Trump weighs in on vaccine-autism controversy
March 28th, 2014
08:58 AM ET
6 months ago

Trump weighs in on vaccine-autism controversy

(CNN) - Donald Trump appears to be once again suggesting a link between vaccines and the rise in autism, a theory that's been debunked numerous times in recent years.

"If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take – AUTISM," the business mogul and reality TV star wrote on Twitter Thursday evening.


Trump's tweet came hours after the release of a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicated a 30% increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children in America, from one in 88 children having autism two years ago to one in 68 now.

Trump has tried to draw a connection between vaccines and autism before, tweeting about it last year and in an interview on Fox News in 2012.

In a study published last year in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found no association between autism and the number of vaccines a child gets in one day or during the first two years of the current vaccine schedule.

And researchers have also identified at least 100 genes that put children at increased risk for autism. And just this week a study in the New England Journal of Medicine provided more evidence that when a child has autism, the disorder began to develop during pregnancy, long before any vaccines were given.


Filed under: Donald Trump • Twitter
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. R Thomas Berner

    Why do you people even report what Trump says? Other than a big mouth, he has nothing going for him.

    March 28, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. patNY

    If Autism begins during pregnancy, and rates of Autism have increased dramatically over the last decade or so, then perhaps someone should look into any correlation to changes in pre-natal care and Autism. For instance, is there a connection to Autism and the rise of certain prenatal vitamins, or other drugs, or perhaps new chemicals in foods that were not there before the rise in Autism? Just another possible link – the ever increasing rate of CO2 in the air pregnant women breath, which we now know increases the acidity of our blood which negatively affects metabolism. Just some thoughts.

    March 28, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Hmm. Trump. Isn't his show about to start a new season soon, or has it been cancelled?

    March 28, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    How does this toupe wearing real estate mogul have the gall to question actual science? I guess when majority of Fox Noise viewers suffer from ADHD you can get away with making stupid remarks.

    March 28, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. amdachel

    This is how the new rate was announced.

    The Washington Post today:
    "In a telephone news conference, Coleen Boyle director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said the growing numbers could reflect both better identification of children with autism spectrum disorders and a growing number of intelligent children with autism.
    "'It could be that doctors are getting better at identifying these children, there could be a growing number of children with high intelligence [who are autistic], or it could be both,' she said."

    A telephone news conference?

    Why wasn't this critical news announced at a public news conference where reporters could ask questions and the American people could hear the answers?

    Where is the alarm? Where is any explanation from the people who get billions of dollars to be in charge of health care? Dr. Boyle can't tell us why it's happening. She can't show us the adults at this same rate. Regardless, Boyle STILL says NO REAL INCREASE!

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    March 28, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Larrym14169

    All I know is there are many more older Mothers & Fathers having children out there. I mean a huge amount. New 60 year old dads. New 40 to 45 year old Mothers. I think this accounts for a rise in Autism.

    March 28, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. rs

    It's UFOs, I tell ya.
    Look, the same dopey people who feel it is their "freedom" to not get vaccinated are the same people who buy the fake TEA Party idiocy, or your run-of-the-mill conspiracy nonsense.
    Look- if not getting vaccinated only affected YOU- that would be one thing- but it doesn't stop there. We have seen the reawakening of disease long ago defeated because of these so-called "freedoms".

    Meanwhile, if vaccines lead to autism, please explain why the incidence of autism is lower in nations and regions (like the EU) that have greater vaccination regulations?

    Couldn't be all the chemicals and pollution in our environment, maybe?

    Meanwhile, tell the Donald there is a rat on his head.

    March 28, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. kurt

    The secret about the increase in ASD diagnosis is far less sinister and far more simple.

    ASD's are diagnosed using the DSM. They occasionally release new versions with new diagnoses in them. Mental health professionals use a set of criteria from the DSM to diagnose patients. If a patient meets the criteria necessary, then they "get" the autism label.

    Each version of the DSM has made those criteria less stringent. The DSM-IV loosened the autism critera and added additional diagnoses under the ASD and PDD groupings... and the number of kids with Autism went up (DSM-4 was released in 1994). The DSM-5 came out last year and further loosened the criteria and added additional diagnoses... and the number of kids with Autism went up again. DSM-5 came out early 2013.

