At the second Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump parroted antivaccine pseudoscience, and Ben Carson walked back his previously strong support for vaccine mandates. Earlier in the campaign, Rand Paul blamed vaccines for "neurologic injury," and Chris Christie briefly pandered by questioning vaccine mandates. What's going on here? Is the Republican Party becoming the antivaccine party?
California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.
There are politicians and physicians out there promoting antivaccine misinformation. None of us expect politicians to be scientists or physicians, but we do expect them to listen to them. Worse are physicians who betray their profession to promote antivaccine pseudoscience. What can be done about these very public figures who endanger public health?