President Obama and Governor Christie have agreed on a lot through the years. They hug. They like large budgets. They are confident to the point of arrogant.
Now, 2015 Christie has joined 2008 Obama and 2008 Hillary Clinton in questioning the wisdom of vaccines, putting voter pandering above public health.
Senator Rand Paul too is questioning vaccines. Strange times, strange bedfellows!
On April 21, 2008, Obama said, “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”
Today, Obama is clearly pro-vaccine.
As reported earlier this week in the Daily Caller, Hillary Clinton once wrote that she was “committed” to finding the causes of autism, including “possible environmental causes like vaccines.”
Recently, Christie said about vaccines, “It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
This week, Paul went ever further, saying vaccines should be voluntary, and tied vaccinations to health problems, including: “many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”
In other words, all 4 national leaders have argued that vaccines are optional, a position that will lead to more death, especially among children.
What is interesting is the media and public reaction. Christie is taking the brunt of the criticism – reflecting the prevailing view that he has a much greater chance of winning the GOP nomination than does Rand Paul. And although Clinton is the frontrunner for her party, the media has buried her views.
Christie’s team realizes, their guy has committed a damaging unforced error. A leading Christie fundraiser e-mailed us Christie’s official, second position, which the Tech Guys consider a wishy-washy retraction which doubles down on calling for balance (i.e., vaccines are optional):
To be clear: The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated. At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate.
Leading media voices have been scathing:
So Chris Christie is going to run as as [sic] the sensible Establishment candidate — but pander on vaccines?
Why is this a big deal? Well, making vaccines optional kills people. The CDC reported 102 measles cases in January. On February 5, public health officials in Illinois reported five infants may have measles contracted from a day care center near Chicago.
But what about the anti-vaccine camp? Doesn’t Jenny McCarthy have a point? No, she doesn’t. The CDC, the FDA and every major physician and regulatory body in the USA and in every other country have decades of studies showing the safety, and necessity of vaccines.
With fiscal policy, foreign policy, guns, and yes, global warming, there are brilliant scientists and policy makers on either side. With vaccines, there is only one position: yes, with no buts.
Obama’s federal government and his regulatory agencies also are hurting the ability of Americans to be properly vaccinated. The science is complex, but there are 3 areas where the USA lags most of the world in vaccine technology. First, America is behind in adjuvants, a technology that increases the bodies’ natural immune system. Second, Obama insists on buying single dose vaccines, which is much more expensive and inefficient. Finally, Obama’s FDA will not let vaccine makers manufacture vaccines using more modern techniques.
Whoever emerges from the 2016 scrum will hopefully learn from this unpleasantness and remove Obama’s barriers to good vaccine policy.