    The changes in Autism rates has very little to do with changes in the physical makeup in patients and much more to do with changes in how diagnoses are done. Autism pre-1980 (DSM 1 and 2) was very different from 1980-1994 (DSM 3) which was different from 1994-2013 (DSM 4) which is different then 2013-today.

    March 28, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS SUBVERSIVE GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    Why does CNN waste good space with this dead head GOP teaparty MORON?????

    March 28, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. truth hurts but reality bites

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House
    How does this toupe wearing real estate mogul have the gall to question actual science? I guess when majority of Fox Noise viewers suffer from ADHD you can get away with making stupid remarks.
    --------

    There is no such thing as 'settled science' as the nutty left says. Everything is constantly changing and new facts and relationships are being discovered all the time. That requires re-evaluating what we once thought to be true. Does it still hold up? Actually, your remark is far more stupid than Trump's. It is never wrong to question, question, question. It is how science is advanced.

    March 28, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. doggod42

    Labeling it "vaccine-autism controversy" plays into the hands of the troglodytes like Trump who feed on ignorance and gullibility. There is no controversy. There is science, and there is non-science (sometimes elided to "nonsense"), that's all. If this story is newsworthy, surely there must be some flat-earthers who need to be dug up concerning the "round earth controversy".

    March 28, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    The fact that it is more specific to the male gender, suggests something else.......and NOT vaccinations.

    March 28, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Chris

    My son was talking and showing NO signs of autism before 2nd round of vaccines. The hospital screwed up his schedule and gave him too many too quickly, this was verified afterwards. He came home with a bad fever and stopped talking for 2 years after the shots in question. I am the minority, but I have lived this first hand. Flame on...

    March 28, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. kierthos

    Dear Donald,

    Shut up. Seriously. And while you're at that, shut up.

    When you're done with that, shut up.

    March 28, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. jboh

    Trump shooting his mouth off about something he knows nothing about. Why do you give press to self-serving clods like him. By the way, autism rates ae highest in area with the highest air polution. Vaccinations are done world wide. Quit feeding this egotistical windbag's publicity addiction.

    March 28, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I don't care much for Donald Trump, but in this instance he is making sense. Big Pharma has been pushing drugs down our throats for years and they make obscene profits. We really do not know if all these vaccines are linked to Autism. Why risk your child's health by giving him/her massive doses of a substance when we are not sure it is safe? Because some doctors and scientists who are paid by Merck and Smith Kline say it's ok? Not for my kids.

    March 28, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. joejoev

    According to big pharma paid shills, vaccines can do no harm, and yet the whole country is now filled with vaccine injured children.

    March 28, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. pbcalif

    Who else will CNN give print to? Donald Trump is now a medical authority?

    March 28, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Sniffit

    More black hole journalism.

    March 28, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    Sorry, Donald. I don't envision you ever becoming Secretary of HHS.

    March 28, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Birther jumps on another disproven tinfoil hat conspiracy theory bandwagon. Story at 11.

    March 28, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. Luc

    Trump should be fighting for Ted Cruz to run for POTUS after all he is born in Canada. No one cares what he has to say. Ted Cruz web site needs a million signatures for his petition only has 1300 LOL.

    March 28, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Marie MD

    So now he's a doctor? Is there anything this guy doesn't know about.

    March 28, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. amdachel

    WHERE WAS DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN? He's the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why didn't he come out with this announcement? At least Dr. Julie Gerberding, the former head, would face the cameras when one of these leaps in the autism rate was released.

    Frieden's lack of interest in what autism is doing to our children is mirrored by every other health official out there and all of mainstream medicine along with the major media outlets.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    March 28, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. amdachel

    Notice that once again no one at the CDC is worried about the numbers. The disorder with no known cause, prevention, or cure, is NEVER A CRISIS.

    Each time a new worsen of the autism rate is announced, officials are unable to say if it's a real increase. A once rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child and no one in charge of health care can tell us why. There's nothing a mainstream doctor can tell a new mother whose baby was born healthy and is developing normally so that her child doesn't also end up on the autism spectrum by age two.

    The autism rate comes from studies of eight year olds, not eighty year olds. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults–especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are easily recognized. That simple fact should be scaring us all.

    If Coleen Boyle doesn't think there's been a real increase then she should come up with evidence to support that claim. WHERE ARE THE AUTISTIC ADULTS?

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    March 28, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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