One voter in Las Vegas said on Oct. 19 that she supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump because he opposes vaccines (video below).
MSNBC' s Kristen Welker asked the voter, who was identified only as Judy, what issues mattered the most to her. Judy replied "there are so many. Veterans care. No vaccines."
Judy was likely referring to Trump's debunked claims that vaccinations are linked to autism.
"We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic," Trump said during a GOP debate in September 2015 according to the Washington Post.
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"I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a long period of time," Trump added. "Same amount, just in little sections, and I think you're going to see a big impact on autism."
In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics denied a link between autism and vaccinations, and pushed back on the supposed dangers of vaccination schedules. The Centers for Disease Control has also said that vaccines do not cause autism.
The Washington Post noted that the theory about childhood MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations being linked autism goes back to a study published in the UK medical journal Lancet in 1998 in which researcher Andrew Wakefield and his fellow researchers did a study of 12 children, and issued their speculative theory.
The study was retracted in February 2010 by Lancet when it discovered that Wakefield had received money from lawyers representing parents who were filing lawsuits against drug companies over vaccines.
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Journalist Brian Deer wrote about Wakefield's study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in January 2011:
- Three of nine children reported with regressive autism did not have autism diagnosed at all. Only one child clearly had regressive autism.
- Despite the paper claiming that all 12 children were "previously normal," five had documented pre-existing developmental concerns.
- Some children were reported to have experienced first behavioral symptoms within days of MMR, but the records documented these as starting some months after vaccination. ...
- Patients were recruited through anti-MMR campaigners, and the study was commissioned and funded for planned litigation.
Trump tweeted on Oct. 22, 2012: "Lots of autism and vaccine response. Stop these massive doses immediately. Go back to single, spread out shots! What do we have to lose."
Trump also tweeted on Sept. 3, 2014: "I am being proven right about massive vaccinations—the doctors lied. Save our children & their future."