Opinion: Trump’s Vaccine Panel Should Rely on Science, Not Conspiracy Theories

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not a doctor or scientist, so why is he heading up Trump’s potential vaccine safety commission?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not a doctor or scientist, so why is he heading up Trump’s potential vaccine safety commission?

The answer likely lies in whether Trump is sincere about his concerns over vaccine safety and why he still believes, despite a mountain of recent scientific research to the contrary, that there is a link between vaccines and autism. “Autism has become an epidemic,” Trump said during a 2015 primary debate. “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.”

Kennedy has expressed similar sentiments, writing in an op-ed that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines, is a toxin linked to neurological disorders with studies that “strongly suggest” thimerosal directly causes autism. Kennedy also stated, “I am pro-vaccine, but I want safe vaccines, robust regulators and transparent science.”

Wanting safe vaccines and focusing resources on autism are certainly not a bad thing, but the issue of vaccines causing autism has largely been laid to rest. Though many initially had concerns over a link between the two, spurred mostly by a now-debunked and retracted study published in 1998, the vaccine-autism connection has since been thoroughly researched, with study after study showing no evidence of thimerosal causing autism, directly or indirectly.

Even parents who are concerned about vaccines for other reasons (Are there too many too soon? What about harmful side effects? Is a spaced out schedule safer?) should be looking to science and evidence-based medicine to answer these questions, not conspiracy theories. Though some would have us believe otherwise, science and facts are not the enemy. We want our kids to be as safe and healthy as possible, so shouldn’t we be asking those who are experts in the field of pediatric health for the best ways to ensure that they are?

Further, there are concerns that a proposed vaccine-autism commission under a fact-resistant, anti-science Trump administration may potentially cause harm to both vaccine safety and efficacy, as well as negatively affect autism research. It could end up diverting money and resources into studying something that has already been extensively studied instead of say, a possible safe alternative vaccination schedule.

Would it be taking a majority of funds for autism research and putting it into a debunked theory of causation instead of focusing on effective therapies for autistic children? What about using those resources to find help for families struggling with extra medical costs for autism therapies and support? What about the hundreds of thousands of young adults with autism that are aging out of these services, if they were lucky enough to have access to them in the first place?

Regardless of political views, or a personal stance on vaccinations, a commission to study vaccine safety and autism should be based on robust science and backed by the medical community; not anecdotes, hearsay, and wild extrapolations. Our children’s health is at stake. Whether Trump’s vaccine safety concerns are genuine, of course, depends on if the president-elect ever meant anything he said about creating such a vaccine panel at all.

Image via: Bill Smith

32 thoughts on “Opinion: Trump’s Vaccine Panel Should Rely on Science, Not Conspiracy Theories”

  1. There are several links between vaccines and autism. I’m not referring to conspiracy theories, but to evidence based on scientific research. For more information, watch “Vaxxed,” or read, “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan,” by Dr. Paul Thomas and Jennifer Margulis.

  2. Wow where has this author been hiding? Completely ignoring the reports and testimony from the cdc that prove a real link between autism and vaccines. How much more scientific do you want? Besides it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know if you put poisons into a body, the body has to react.

  3. Unfortunately, the science has been completely corrupted by the Pharmaceutical companies and CDC, as well. That’s the PROBLEM. The vaccine makers have no liability for a product that carries many risks, including DEATH. The government kangaroo vaccine court has paid out almost $4 billion dollars to date to people that have been vaccine-injured. That was since the U.S. government, under Reagan (1986), relieved Pharmaceutical companies of any wrong-doing or liability with vaccines. The vaccine makers were getting sued left and right over the DPT shot and the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine and they were going bankrupt. So instead of addressing the problem with their dangerous and faulty vaccines, our own government made them liability free. Now many are injured and find it very difficult to ever get compensation for their injuries, since the government is judge, jury and payer of the vaccine injury fund which is paid for by a ($.75) tax that every vaccine consumer pays when purchasing a vaccine. The injuries from vaccines are much more rampant and problematic than the public has been led to believe. There is a lot of censorship around the vaccine issue, especially regarding deaths, severe injury, on the injury victims’ side. The vaccines themselves, have many problems and are NOT properly tested for safety, despite manufacturer and government claims. There have been lies upon lies given about the safety and efficacy of vaccines forced on the public. There is a great documentary series that I recommend everyone watch to gain perspective. Sign-up at vaccinesrevealed.com for free.

