Sunday, November 13, 2016

Voting for Alex

The results of last week’s election in which Donald Trump was named the next President of the United States came as a shock to many people. As I discovered last week, I wasn’t the only autism parent quietly supporting the now President-elect. Just as others chose their candidates based upon issues of major concern to them, my primary focus in life is Alex. As a pro-Alex supporter, I wanted a President willing to address the issue of autism directly and one unafraid to question the role vaccines may play in autism. That candidate was Donald Trump.

In the CNN Republican Debate on September 16, 2015, Mr. Trump was asked about autism and his position on vaccines. He explained, “Autism has become an epidemic…Because you take a baby in, and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of, over a long period of time, and over a two or three year period of time, same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump­­––I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, two-years-old, two-and-a-half-years-old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic…I’m in favor of vaccines; do them over a longer period of time, same amount, just in little sections. I think you’re going to have––I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism.”

Not only did Mr. Trump state without hesitation that there, indeed, is an autism epidemic, but he also firmly stood his ground on suggesting that the current vaccination schedule may be linked to autism. Moreover, he expressed concern for those families whose lives have been impacted by autism.

During that same debate, fellow Republican candidate and esteemed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson noted, “We are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time.” As an admirer of Dr. Carson, I was pleased that he offered his trusted medical opinion as well as supporting Mr. Trump’s position regarding the need to revisit the current vaccine schedule.

Of course, the mainstream media had a field day, criticizing Mr. Trump and his comments regarding the potential link between vaccines and autism. For example, The Washington Post ran an article the day after the debate on September 17, 2015, entitled, “The origins of Donald Trump’s autism/vaccine theory and how it was completely debunked eons ago.” Similarly, the online magazine Slate posted an article on the same date with the title, “Donald Trump Uses GOP to Push Anti-Vaccination Myths.” Even CNN, the host of the debate, joined in the mocking on September 19, 2015, by posting an opinion piece on their online site written by a debate coach entitled, “Trump’s autism claim on vaccines is a disgrace.” While journalists jeered him, autism parents cheered him.

In contrast, his opponent Secretary Clinton made her stance on vaccines quite clear. In a Tweet by Hillary Clinton on February 2, 2015, this position is presented: “The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids.” #GrandmothersKnowBest.” Comparing those who question vaccine safety to those who believe the earth is flat is nearly as demeaning as deeming Trump supporters as “deplorables.”

What was especially important to me is that Mr. Trump has not swayed in his concerns regarding the potential link between autism and vaccines over time. On December 29, 2007, long before he was a political candidate, autism mom Kim Stagliano praises him in her Age of Autism online article titled, “Brilliant Trump Revises Vaccine Schedule for His Son.”

In the article, Mr. Trump is quoted in an interview with Palm Beach Politics: “When I was growing up, autism wasn’t really a factor,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden, it’s an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’ve been giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.”

He went on to say, “When a little baby that weighs 20 pounds and 30 pounds gets pumped with 10 and 20 shots at one time, with one injection that’s a giant injection, I personally think that has something to do with it.”

Furthermore, he explains how he and his wife decided to handle vaccines with their own son, “What we’ve done with Baron, we’ve taken him on a very slow process. He gets one shot at a time then we wait a few months and give him another shot, the old-fashioned way. But today they pump the children with so much at a very young age. We do it on a very, very conservative level.”

To me, this says that Donald Trump is bold enough to question the establishment, especially when his child’s well-being is at stake. Moreover, he clearly has compassion for those families who have been affected by autism and is willing to look into potential causes.

President-elect Trump, many autism parents supported you because you unwaveringly expressed the concerns we have long held. You have the opportunity to change the course of the autism epidemic by launching investigations into how the current vaccine schedule affects children. We’re counting on you to “Make America Great Again” by helping us find ways to make our children healthy again and to prevent other children from having to struggle with autism. Please don’t let us down.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

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