — losing measles herd immunity would probably result in more total adverse incidents, especially in countries with less than optimal sanitation and health care options.

      However I’m on UK time, and need to go to sleep, so I shouldn’t get started on vaccine debates.

      1. “To conclude that the vaccine should be skipped from that alone would be a sophistry”

        Maybe as a national health policy but for an individual looking out for the safety of the own child it is simple kin selection.

        I guess the vocal anti-vaccination people are stupid for being vocal. The really smart thing to do is pretend to be pro-vaccine yet not vaccinate your own kid to avoid any life damaging side affects.and just not tell anyone and/or lie.

        1. “Maybe as a national health policy but for an individual looking out for the safety of the own child it is simple kin selection.”

          Oh it’s ‘selection’ alright. Negative selection.

          1. Getting a lot of plague up there in ye ol Canada?

        2. Since you’re so afraid of adverse events, you don’t allow your children in a car or swimming pool do you?

  7. And when you live in the US the chances of actually getting a disease that the vaccines prevent are so low

    Because nearly everybody is vaccinated?

    Honestly, if the risk from vaccination is no greater than the residual risk of not being vaccinated, we’re probably in the sweet spot, and shouldn’t really change anything.

    1. Because nearly everybody is vaccinated?

      Yeah that is true…that is why i hate the framing of this issue. Everyone claims it is stupid anti-vaccination people vs the super smart vaccination people but in reality it is people making a fairly rational decision of choosing the safety of their own child over the safety of the community.

      1. “but in reality it is people making a fairly rational decision of choosing the safety of their own child over the safety of the community.”

        No it isn’t you scientifically illiterate twat. The chances of a vaccine doing harm to anyone is incredibly low. Not getting vaccinated is as fucking stupid as supporting Trump. Is there any idiot bandwagon you won’t hump?

        1. Ah, a scientist! Perhaps you could expand upon the need for nearly 100% participation rate of vaccinations to achieve herd immunity? Small pox was, what, 97%? 96.5%?

          Educate us with your knowledge and wisdom!

        2. “The chances of a vaccine doing harm to anyone is incredibly low.”

          The same with catching polio or the measles or whatever the vaccine is for.

          “Not getting vaccinated is as fucking stupid as supporting Trump.”

          Who supports Trump? Near as I can tell every asshole with a blog or media outlet is attaching pretty much every issue possible no matter how tenuous the connection with Trump and yet it even though it is intended to harm him it only seems to improve his standing in the polls.

          1. “The same with catching polio or the measles or whatever the vaccine is for.”


            “Ah, a scientist! Perhaps you could expand upon the need for nearly 100% participation rate of vaccinations to achieve herd immunity? Small pox was, what, 97%? 96.5%?”

            I am not an epidemiologist but here goes. The higher the better. When you have people moving around, you can have transitory increased concentrations of non-vaccinated people. Then you get tons of people coming down with measles at DisneyWorld and spread it to people who could not be vaccinated or who were vaccinated but, in the case of measles, did not develop fully protective immunity because of a crappy MHC repertoire.

            1. You don’t know the exact percentage?! I thought that forcing the crazy anti-vaxxers was paramount to survival and you don’t even know the percentage of people vaccinated to end small pox? Surely higher than 90%, right?

          2. The same with catching polio or the measles or whatever the vaccine is for.

            Interesting question, though. What are the odds of catching any of the diseases that are routinely vaccinated against, if you are unvaccinated?

    2. They wanted to vaccinate my young barely school aged children years ago for Hep C. I told them no. 5-6 year old children aren’t in danger of getting Hep C. I wonder if a lot of this has to do with the pharma’s bottom line. I heard before Hep C vaccine was introduced in the battery of inoculations because it was expensive that this was the only way, at least at that time, to bring the price down. I don’t know if it is true or not but I wouldn’t be shocked if it were true.

      1. Hepatitis B.

        Very safe vaccine. Very nasty virus that can survive in dried blood.

        Get your kids vaccinated.

