Health professionals have mixed reaction to GOP's debate on vaccines, autism

CNN moderator Jake Tapper posed a question to neurosurgeon Ben Carson, MD, about vaccines and the recent measles outbreak during the second presidential debate Wednesday night. His answer left many physicians disappointed, according to a Washington Post report.

Mr. Tapper asked, "Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked vaccines, childhood vaccines, to autism, which, as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes. You're a pediatric neurosurgeon. Should Mr. Trump stop saying this?"

Dr. Carson began his response by noting that numerous studies have been conducted that do not demonstrate a correlation between vaccines and autism, but he avoided directly criticizing fellow candidate Donald Trump for his comments, saying "Well, you know, I've just explained it to him. He can read about it if he wants to. I think he's an intelligent man and will make the correct decision after getting the real facts."

Dr. Carson also echoed Mr. Trump's suggestion that children are receiving too many vaccines in too short a time period, a concept that both the CDC and the Institute of Medicine has contradicted, according to the Washington Post.

Although some people praised Dr. Carson for taking a pro-vaccines stance, many physicians took to Twitter to slam him for not taking a stronger stance against Mr. Trump's comments.



Even the American Academy of Pediatrics tweeted during the debate.



Rand Paul, MD, also weighed in on the debate.

"I'm all for vaccines," he said. "But I'm also for freedom."

Following the comments made during the GOP debate, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network released a statement Wednesday, saying "Despite a wealth of scientific evidence debunking any link between autism and vaccinations, tonight's Republican primary debate featured prominent commentary from a leading candidate repeating inaccurate information suggesting a link…Autism is not caused by vaccines — and Autistic Americans deserve better than a political rhetoric that suggests that we would be better off dead than disabled."



More articles on vaccines:
Mayo Clinic awarded $13.3M grant to test breast cancer vaccine
HHS program advances development of experimental Ebola vaccine
NYU Langone study shows why hospital-acquired MRSA is so deadly, paves way for vaccine

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