Posted by Brad @ 12:12 pm on April 23rd 2008

The Presidential Candidates on Autism and Vaccinations

So I caught a lot of flak for even deigning to post this story about the potential (or not-potential, or however I should say it so people don’t get mad at me) link between autism and vaccinations. John McCain, most of us know, has given indications that he finds it interesting too, and at least worthy of looking into (or, more accurately, of not shutting the door on looking into it).

hilzoy, exasperatedly, notes that Obama and Clinton have indicated similarly.

For the sake of knowing who stands where on this, the candidates:


McCain said, per ABC News’ Bret Hovell, that “Itís indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is whatís causing it. And we go back and forth and thereís strong evidence that indicates that itís got to do with a preservative in vaccines.”

McCain said thereís “divided scientific opinion” on the matter, with “many on the other side that are credible scientists that are saying thatís not the cause of it.”


“Would you support a large-scale federal study of the differences in health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups?

Yes. We donít know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism — but we should find out.”

And the most recent one, Obama:

“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.”

You can follow those links for extensive context and plenty of skepticism.

Those that view anything not in-line with establishment scientific communities as being inherently and vacuously “anti-science” probably won’t take comfort from much of that.

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