Thursday, November 3, 2016

Donald Trump - Consistent on Antivax.

It's faded from the news during this intense election cycle, but Orac makes an argument that one of Donald Trump's most consistent positions over the years is that he's a proponent of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Antivax groups know it though, and they're excited about having one of their movement appointing the head of the CDC.

Orac documents statement after statement against vaccines from Trump, then writes:
Which brings me back to Andrew Wakefield’s claim. Did Donald Trump really meet with Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced UK surgeon and researcher who was struck off and whose research leading to his infamous 1998 case series in The Lancet implicating MMR as a risk factor for autism was shown to be fraudulent so brilliantly by Brian Deer. If, so, this would be a very disturbing development, far more disturbing than yet another insinuation about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, as it would involve a major party candidate for President of the United States meeting with an antivaccine activist looking to bring measles back to the world. Indeed, I’m glad news of this meeting came out before the election, because, quite frankly, I find the idea of Donald Trump’s having met with an group of antivaccine conspiracy theorists and telling them he would help them if elected far more disturbing than yet another rehashed “revelation” about Clinton e-mails. Indeed, I’m surprised that news of this hasn’t been proclaimed to the antivaccine faithful before.
Later, he adds:
Now here’s the even more disturbing part:
The most important promise came at the end of their meeting when someone said, “Donald, you are the only one who can fix this.”
And Trump said, “I will.”
He will fix this.
Fixing this is not rocket science. Hell, it’s not even vaccine science. He will fix this. It is entirely fixable, and he appreciates our advocates lending their assistance in getting it done.
Friends, we have a direct route to stopping this madness. Can you imagine that for a second? Can you just imagine having vaccine education advocates getting face-time with the person who appoints the director of the CDC?
Trump asked for a follow-up with our side. They are giving him advice on how to help us.
It’s quite possible that Quackenboss is delusional about how much sway antivaccinationists have with the Trump campaign. She’s frequently delusional about a great many things. On the other hand, politicians—and, make no mistake, Trump is now a politician—frequently tell constituents what they want to hear. Also, Trump is known for being a most talented and shameless liar. However, there is a grain of plausibility here. Trump loves conspiracy theories, and the CDC whistleblower is a doozy of a conspiracy theory. He believes Alex Jones. He Tweets conspiracy theories unaltered about a great many things. He lies. All the time. So who knows what Trump really thought meeting with Andrew Wakefield and the VAXXED crew (and whoever else came along for the ride)? If he actually watched the copy of VAXXED Quackenboss claims that he received from Wakefield, Trump would almost certainly eat it up.
Donald Trump normalizes usually fringe conspiracy mongers. It's true for the anti-semites, the Alex Jones world government/George Soros types, and it's true for anti-vaxxers. Who knows what he "really" believes, but to some extent it doesn't matter. What matters is that he makes the unthinkable and the dangerous more thinkable.

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