A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Trump legitimizes dangerous movement

Last month, anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that president Trump has plans to appoint him head of a special vaccine safety board. Kennedy is known for his promotion of dangerous vaccine conspiracies.

Kennedy and his followers allege that vaccines cause autism. There is no scientific evidence supporting this claim. Instead, the anti-vaccine movement relies on fear mongering to win people over. Vaccination has repeatedly proven to be safe and healthy.

The anti-vaccine movement poses a serious threat to the American people. Prior to the advent of vaccines, diseases could knock out entire communities within weeks. If Kennedy continues to gain traction, we will see a new public health crisis arise as more people begin to ditch the vaccine for them and their children. With no immune system buildup, common illnesses like the flu will be a death sentence.

Trump’s plans legitimize Kennedy’s position. Whereas anti-vaccine members were once viewed as outsiders, they (along with their pseudoscience) will now become part of the mainstream.

Trump should rescind his plans in order to protect the American people and prevent a massive health crisis.