- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The White House said Tuesday that President Obama believes the benefits of vaccinations for children are “crystal clear,” even though Mr. Obama said in 2008 that the science was “inconclusive.”

“The president believes parents do have a responsibility here,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “The president believes it shouldn’t require a law to exercise common sense and do the right thing. The science and the expert guidance … is crystal clear.”

He said parents should vaccinate their children to protect themselves and others who may be at risk.

But in 2008, campaigning for president in Pennsylvania, Mr. Obama said the science linking vaccines to autism was “inconclusive.”

“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Mr. Obama said in April 2008. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science is right now inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

A former aide later said Mr. Obama was referring to someone in the audience when he said, “this person included.” Mr. Earnest said the study that raised questions about a link has since been “completely undermined.”

SEE ALSO: Rand Paul: Vaccines can lead to ‘mental disorders’

With a resurgence of cases of the measles this winter, public-health officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated. But some potential candidates for president in 2016, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, both Republicans, said parents should have a choice.

Mr. Earnest said the White House hopes to “take politics out of” the debate.

“The president certainly does not believe that this is about politics,” he said.



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