Did Trump Just Do Something Very Stupid?

“A new study shows that unvaccinated children are less likely to be autistic. Why? Because they are more likely to be dead.”

     — Someone on r/Jokes

A number of presumably reliable media (Wired) sources (Reuters) are reporting (BBC) that President-Elect Donald Trump has pledged to appoint “celebrated anti-vaccine crusader Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to chair a commission on, yes, vaccine safety and integrity” (Time). On the other hand, InfoWars and Salon are reporting the very same thing, which does not fill me with confidence about the accuracy of the report.

Meanwhile, CNN and The Federalist are reporting that Trump’s Transition Team is denying any such promise was made to Kennedy. However, Trump has made a number of tweets questioning the safety of vaccinations in the past.

Trump claims that he’s not opposed to vaccinations, but is concerned about the amount of vaccines given over a short period of time. He said on the Hugh Hewitt show in early 2015:

“I am a total believer in getting the shots and having it done, and I am a total believer, 100%, nobody a bigger believer. What I don’t like seeing is that 20 pound little baby going in and having this one massive inoculation with all of these things combined. […] What I’m saying is 100% I want to see it happen. I want everybody, but it should be spread over. Smaller doses over a longer period of time. So spread it out over a year. There’s no harm in that, and I believe autism will go way down.”

So far, Trump has done a pretty good job of picking educated, intelligent advisors and senior appointees (from the center-right to hard-right, as would be expected from a Republican president). I only hope he listens to those people and not dangerous kooks like Kennedy on the issue of vaccines.

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