News & Politics

Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke Waffle on Vaccinations

Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke Waffle on Vaccinations
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

While President Donald Trump is urging parents to get their children vaccinated, Democrat Presidential hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke are waffling on the issue. Demonstrating that he would be okay with putting the health of U.S. citizens at risk, the mayor of South Bend said that exemptions should be granted if there’s “no public health crisis.” For his part, Beto either demonstrated honesty or sought to placate crunchy, progressive hippies by claiming ignorance about the subject of vaccines.

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed shared the responses they received back from the questions they sent to the long list of Democrats hoping to become the next president. BuzzFeed’s article opens with the correct information that this country is suffering its worst measles outbreak in almost two decades. The article ponders:

Across the country, local leaders have struggled to gain the upper hand against new measles infections — now the worst in decades — and which experts believe will become a new normal. Lawmakers in several states are considering who should be exempt from vaccine mandates: Should religious or personal belief exemptions be allowed in addition to medical ones? Should debunked fears that vaccines cause autism result in medical exemptions?

Now, contrast the seriousness of the issue with the responses from Buttigieg and Beto.

“The law of the land for more than a century has been that states may enforce mandatory vaccination for public safety to prevent the spread of a dangerous disease. Pete does support some exceptions, except during a public health emergency to prevent an outbreak,” a spokesperson for the South Bend, Indiana, mayor told BuzzFeed News.

To his credit, Buttigieg’s campaign did reach out to BuzzFeed to assert that the South Bend mayor believes vaccines to be safe and effective in preventing diseases. Considering he’s for exceptions when there’s not a public health crisis, one can’t help but wonder how Buttigieg believes health crises develop.

Like Buttigieg, Beto’s campaign reached out to BuzzFeed after the fact to establish that Beto and his wife have vaccinated their own children and believe vaccines to be safe. However, as someone who wants to be the leader of the free world, his response indicates that he has some homework to do:

“I know just about as much as any parent. All three of my kids are vaccinated,” O’Rourke said in a video posted by the group. “I know that this is an issue that some people have a difference of opinion on. I’m not as informed as I should be to give you a thoughtful answer.”

It’s no wonder that the two Democrat wunderkinds are showing the inability to lead on this very simple issue. Buttigieg’s demonstration that he doesn’t understand how a public health crisis could happen is par for the course for the mayor of a city that is failing by almost every conceivable measurable. Beto, well, let’s just say that Beto is simply being Beto (I predict that one day the phrase “Don’t be a Beto” will make its way into our cultural lexicon). What’s really scary is that many people in this country take these two seriously.