  4. It’s one thing that thousands of parents watched their perfectly healthy and normal children regress into “autism” after dutifully following an untested CDC vaccination combined shots schdeule. It’s another thing that there is a large body of evidence – studies, papers, anecdotes, lab test results – that show the very real and not rare negative effects of vaccines, which are being denied or ignored by the mainstream media, medical commumity, governmental agencies, and the public.

  5. This is posted by Mothering magazine? Unbelievable. Does Peggy O’Mara cringe reading this?! How is the author stuck in the “MMR- Autism connection is debunked” thinking? Do some simple research, the story goes much farther and you need facts.

  6. You state “Regardless of political views, or a personal stance on vaccinations, a commission to study vaccine safety and autism should be based on robust science and backed by the medical community; not anecdotes, hearsay, and wild extrapolations. Our children’s health is at stake. Whether Trump’s vaccine safety concerns are genuine, of course, depends on if the president-elect ever meant anything he said about creating such a vaccine panel at all.”

    Why would the same people who believe there is nothing inherently wrong with vaccines create a commission to study them? That would be like the investment banks regulating themselves. That is also the current status quo. If you want to know if lead was in the water in MI, you wouldn’t have the people who have a stake in the matter create the questions and look into it. Besides stating that the vaccine-autism theory has been debunked or is hearsay negates the fact that VAERS has paid for vaccine induced autism.

  7. Wow I’m genuinely surprised to see this very vague opinion post on Mothering. I’ve come to think I could trust that the articles published here were well researched but this one doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  8. I agree that we have to focus on the facts and have input from medicine, but this seems a little uncharacteristic for mothering magazine, don’t you think? Although I didn’t vote for Trump and I’m a little nervous about him, I bet if he came out in support of breastfeeding or natural birth or against spanking or circumcision suddenly the authors here would claim the cause is overrated and flawed. I’ve seen them pull lots of political stunts over the years, including deleting and refusing to publish comments of mine I thought were pretty peaceful and non-partisan. Freedom and loving thoughtful parenting should be a non-partisan thing. Most natural-living people are libertarian leaning which is found (and oppressed) in both parties. But I’ve been disappointed at the continual message here that only one party has a monopoly on it. Readers are seeing the awful persecution of natural living in California; straight ballot voting isn’t going to solve it, we the people standing up for our rights and the oppressed will. Trump changes his mind all of the time if he perceives he doesn’t have enough support to save his own skin, and with vaccine-rights people being a minority, any move to reach out to them will not last long. I don’t know if this comment will get published, but I hope that the powers that be soften their hearts and give me access to free speech.

  9. Wow, thanks for letting me speak. I do want to give the author a little credit though–we do need to have a discussion about additional causes of autism like pollution, anesthesia, neglect, etc…and not put all of our eggs in the vaccine basket, sometimes parents go straight to that in their minds because that group is the loudest. But even though I’m not happy about a Trump presidency, isn’t it a little premature to call it a fact-resistant anti-science administration, it hasn’t really even begun, and the senate is still confirming appointments. If he tramples on natural family living, then say something about it, tell us how to get our voice heard, yes please, but until then it just sounds like bigotry and it’s divisive. That’s what happened to La Leche League, and now it’s competing with other nursing organizations who broke off because of the politics. The same thing could happen to mothering magazine.

    1. Anyone is always allowed to voice their opinion on our site – positive or negative, as long as it’s not hateful, comments are welcome.
      And, if anyone would like to counter this article with an opinion piece of their own, I am happy to work with you on having it published on our site.
      Natural mothers and women are individuals – no two are the same, so it stands to reason that they have different views and beliefs as well. No matter what they are, please feel free to share them here.

      1. Mothering,

        Natural mothers may not all agree, but frankly, vaccines are far from natural. It was your magazine that helped me on this journey over 18 years ago. I am shocked to see this “opinion” piece here. Devasted in fact.

