Vaccines and the Trump Administration

April 4, 2017, Vol 317, No. 13, Pages 1291-1388

The JAMA Forum
April 4, 2017
Vaccines and the Trump Administration
Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD1
JAMA. 2017;317(13):1305-1306. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2311
Initial Text
Writing recently in the New York Times, infectious disease physician Peter Hotez warned: “It’s looking as if 2017 could become the year when the anti-vaccination movement gains ascendancy in the United States and we begin to see a reversal of several decades in steady public health gains. The first blow will be measles outbreaks in America.”

These fears have everything to do with the new administration in Washington, DC. During the campaign, Donald Trump met with discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield, who first alleged a connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism in a now-retracted Lancet article. Then, in a September 2015 primary debate, Trump himself suggested that vaccines cause autism. In January, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, known for his engagement with vaccine conspiracies, emerged from a meeting with the President-elect to claim that he will lead a new vaccine safety commission…