Likely 2016 contender Hillary Clinton entered the vaccine controversy on Monday with a simple sentiment: This isn’t up for debate.
Vaccinations became a hot topic on Sunday when the Centers for Disease Control reported that the outbreak of a formerly eliminated disease, Measles, was worsening in part thanks to families who chose not to vaccinate their kids from the highly contagious and deadly disease. The U.S. could see a “large outbreak,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said.
The president spoke later in the evening, urging people to vaccinate their kids because the science is “pretty indisputable.”
But on Monday, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stirred the debate while in London, where he said that while he vaccinated his own children, parents should have a say in the vaccines their children receive and there needs to be a “balance.”
His spokesman later clarified his remarks: “The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated. At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate.”
Sen. Rand Paul – an eye doctor before he began his political career – added fuel to the fire later in the day, saying that while he’d vaccinated his own children, vaccines could cause debilitating mental problems in children. The majority of the medical community disputes this idea.
“I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” Paul said.
Clinton hasn’t always been so clear: In 2008, she suggested autism and a potential link to vaccines should be researched.
“I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines,” she said.