      2. This is a reply to mothering’s comment on my last comment. I’m confused on the simple rules you say apply–didn’t you have certain philosophy rules in the forum? Well, I’m glad that they I’m thinking a single person ends up deciding what is “hateful”. Because what sounds like a legitimate question or comment to me that would sound agreeable when spoken may be thought of as hateful because it’s a hot button topic to the moderator. I’ve seen comments I thought were very hostile and mean by others that don’t get deleted (including parts of this article), so to me the only thing I can think of is that hate isn’t determined by the level of anger in it, but how much you question right and wrong combined with how hot-button that topic is. I recommend letting people post something, maybe do a “are you a real person or spam” test, and then only taking down a comment if the editors agree on it. Although my comments are peaceful, for those that aren’t as, you know what, we’ll all live. Most people are smart enough to call it out. You can’t stop anger by censoring it, you just cause people to search for new outlets.

        1. opps, I meant to say “Well I’m glad if they did, even though I agree with mothering on most things, having philosophy rules is a bit of a straight jacket” before I said “I’m thinking…”

  10. I am heartbroken that Mothering magazine would allow an article like this. Vaccines are poison that have been killing and damaging children’s health for far too long, and based on fraud and bought science. CDC whilstleblower has not even been subpoenaed to court yet. I have to say this is the first time I have been unhappy with mother and magazine. I feel sorry for the poor parents of children with autism that watch them change after their inoculations were administered. This is such a slap in their face. Disgusting

  11. Although I am not a Trump supporter there is nothing we need more for our children’s health and a vaccine safety panel. I’m a little surprised at this article. You definitely just lost my wife over this.

  12. My background is in statistical modeling. I’m not a doctor, however, I’ve read through much of the mountain of evidence you refer to and I find it shocking that these studies are even able to be published. I’ve yet to see one that didn’t abandon the scientific method. I’ve constantly a seen the test groups handled differently than the control groups, changing the pan after the study was conducted, using sample groups far too small to be able observe the phenomenon they are trying to disprove with any confidence in the result, dropping off samples that were collected by as high as half–it screams “CHERRY PICKING”! What I’ve read I would be shocked to see get published on my field.

  13. Anyone wondering why all the #vaccine debate better refer to the actual package inset. Did a Pharma Hag actually write this article because the idea that the Autism – Vaccine link has been put to rest was based on Meta Studies. Meta Studies are full of old bad data. It is time whatever side of the fence you are on to have the once and for all vaccinated vs unvaccinated study. Take 5,000 6 year olds and study them 5,000 randomly chosen 6 year olds in a double blind study. On the one side we will have 5,000 children vaccinated per the CDC schedule and on the other we will have completely vaccine free children. To date the study has never been done. Please don’t write me about the “issue of finding 5,000 unvaccinated children” this is very easy. I guarantee you the vaccinated group will be spinning in all sorts of Auto Immune Disease. Stop pretending the Science is done. We need unbiased scientific research with zero link and or funding from big Pharma. When you do that you will have some actual Science. As for vaccines , it was a vaccine that almost killed my son. As for ever shooting a product into my child made by a Corporations who have been fined and paid said fines for engaging in criminal and civil fraud you better look elsewhere. I do not engage in business with continued criminals and i highly recommend other mothers and fathers do not either. Our children deserve far far better.

  14. The author needs to watch even just one episode of Vaccines Revealed. The science is explained. The real science and the CDC’s version of science that has been how vaccines make their way to market. Has no one else noticed that when a vaccine isn’t well like s they just add it to the childhood schedule or mandate it? Not making enough money letting people choose for themselves, better force it on everyone. We’ve completely altered the human immune system with vaccination and it’s causing a lot of problems we aren’t prepared for.

  15. Shame on you Mothering! This belongs anywhere else but here. And to the author, nothing is as it seems, and you, my dear, are complicit in bringing harm to many with your words. The house of cards is about to fall.

