In case you thought John McCain wasn’t antiscience

Contributed by
Mar 4, 2008

... then I present you with the newest evidence: he says that "there's stong evidence" that vaccines cause autism.

If you haven't heard, the idea that vaccines are linked with autism is one of the biggest example of medical antiscientific garbage there is. Vaccinations have been tested over and over again, and no link whatsoever has been found. None. Nothing. Nada.

But why believe me? From the article linked above:

The Centers for Disease Control says "There is no convincing scientific evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site."

The American Academy of Pediatrics says"No scientific data link thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines with any pediatric neurologic disorder, including autism."

The Food and Drug Administration conducted a review in 1999 -- the year thimerosal was ordered to be removed from most vaccines -- and said that it "found no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative, other than local hypersensitivity reactions."

The Institute of Medicine’s Immunization Safety Review Committee concluded "that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism."

And a study of California Department of Developmental Services data published last month indicated that there was "an increase in autism in California despite the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines."

But, like 9/11 truthers or Moon hoaxers, antivax people still make the same tired claims.

Kinda makes you wonder about McCain a wee bit, doesn't it? Try reading Respectful Insolence, or Cosmic Variance about him.

McCain used to make sense to me, up until recently when his pandering to the far right wackos turned into a nonstop dizzying spin that seems to be made of him trying to take both sides of every issue imaginable. His garbage stance on evolution was the first time I heard him brown-nosing the antiscience crowd, which was bad enough. But the antivaccination people are on a trajectory to do real harm to people all over the world, and the ones most likely to be hurt first are kids, who need vaccinations. Ironically, they want to help kids -- many true believers are, incredibly sadly, parents with autistic children -- but in the end, by grasping onto fantasy as opposed to reality, they are achieving the exact opposite.

And John McCain wants to help. Perfect.

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