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Home » Donald Trump hates vaccines and it will harm our children

Donald Trump hates vaccines and it will harm our children


Back in 2016, when Donald Trump was first running for President, I wrote about how he could potentially affect Federal policies on vaccines. Trump and the cunning fraud Andrew Wakefield had a meeting and a budding bromance. Robert F Kennedy Jr and Trump even had a brief moment where Kennedy wanted to be the “vaccine czar” for the country.

Today, Kennedy is running for President and Trump is running for President for a third time. We all know that Kennedy would be a disaster for vaccines if he won (and he won’t), probably pushing all kinds of nonsense that would lead to a drop in vaccine uptake across the country.

However, what is lost in the noise is that if Trump wins again, it could also be a disaster for vaccines in the USA. I wanted to list what Trump could do to vaccine science, research, and uptake with just a few actions. It would be a catastrophe for this country’s children (and adults). Diseases that we have forgotten will come back in full force. Ironically, Trump used to brag about his actions to get the new COVID vaccines on the market.

It wasn’t that long ago that both Democrats and Republicans were strong supporters of vaccine mandates — Republicans were slightly less supportive of vaccine mandates than Democrats, but they were both fairly high. It was only extreme groups on the left and right that were opposed to vaccines. But now, it’s become a mainstream issue for Republicans (although there are still a lot of crunchy Democrats who hate vaccines).

Whatever the case, Trump has fallen firmly on the side of anti-vaxxers. Let’s take a look at what Trump could do to push an anti-vaccine agenda.

trump vaccines
Washington, D.C. | U.S.A. – Jan 23rd, 2022: Defeat the Mandates (Anti-Vaxx, Conspiracy Theory) Rightwing Protest

The CDC

The President appoints the CDC director, so Trump can put someone in charge of the CDC that reflects his views on vaccines. Worse than that, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” blueprint recommends breaking up the CDC to separate its scientific and policymaking functions.

A new anti-vaccine CDC director could then weaken the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the group that sets vaccine recommendations for children and adults in the country. The new CDC director could remove vaccine scientists from ACIP replacing them with anti-vaccine pseudoscientists.

With weakened recommendations for many vaccines or creating impossible requirements for recommending new and old vaccines, fewer and fewer parents will vaccinate their children. Luckily, many states that support science over political rhetoric will continue to require vaccines for children entering school.

Since ACIP recommendations are the cornerstone of most states’ vaccine mandates, Trump’s threats to defund school systems that maintain vaccine mandates would lead any rational person to understand that Trump would use the CDC to destroy vaccine uptake in this country.

Furthermore, the CDC could change the Vaccine Information Statements that are routinely given to parents and patients before vaccination. They could be rewritten to make vaccines seem much more dangerous than the actual science shows. These changes could have a great detriment on vaccine uptake.

The FDA

Similar to what could happen to the CDC, Trump can appoint a new FDA Commissioner who could push anti-vaccine pseudoscience. For example, the FDA could institute new regulations for vaccines that have onerous new regulatory requirements that make it difficult, if not impossible, for new vaccines to be approved. And it could withdraw approvals for current vaccines.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a group of respected scientists who review vaccine New Drug Applications, could easily be replaced by those pseudoscientists who are opposed to new vaccines.

Although not related to vaccines, one of the goals of the right wing is to reduce the power of the FDA so that drugs (except for vaccines) would have a much easier pathway to get to market.

Trump vaccines

Trump could defund the Vaccines for Children Program

The Vaccines for Children Program (VCP) is a Federal government initiative where every vaccine that is recommended by the CDC for children is paid for either by insurance or by the CDC itself. Despite the country’s backward healthcare system, this is one success — it has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

Trump could defund VCP or weaken it by reducing the number of recommended vaccines. Trump could also withhold VCP funds from states to bend them to adopt or remove certain vaccine policies.

Summary

This article wasn’t meant as a scare tactic. But reducing vaccine uptake in the USA is scary. Think of all of the diseases that could come back if fewer children get the recommended vaccines — polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b, chickenpox, rotavirus, and many other diseases, all of which are rare today, could come roaring back.

Without vaccines, schools would shut down and hospitals would be overwhelmed with sick children. Mortuaries will have lots of new business in small coffins for babies and children. We would become a backward country with a huge infant and child mortality rate.

I want to believe that Trump wouldn’t do this to vaccines. But he seems more angry and more determined to remake the country into his anti-science vision. And that may mean a lot of dead children.

Michael Simpson
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