Dr. Ben Carson claims that vaccinations need to be stepped up for diseases previously under control in part because of all the “undocumented people” who have flooded into the country recently.
Carson made this statement in an interview with CNN about the vaccine controversy, which heated up when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, during a visit to the U.K., suggested that parents should have some measure of choice when it comes to getting their kids vaccinated. The governor has since issued a clarification for those comments, noting that children should indeed be vaccinated for diseases like measles.
On Tuesday, vaccine supporting U.S. Senator and medical doctor Rand Paul declared that most childhood vaccinations should be voluntary and that parents, rather than the government, should make the final decision.
The retired director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Benjamin Carson rose to national prominence in the political realm after slamming Obamacare and political correctness at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast with Obama sitting two seats away. Carson, who appears to be gearing up for a presidential run having recently changed his voter registration from independent to Republican, revealed in October 2013 that he was subject to a first-time IRS audit after going public with Obamacare criticism.
So-called anti-vaxxers are not just found on the political right, contrary to what some media outlets have portrayed. Prominent liberals such as climate change activist Robert Kennedy, Jr., and HBO host Bill Maher, for example, have both publicly warned of what they consider the dangers of vaccines. Moreover, in the 2008 presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton alluded to the possibility that vaccines and autism might be related. “Among the communities hit hardest by the recent measles outbreak are Los Angeles and the Bay Area, where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans and where the anti-vaccination movement is on the rise,” The Washington Times added.
In the Ben Carson interview on Tuesday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the doctor whether the California measles outbreak is the result of misinformed parents opting out of vaccinations for their kids. Carson responded as follows.
It is a good example of what happens. These are things that we had under control. We have to account for the fact that we now have people coming into the country, sometimes undocumented people, who perhaps have diseases that we had under control. So now we need to be doubly vigilant about making sure that we immunize our people to keep them from getting diseases that once were under control.”
Carson also provided some qualified support for what Rand Paul previously asserted about childhood immunizations. “[Paul is] simply saying we don’t want to be forced [by the government], we want to have some choice. And I think there are ways to do this in a reasonable and rational way that also involved educating the populous.”
Carson added that the myth of vaccinations causing autism has “been dispelled.”
Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
At the recent Freedom Summit in Iowa, Carson maintained that the U.S-Mexico border should be sealed within the new president’s first year in office, along with cracking down on employers that hire undocumented persons, which makes the U.S. a magnet for illegal border-crossers. He also expressed support for a guest worker program.
Separately, allegations have been raised that among the tens of thousands of Central America immigrants, including many children, who surged into the U.S. last year, some were carrying the enterovirus. The CDC insists that there is no evidence of this being the case, however. In a July 2014 article for the liberal website Slate about the overcrowding at the detention centers, Dr. Marc Siegel wrote that “immigrants in poor health or suffering from a communicable illness who enter this country illegally create public health risks.”
[Ben Carson image credit: Gage Skidmore]