***Update***: As if on cue, the Trump campaign denies that Kennedy will lead a vaccine commission. If only they reacted to bad science as quickly as they did to bad publicity.
Of all the bad things I thought would happen during a Donald Trump presidency, I have to admit I didn’t even think something like this was on the radar.
Trump didn’t just have a meeting today with anti-science advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who falsely claims there’s a link between vaccines and autism. He invited Kennedy to “chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity,” a position he apparently accepted.
The reaction among the scientific community — the people who understand the danger this appointment would pose to public health — are appalled by the decision.
The Center For Inquiry issued a strong denunciation of the appointment:
It is the height of absurdity for President-elect Trump, who has trafficked in anti-vaccine conspiracies on the campaign trail, to appoint Robert Kennedy Jr. to lead a ‘vaccine safety’ commission. Kennedy is a man whose leadership of the anti-vaccine movement has spawned torrents of misinformation and pseudoscience about vaccines and their effects, and led directly to outbreaks of otherwise preventable infectious diseases, hurting children and the elderly especially, and causing great harm to public health. We call upon the President-elect to rely on evidence, facts, and the counsel of actual scientists and physicians, and to rescind any invitation he has extended to Mr. Kennedy.
By the way, Kennedy’s beliefs are so unscientific that Salon pulled one of his pieces from their site. When you can’t meet Salon‘s editorial standards, you know there’s a problem.
(Top screenshot via YouTube)