Has Donald Trump finally gone too far?
Never mind his blatant racism and degrading, threatening statements about women — including his opponents in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 — during Wednesday night’s Republican debate, Trump finally said something that may lose him some fans: He thinks vaccines cause autism.
The imaginary link between vaccines and autism has been around for decades — and celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and other politicians like Senator John McCain have publicly said they believe there’s a connection between early childhood vaccines and autism.
But science is pretty clear on this one. One study — one, that has since been refuted — found a link between the two. Countless studies since have shown there’s no evidence supporting the supposed connection.
Still, that didn’t stop Trump from sharing his own, non-medically based opinion on network television during the debate, and Twitter immediately exploded with unhappy viewers.
That autism nonsense is literally the worst thing I've seen Donald Trump say.
— Not Very Smart Brotha (@HisNamesTawanda) September 17, 2015
What's scarier: Donald trump thinking he knows anything about vaccines/autism research or the fact that there are people that agree with him
— Megan (@meganprusi) September 17, 2015
Some viewers were even moved to physical violence by the sheer stupidity of Trump’s remark.
I can't even think of anything clever to say. I think Donald Trump should be punched in the face. VACCINES DON'T CAUSE AUTISM!!! 😡
— Cadyn Cameron (@cadyn_cameron) September 17, 2015
The scary thing is that as long as celebrities like Trump keep spreading misinformation about vaccines, parents will choose not to vaccinate their children based on that misinformation, contributing to the spread of dangerous diseases.