WASHINGTON, DC – It’s hard to tell these days whether we are experiencing the politics of measles, or the measles of politics. Once and future presidential candidates are facing the tough question of whether the government should force parents to vaccinate their kids.
Over the weekend, President Obama told Americans to “get your kids vaccinated,” adding “the science is, you know, pretty indisputable.”
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive 2016 Democratic candidate for president, tweeted her two-cents with: “The science is clear: the earth is round, the sky is blue, and vaccines work.”
But during the 2008 Democratic primaries, then-senators Obama and Clinton were not so sure when giving written answers to questions from the Autism Action Network.
One question asked if the candidate agreed that vaccines should be investigated as a possible cause of autism.
Candidate Obama dodged the question.
Candidate Clinton said, “She was committed to finding the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines.”
Over the weekend, Senator Rand Paul said parents should have some say in the matter. “I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing, but I think the parents should have some input.”
New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he could see both sides. “All I can say is that we vaccinated ours . . . But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
As measles continues to spread across the country, expect a rash of political statements as politicians scratch for votes and money to support their plans for the White House.