  16. Dr. William Thompson (scientist/whistleblower at the CDC) has turned over documents to Congress and earned whistleblower status in showing the CDC covered up data confirming autism link to MMR. I repeat: Dr. William Thompson (scientist/whistleblower at the CDC) has turned over documents to Congress showing the CDC covered up data confirming autism link to MMR. Dr. William Thompson (whistleblower at the CDC) has turned over documents to Congress showing the CDC covered up data confirming autism link to MMR. You can’t say this enough…..

  17. Wow! Mothering Magazine with Peggy OMara at the helm once taught me how to parent and even heal my immune system damaged kids with all the information in holistic parenting and holistic parenting. There is so much information and study out there. Please read the incredible work by James Lyons Weiller, “The Environmental and Gentic Causes of Autism”. You can look at the 1000+ studies he looked at here: https://jameslyonsweiler.com/latest-book-environmental-and-genetic-causes-of-autism-skyhorse/

  18. This magazine was my saving grace when I was in the throes of newly my post-partum motherhood. I would look sooo forward to curling up with my newly arrived Mothering Magazine while my baby nursed or napped and I would get lost in this world, if only for a few hours until I finished reading. It saved me! I was crushed when it stopped producing hard copies and went digital online only but now, after reading this CRAP article with this truly uninformed author, I’m done! Unliking Mothering Magazine online right here, right now! Bye!

  19. Excellent piece. Not sure your readership will agree. A heavy duty tsunami of hate, name calling, and science denying will be heading your way, sad to say.

  20. Mothering Magazine: What on earth has happened to you?!! The perspective of this article reflects a leaning toward mainstream, ignorant pop culture, and certainly NOT one of “natural family living.” I am hip to your tricks. I’ve been reading and loving you since Day One in the mid 70’s, and have been feeling increasingly betrayed, and utterly dismayed for the past five years. Is it a coincidence that you began slipping into “status quo” and “politically correct” values since your beloved “mother,” Peggy O’, departed from your “natural” family? PLEASE, for the sake of Natural Family Living, get your act together. Your readership deserves better!

    Mothering Magazine has lost credibility in my eyes. I am deeply saddened????

  21. Thank you, mothering, for allowing opinion pieces from people who happen to deviate from the narrow ideology often prescribed here. I am a very “crunchy” mother who believes in vaccinating her breastfed, free range, home birthed children. <3

  22. Let me explain something to you. I will be as clear as I can.

    Regardless of your stance on vaccines (and I will not elaborate right/wrong here), the current events with RFK and our president affect everyone.

    The issue at hand is SAFETY. Effective, proper tests to ensure vaccine safety. This is it.

    Pro Vax folks are up in arms because of their steadfast belief in vaccines. That’s fine. Your kids, your body, prayers sent.

    But it takes a special kind of stupid not to want a product tested for safety.

    If Toyota stopped testing brakes, or your restaurant no longer needs checked for salmonella, you would be outraged. Safety testing is crucial in the automotive industry. In food service. In LITERALLY every facet of consumerism.

    Yet safety testing has not been done properly on vaccines. Never. Not once.

    If you would buckle your child in your Toyota and take her for a nice meal at that restaurant, God help you.

    Demand the same standards of safety in your vaccines.

    Pro Vax people should be thrilled, right? I mean, you will finally vindicated, right?

    Or do you fear the results?

  23. Vaccines are not tested for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or infertility. It’s written in every single vaccine insert. Nearly 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US per year. 1 in 5 die. 5 in 5 likely go thru horrific cancer treatment. Did I say that vaccines are not tested for carcinogenicity? No one thinks this is wrong?

  24. The fact is that we have been lied on vaccines. You should try to give explanations to vaccine injuries which are documented. You should publish scuentific studies instead of giving raw opinion. I don’t care who JFK is. I believe he is as mad worried as I am. There are thousands of academic scientists, researchers, MD’s, Physicians, Pediatritians and well educated parents who have witnessed loss or injuries of their babys. They have a duty to talk about it, as they know they failed to protect their child. And what you do? You denigrate them. I believe you and the media are the main problem. Everyone goes after the money until they get it

  25. Yes, I agree. A vaccine panel should rely on science. But whose science? Paid by whom? Let’s do the double-blind studies. Let’s compare vaccinated and non-vaccinated children. Please. That is a long overdue (and patently obvious) scientific test that needs to be done.

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