- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2019

President Trump urged Americans on Friday to vaccinate their kids, echoing top health officials amid U.S. measles outbreaks and seeming to push aside his past skepticism of the shots.

“They have to get the shots. The vaccinations are so important,” Mr. Trump said as he departed the White House for Indiana.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week it has recorded 695 cases of measles from 22 states this year — the highest tally since measles was thought to be eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.

“This current outbreak is deeply troubling and I call upon all health care providers to assure patients about the efficacy and safety of the measles vaccine,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.

Officials said many of the cases are tied to an outbreak in Washington state and two large outbreaks in New York, which began in late 2018.

New York cases were largely centered in Orthodox Jewish communities where there is resistance to immunization. The cases from there are linked to an outbreak in the Orthodox community in Michigan.

Washington officials said they were contending with a large number of unvaccinated kids in the “anti-vaxx” community.

Mr. Trump, himself, once floated theories that align with the anti-vaxxers’ thinking.

“Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes — AUTISM. Many such cases!” he famously tweeted in 2014.

Later that year, he clarified that he isn’t against vaccinations, but he felt the shots should be administered over a longer period of time.

Mr. Trump was unequivocal on Friday, saying measles is “really going around now.”

“They have to get their shots,” he said.

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