Public health is an appropriate matter of public policy.
It’s too bad America is at the point where we react to all public policy statements based on who made the statement. Clearly, some policy statements, like the recent howler on the effect of sanctions on Iran by an Obama mouthpiece, are politically motivated. But Christie and Paul are wrong to make mandatory vaccinations a partisan football.
Yes, parents should have more say in their children’s vaccinations (and even more say about whether drugs and contraceptives are given to and abortions performed on their children) but responsible parents should overwhelming favor protecting their children. And if they don’t, then compulsory exposure to other children, i.e., school and day care, might legitimately be curtailed.
The resurgence of measles and whooping cough is a public health danger … and a national disgrace. Those diseases should be notable only by their absence. Yes, there’s a risk from the vaccines, but less than the risk of the disease. And, yes, there are potentially dangerous side effects of vaccination, just as there are for those who survive the disease.
I’m sorry some mother thinks her child is autistic because of a vaccine. Yes, we should be vigilant to faulty or impure vaccines, but we shouldn’t not vaccinate in the meantime.
And, yes, some politicians will oppose anything their opposite number says, but this is neither the time nor the place for such partisanship. If the gentlemen named think they are presidential material, they need a presidential perspective. Don’t copy the clown sitting in the Oval Office at this moment.