- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Potential Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said parents ought to vaccinate their children, no matter their religious or philosophical beliefs.

“Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Mr. Carson told BuzzFeed News.

His logic is that communicable diseases — like measles and rubella — that have been eradicated should not be allowed to return and endanger the nation.

“Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country, and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” he said, BuzzFeed reported.

He also offered one caveat: “Obviously there are exceptional situations to virtually everything, and we must have a mechanism whereby those can be heard,” he said in the news outlet.

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