        Do not be a dumbass.

  8. Rand Paul missed a good opportunity. It was so simple. “I am a doctor. I’ve read the literature, and encourage any parent interested in the well being of their kids to get them vaccinated. It is one of the easiest things they can do to ensure those kids live healthy lives. But I am also a believer in limited government. And a government- state or federal- that forces parents to stick needles in their kids’ arms- no matter what is being injected- is not a limited government nor a government I want any part of.”

    1. You Luddite radical!

  9. Ah, Reason. Why is a supposed libertarian forum constantly diving head-first into material arguments? Who cares? Natural rights are not based on material science. In fact, “materialism” has been all but decapitated by cutting-edge physics. If we delude ourselves into thinking we can prevail over the current rise of statism with material savvy we are in for a huge disappointment. The Marxists want desperately to OWN materialism. Leave it to them. Let them see if they can eat it.

    1. So, you’re saying cutting edge physics has found evidence of a spirit world where ‘souls’ are a thing?

  10. Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do. http://www.OnlineJobs100.Com

  11. His take on science concerns you, Ronald? How about climate change? He said the earth is cooling.…..7899491328

    Oh, that’s right. On that one he echoes your readership. You dare not call him out on that, because you’ll lose your base.

    1. Bailey believes in the Regulation Industry’s bought scientists more than most of the commenters.

      1. That’s not saying much. Most here think it’s all a hoax. Quite honestly, Bailey is a phony. For a guy who says he believes AGW just might be a real problem, every article he posts casts doubt on that.

        1. Most here think it’s all a hoax.

          Meh. I would say many here think that the climate change crowd has plenty of hoaxsters (on account of they keep getting caught), and that statistically insignificant short-term changes in a variable and apparently self-correcting climate system are not portents of doom for the entire fucking universe, which can only be addressed with massive wealth transfers and a global fascist new world order.

          1. What crowd are you referring to? National Academy of Sciences? American Geophysical Union? American Physical Society? Royal Society? American Association for the Advancement of Science? And what, other than the advancement of science, have they been caught doing? Or do you think they are hoaxsters?

  12. . . . and I’ve seen it ? and I’ve seen it

    Is there *anything* this man has not seen. Or had ‘people who’ve told him’.

    Rhetorical tick, how do they fucking work?

  13. Why is it that people discuss Trump’s opinions as if he’s anything more than a talking circus monkey?

    1. Because this circus monkey is leading the polls. Why are you guys so afraid of a pro vaccine choice candidate? When the pharmaceutical industry has the right to exercise medical experiments on your children without informed consent tyranny has taken hold. I don’t want government making my medical decisions for my family. Trump isn’t taking away your right to vaccinate your child. A few candidates have hinted at taking away your religious and philosophical freedoms.

      1. You are putting words into my mouth.

  14. Ron, vaccines hurt children too.

  15. Anti vaccine = Pro disease. Typhoid Trump is a fool.

  16. Dude is talkking a lot of smack!

  17. The spacing out thing reminds me a bit of how people in the biotech community will say there needs to be more regulation to allay public fears about GMOs.

    No, there doesn’t. You don’t add layers of regulation just to make ignorant fear-mongering luddites happy, and you don’t tell people to space out their vaccines, just to make ignorant anti-scientific idiots less scared. You don’t regulate or medicate based on emotion.

  18. ysl kate bag

    Ross Perot “figgered” the electoral votes would be too split up and the looters in Congress would simply install their own boy. That’s the nice thing abt subsidized clowns instead of genuine third parties–nothing changes except voters get poorer and less free. John Anderson allegedly got 6% of the vote… y nada! If Ed Clark had landed 7% the popular vote, just imagine the laws the LP could have repealed! The Bushes might never have attacked Mohammed and the World Trade Center could still be there! Trump, Perot, Anderson, Bernie… imitation fake posturing to collect those BIpartisan bribes. That do the commie and econazi parties have to say about these Nixon campaign subsidies putting the blinders on voters?


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.