Andrew Wakefield is the single most polarizing anti-vaccination activist on earth. His new documentary, Vaxxed, has toured the country drawing both rave reviews as well as expected deep criticisms. Vaxxed, initially accepted by Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival before promptly being rejected, claims that the CDC lied about studies showing autism and vaccine links. Wakefield maintains a position that his documentary is not anti-vaccine, rather, anti-(unsafe)-vaccines. De Niro expressed that he and his wife have a child with autism and are open to Wakefield’s documentary. He also claimed he was disappointed that Vaxxed was eventually rejected from the film festival.
But the powers which be now go much higher than a Hollywood actor.
According to a report on Statnews.com, Wakefield, Trump and a number of anti-vaccine activists met with Trump over the summer. They described Trump as “sympathetic to the cause.”
“For the first time in a long time, I feel very positive about this, because Donald Trump is not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry,” movement leader Andrew Wakefield told STAT in a phone interview.
“He didn’t rely upon [drug makers] to get him elected. And he’s a man who seems to speak his mind and act accordingly. So we shall see,” said Wakefield. A former doctor whose medical license was revoked, Wakefield launched the movement to question the safety of vaccines nearly two decades ago with a fraudulent study (which has since been retracted) suggesting that a widely administered vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella can cause autism.
Wakefield and a small group of like-minded activists spent nearly an hour with Trump in the closing months of the presidential campaign. “I found him to be extremely interested, genuinely interested, and open-minded on this issue, so that was enormously refreshing,” Wakefield said.
Trump has long sympathized with the anti-vaccine movement over the years.
Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2012
Autism WAY UP – I believe in vaccinations but not massive, all at once, shots. Too much for small child to handle. Govt. should stop NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2014
I'm not against vaccinations for your children, I'm against them in 1 massive dose.Spread them out over a period of time & autism will drop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2014
A Trump presidency could potentially change the winds that are now blowing favorably for mandatory vaccine proponents.