U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday implored Americans to get vaccinated amid a massive measles outbreak, in a departure from his past skepticism about vaccines.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump weighed in for the first time on the growing crisis that has seen 695 measles cases in 2019, the worst outbreak since the disease was declared eliminated two decades ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“They have to get the shot,” Trump said. “The vaccinations are so important. This is going around now. They have to get their shots.”
The outbreaks have spawned emergency declarations in communities in Washington state and New York, which the CDC says are linked to unvaccinated travelers who recently visited places such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines where outbreaks are occurring.
The measles outbreak in the U.S. has been exacerbated by a growing fear of vaccines in some communities, including the debunked theory that vaccines cause autism. Trump promoted this false sentiment before his election, railing against “monstrous combined vaccines” and pushing for children to receive smaller doses of vaccines over longer spans of time.
Trump also met during the 2016 campaign with leaders of the anti-vaccine movement, including Andrew Wakefield, the discredited author of a since-retracted 1998 article linking the measles-mumps-rubella shot to autism.
After Trump was elected, some of his staff met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has promoted the debunked claim that trace mercury in old vaccines caused a “vaccine epidemic.” Kennedy said at the time that he was told he would be appointed to lead a commission investigating malfeasance in the federal government aimed at covering up vacRead More – Source