Earlier this week, I published an article on the nominee for the Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome M. Adams along with a potential nominee for CDC director, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald. Since then, President Trump made it official, and Dr. Fitzgerald will be the next CDC Director. And the delicious salty tears of anti-vaxxers are flowing freely, since both doctors are clearly pro-vaccine.
Some of you may remember that President Trump had tweeted (his only form of communication apparently) his dislike of vaccines prior to being elected President.
Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2012
Autism WAY UP – I believe in vaccinations but not massive, all at once, shots. Too much for small child to handle. Govt. should stop NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2014
I'm not against vaccinations for your children, I'm against them in 1 massive dose.Spread them out over a period of time & autism will drop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2014
I am being proven right about massive vaccinations—the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2014
Trump was wrong on vaccines, much like he is on just about every other scientific topic, which scared a lot of us on the science side of vaccines. Then, President Trump met with the vile Mr. Andy Wakefield who fraudulently alleged a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, to discuss the danger of vaccines.
After that, Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss some sort of “vaccine safety commission,” which RFK Jr was going to chair, although we haven’t heard much about it since January. RFK Jr.’s credentials in this area are quite suspect, but that doesn’t stop him from pushing his anti-vaccine views.
At this point, there was palpable panic going on with many on the pro-vaccine side, because every indication was that there could be some anti-vaccine strategy going on in Trump’s brain.
Of course, the anti-vaxxers were cheering in the streets. They thought they had their man in Trump. There were silly and ignorant comments from the anti-vaxxers that Wakefield would be named CDC director or Surgeon General. That would never happen, but amongst the pro-vaccine side, there was a lot of nervousness as to what Trump would or wouldn’t do with respect to the Surgeon General and CDC Director positions. And to be honest, Trump’s choices for most science positions were terrible, filled with climate change deniers in many places, such as the EPA.
But today, the anti-vaxxers are crying in their GMO-free corn flakes. As I wrote in my previous article, both Dr. Adams and Dr. Fitzgerald are board certified physicians with long histories in public health in Indiana and Georgia, respectively. They have significant and positive public records of pushing hard for the children of their states to be vaccinated. Neither has shown even an iota of anti-vaccine beliefs. In fact, quite the opposite, they seem to be strong supporters of vaccines.
Sorry about that anti-vaxxers.
Both belong to respected medical organizations which are pro-vaccine. On the other hand, neither belong to the anti-science right wing American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, which is opposed to many vaccines, such as HPV, and is definitely against mandatory vaccinations.
Both have long records which show them to be pro-science. They both firmly respect the role of public health in controlling disease.
I know what you’re thinking, “our President Trump made intelligent decisions about two key science positions? This can’t be so.”
I thought the same thing. I spent time looking up the backgrounds of both individuals, trying to see if they are actually members of a secret cabal of anti-vaccine crackpots hiding their true colors. I couldn’t find anything.
Sure, they’re both Republicans, but as far as I can tell, they were non-partisan in how they treated their office. Dr. Adams was a proponent of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He was definitely on the fringe as a government official in Indiana – in fact, he was appointed by then governor Mike Pence to his position. There must have been some interesting discussions between the two of them.
Dr. Fitzgerald, also appointed by a Republican governor, seemed to be a principled political appointee. She withdrew the appointment of a physician who was discovered to be anti-evolution, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBQT, which didn’t fit into the whole field of Public Health. Moreover, her appointment to CDC director was praised by Dr. Georges Benjamin, who is the executive director of the American Public Health Association.
To be honest if President Hillary Clinton (hey, we wish) had appointed these two individuals to those two spots, I might have raised an eyebrow or two, but then after looking at their background, I would have had no problem whatsoever.
The larger problem with the CDC is that President Trump has proposed a 17%, or $1.2 billion, cut to the CDC budget. Although most believe that there’s no shot that Congress will agree to that. If it does become reality, the CDC will have a difficult time being the first-line responders to outbreaks of diseases across the world, it’s primary function. Of course, they should still be involved with vaccine development and recommending updates and changes to the recommended calendar for vaccinations. Just in case anti-vaxxers were hoping that the vaccine program will fall apart in the CDC after budget cuts.
Drs. Jerome M Adams and Brenda Fitzgerald are two highly qualified choices for the two most important positions in public health in the US. And I’ll give credit to President Trump for the quality of these two appointments, even though he’s struck out on almost every other appointment he’s made.
Now let me sit back and enjoy the whining and crying across the internet as anti-vaxxers realize that they got shafted by the man they thought was going to change the dynamic regarding vaccines. Not with Drs. Adams and Fitzgerald – they’re real physicians with real backgrounds, and they know how much vaccines mean to saving the lives of precious children.
Lacking any serious scientific evidence that vaccines are either unsafe or ineffective, anti-vaxxers must be sad. Lacking any serious scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism, anti-vaxxers must be pouting. Lacking any support in public health departments across the country, anti-vaxxers must be crying.
The anti-vaxxers thought that they had an inside track with their inane beliefs because Donald Trump tweeted out his support of anti-vaccine views, and then he met with Mr. Andrew Wakefield and Robert F Kennedy Jr. I hate to disappoint the anti-vaxxers, no wait, I enjoy it, but sometimes a broken clock is right twice a day. And Trump got these two appointments right.
Now go away anti-vaxxers. I don’t have any GMO-free tissue for your crying eyes.