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Prominent Childhood Vaccines Skeptic to Lead Trump's Vaccine Safety Panel

Jan 11, 2017 04:57 AM EST
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President Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott address Hurricane Irma
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Trump offered the chair of Vaccine Safety Panel to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
(Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It seems Earth and climate science is not the only one to take a fatal blow during Trump's administration as the health and medicine sector showed their concern over the president-elect's decision to offer the leadership of a new Vaccine Safety Panel to a prominent skeptic of childhood vaccines that goes by the name Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

According to the report from the New York Times, Kennedy was asked by Trump to be the chair of the new commission in vaccines during their meeting in the Trump Tower in New York.

 "That's very frightening; it's difficult to imagine anyone less qualified to serve on a commission for vaccine science," said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, in a report from Washington Post.

Kennedy, the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, has been known to be an anti-vaccine crusader and conspiracy theorists. Additionally, Kennedy argued that link between vaccines and autism can be explained by the mercury-based additives. He also alleged that different pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots with government scientists and journalists to hide the truth from the public.

However, health professionals and medical experts have already debunked and discredited conspiracy theories connecting vaccination with autism. Health care providers showed their concern regarding the appointment of Kennedy as the chair of Vaccine Safety Panel, warning that the appointment would "endanger children by confusing parents about the need of childhood vaccinations.

According to a statistics by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the extensive vaccination efforts of the government have reduced the occurrence of polio and smallpox by 100 percent. On the other hand, diphtheria, H. influenza, measles, mumps and rubella have been reduced by >99 percent. Vaccinations have also reduced other preventable diseases by more than 70 percent. These diseases include Hepatitis A and B, Varicella, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease and rotavirus.

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