Following President Obama's pro-vaccination comments made over the weekend, several members of the Republican Party have delivered some questionable statements on vaccinations as the measles outbreak heightens across the United States. Both Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stepped into the fray, making arguments that could be seen as throwing their weight behind the growing anti-vaxxer movement. Now, former Secretary of State/possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has responded to the vaccination debate in the best way possible.
In case you missed it, here's how the great anti-vaxxer meltdown of 2015 began for the Republicans: On Monday, Christie admitted that while he and his wife vaccinated their kids, he believes parents should "some measure of choice in things as well." The New Jersey governor continued:
[T]hat’s the balance that the government has to decide. ... Not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public-health threat as others.
Christie's way of framing vaccinations as an issue of liberty, rather than public health and safety, was immediately denigrated by members of the both the Democratic and Republican parties. But then, Paul stepped into it even more, providing some shady support for the anti-vaxxer movement. In an interview with CNBC's Kelly Evans, Paul went on the defense:
I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines. I think the parents should have some input. The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.
On Monday night, as the rest of America passed around videos and screenshots from Paul's embarrassing interview with Evans (in which he actually shushed the anchor) and Christie continued his endless backpedaling, Clinton posted the smoothest shade-throwing tweet. Really, it's a thing of subtle political beauty.
While Clinton's tweet is clearly directed at Paul, Christie, and other possible Republican politicians who may come out of the anti-vaxxer woodwork, it's important to note that Clinton wasn't always so sure about mandated vaccinations. CNN points out that back in 2008, Clinton wrote in an anti-vaccine questionnaire from an autism organization that she was, "committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines."
In that same questionnaire, Clinton added that it was important to look into research to see if vaccines and autism were linked. However, it seems like Clinton has come around on the science, which overwhelmingly debunks the proposed autism-vaccine connection.
Maybe, like Clinton says, grandmothers really do know best.
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