Of Course Rand Paul Thinks Vaccines Might Cause Autism

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Sen. Rand Paul offered his own glasses to Juan Hernandez (age 29) just to see if it would make a difference as he checked his eyes. (it didn't) Juan Hernandez and his brother Andres Hernandez (age 22) at left were reunited with Paul who operated on them both in 1999 in Kentucky. Senator and ophthalmologist  Dr. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined a medical team from the Univ. of Utah's John A. Moran Eye Center for three of the five days that the event took place in Salam, Guatemala to do pro bono eye care, mostly cataract surgeries and check-ups. Scores of operations were performed by Paul and the team of doctors from Utah at a Lion's Club eye hospital in Salama.
Just take some leeches and stay away from the vaccines.Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Today was vaccine day, thanks to Chris Christie’s oddly equivocal interview on the subject. Vaccine trutherism is a form of unscientific craziness that has mostly lacked any partisan profile, as it brings together anti-government paranoia shared more by the right than the left with anti-corporate paranoia shared more by the left than the right. But the scent of crazy in the air inevitably attracted Rand Paul, who gave a disturbing interview to CNBC.

First, displaying the rigid libertarian logic that has previously caused him to refuse to fully endorse the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he argued that vaccination must be voluntary, which kind of runs against the inherent way vaccination works. (A handful of cranks who refuse can mess it up for everybody else, which is exactly what’s happening now.)

More crankishly, Paul actually endorsed the belief that vaccines can cause autism. “I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he argued very, very wrongly.

Rand Paul is a doctor, for goodness’ sake.