For the Record, Rand Paul did Not Say Vaccination Causes Autism

I suppose it was inevitable. The ideology of the left is rooted in fear. Scare people badly enough they’ll accept any level of government coercion. And what scares people more than “your children are going to die!?” So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the left’s new line of attack against Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and any Republican that doesn’t instantly fall on the coercive vaccination bandwagon is they’re going to kill your children!

So what did Rand Paul actually say? Very little, it turns out. He said that “most” vaccination should be voluntary, and carved out smallpox as an example of a possible exception, and that parents should have some degree of choice when it comes to vaccinating their children. He also notes that vaccinations may have negative side effects.

What? Negative side effects? That means he’s just like Jenny McCarthy!

No, he’s not. As a Medical Doctor [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] is aware that there are rare but severe side effects to certain vaccinations. The CDC’s own website indicates that MMR, MMRV, and DTaP can, in very rare instances, cause “permanent brain damage.”


Again, this is the CDC, not some crazy conspiracy website. Is it wrong of the Senator to suggest that we must balance the benefits of vaccination against the level of coercion consistent with living in a free society? Is it crazy to suggest that persuasion and education, the same technique that made vaccinations so widespread to begin with, are valid options for pursuing public health goals?

I don’t know the full details of [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ]’s views on vaccination, and neither do you. Let’s take a deep breath, calm down, and have a debate based on facts rather than scare mongering. Republicans, particularly, should be cautious about piling on, because if we legitimize fear-based reasoning you can be certain it’s going to be turned against every other Republican in time.