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Autism Express

Clearly, John McCain does not read this blog.

He blundered into Nature Medicine territory this week, saying that there was “strong evidence” for a link between autism and vaccines (there is not, a point we have driven home before).

Reminds me of a stumble McCain had last year with a reporter on another of our pet issues, HIV and condoms:

Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

A: Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

One blogger offers a charitable—and probably accurate—explanation for the autism statement:

The vast expansion of the state means that we expect our representatives to have opinions on everything from missile defense to flame-retardant pajamas. No one could possibly learn about every subject we expect them to know, even if he were not spending sixteen hours a day doing the grip-and-grin with voters, lobbyists, donors, and other politicians.

It would be interesting to hear more about the views of McCain and the other candidates on HIV prevention, contraception and even vaccination (another reason for a science debate). But at least he’s got the scientific consensus right when it comes to global warming.


  1. Report this comment

    JCL said:

    People may also want to visit the blog of the Simons Foundation, where our former colleague Apoorva Mandavilli has done a fine job discussing McCain’s comments.

    In fact, you should check out all of her posts on the world of autism. Very good stuff. Shame that you have to register (and have your registration approved) before you can leave comments but, hey, no-one’s perfect.