Rand Paul’s Dishonest Tap Dance on Vaccines

Rand Paul’s Dishonest Tap Dance on Vaccines February 5, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul, trapped between pandering to the ignorant and not looking like an idiot, went on CNN and, in addition to condescending to the anchor asking him questions, declared based on totally anonymous anecdotes, that vaccines caused “profound mental disorders.”

“I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” Paul said. “I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing. But I think the parents should have some input.”

Asked for evidence of those claims, Paul campaign spokesman Sergio Gor didn’t address them and instead said that while Paul largely supports vaccines, “many” should be voluntary.

So now he’s backing down, with this highly dishonest statement:

On Tuesday, Paul further clarified his stance, saying he didn’t say vaccines caused disorders.

“I did not say vaccines caused disorders, just that they were temporally related — I did not allege causation. I support vaccines, I receive them myself and I had all of my children vaccinated,” Paul said in a statement. “In fact today, I received the booster shot for the vaccines I got when I went to Guatemala last year.”

If you didn’t allege causation, why was your statement in any way relevant? If the conversation is about whether people should get vaccines and you claim that people got “profound mental disorders after vaccines,” it couldn’t possibly be relevant if you aren’t claiming causation. If there’s no causation, then your statement is totally irrelevant to the conversation.

He’s just lying. He absolutely meant to claim that vaccines cause mental disorders, but he realized afterward that saying that made him look like a moron. So he invented this ridiculous explanation to get out of it. And this guy went to medical school, for crying out loud. If anyone should know better…

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