[HT: American Commitment]
Possible 2016 presidential contender Gov. Chris Christie, visiting an American facility in England that makes a flu vaccine, was asked if he thinks Americans should vaccinate their children to protect them from a measles outbreak that is sweeping the nation.
Explaining that he and his wife decided to vaccinate their own children, Christie said “that is the best expression I can give you of my opinion.”
But Christie didn’t stop there. He said, “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well so that’s the balance that the government has to decide. But I can just tell people from our perspective, Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think it’s an important part of making sure we protect their health and the public health.”
White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer took to Twitter to say he thought Christie needed to explain his statement:
Christie later backed off somewhat from his comment in a statement issued by his office.
“The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated,” the statement read. “At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate.”
Pfeiffer then tweeted a bit about the all-knowing Obama understanding the settled science:
In an interview on NBC on Sunday before the Super Bowl President Obama said, “The science is pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated. There aren’t reasons to not get vaccinated. You should get your kids vaccinated.”
But in 2008, then-Senator Obama didn’t think the science was “indisputable.” In fact, a few weeks before the 2008 primary he told a group of families in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, that the science was “inconclusive.”
“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Nobody knows exactly why,” Obama said at the campaign event.
“There are some people who are suspicious that it’s connected to vaccines and triggers,” Obama said. “The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it. Part of the reason I think it’s very important to research it is those vaccines are also preventing huge numbers of deaths among children and preventing debilitating illnesses like polio.”
Obama said that although we can’t afford to “junk our vaccine system,” we need to figure out why there is an increase in the rate of autism. “Because if we keep on seeing increases at the rate we’re seeing, we’re never going to have enough money to provide all the special needs, special education funding that’s going to be necessary,” he said.
Sen. Rand Paul (another potential 2016 GOP contender) also weighed in on the vaccination issue on Monday in an interview with CNBC:
“I think vaccines are one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that we have. I’m a big fan,” Paul said. But he added that “most of them ought to be voluntary.”
Sen. Paul, who is also a medical doctor, also said he has concerns. ”I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he said.
“I think the parents should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom,” Paul said.
More than half of Americans support mandatory childhood vaccinations against childhood diseases:
Most Americans (57 percent) support requiring all children to get vaccinated against childhood diseases, but 32 percent do think that it should be up to parents to decide whether or not their child should be vaccinated. Americans under the age of 30 (43 percent) are far more likely than other age groups to say that the decision should be left to parents. Only 26 percent of 45-64 year olds and 21 percent of over-65s think that vaccination should be at parental discretion.