National Consumers League

Consumer group issues statement of concern on anti-vaccine rhetoric in Republican Presidential debate

September 18, 2015

Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, cindyh@nclnet.org or (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy group, in reaction to this week’s discussion on vaccines during the Republican Presidential candidates debate, which included a number of reckless statements from several candidates has released the following statement, which may be attributed to NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg: 

NCL is a strong supporter of the safe and effective vaccine schedule for children in the United States as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are fortunate today that children in America are largely protected from diseases like whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, typhoid, small pox and other diseases that once killed and maimed millions of children in America.

In this week’s debate, Donald Trump reiterated previous reckless and unsubstantiated connections between vaccines and autism. He continues to claim that he knows a “perfectly healthy” child who went for his/her vaccinations and then developed autism. Senator Paul also used the platform to show his support for both vaccines and “freedom.” Paul does not believe parents should be required to vaccination their children in order to attend public school. 

Our research has shown that Americans are confused about vaccines, and understandably so. For over a generation, we have lived virtually free from many of these diseases due to the effectiveness of the vaccines that have stamped them out. We have lost perspective on how deadly they can be. We need our politicians to be sending a very clear message about the importance of vaccines to our health and how narrow the exceptions should be in order to keep us safe as a community.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.