keptic alarmist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he will oversee a presidential panel to review vaccine safety and science at the request of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, in a move likely to reignite debate over now-debunked research that tied childhood immunizations to autism.
“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policy, and he has questions about it,” Kennedy, who has raised questions about the safety of vaccines, told reporters following a meeting with Trump in New York on Tuesday. “He asked me to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. I said I would.”
Vaccine experts decried the appointment of a vocal vaccine skeptic to explore the safety of vaccines and their purported link with autism, an association raised by a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 that claimed to find a connection between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.
That paper has been debunked, and The Lancet withdrew the study. Since then, numerous studies have affirmed the safety of the vaccine, most recently including a study of 100,000 children considered at high risk of developing autism.
“The concerns of public health officials and pediatricians and family doctors regarding the Trump administration and its attitude toward vaccines have just been reinforced,” said Dr. William Schaffner an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who advises the federal panel that sets U.S. vaccine policy.
Schaffner said Kennedy has “raised issues that have been settled securely and completely by good science, and 80,0000 pediatricians, many family doctors and the World Health Organization all reinforce the current recommended childhood immunization schedule. They are safe and they are effective.” Read the rest of this entry »
A physician with Doctors Without Borders who returned to New York City after treating Ebola victims in West Africa has tested positive for the virus
Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, developed a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms after working for the humanitarian organization in Guinea, one of three West African nations hardest hit by Ebola.
“De Blasio said earlier on Thursday that Spencer had been in direct contact with ‘very few’ people. However, the Times said Spencer traveled by subway to a bowling alley in the city’s Brooklyn borough on Wednesday night and took a taxi home.”
A specially trained team wearing protective gear transported Spencer to Bellevue Hospital from his Manhattan apartment, the city said in a statement.
The first confirmed case in America’s largest city set off renewed fears about the spread of the virus, which has killed nearly 4,900 people, largely in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The first person diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil flew from Liberia to Texas and later died in a Dallas hospital. Two nurses who treated him became infected with the virus and one took a commercial flight with a fever, prompting officials in several states to take steps to become better prepared to contain the virus. Read the rest of this entry »
Flights between the U.S. and Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea will now require additional screenings
For National Journal, Sarah Mimms reports: October 21, 2014 Travelers flying between West African nations affected by Ebola and the United States will now be subject to additional screenings and “protective measures” to help prevent the disease from spreading into the U.S., the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday.
“We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.”
All passengers flying from Sierre Leone, Liberia, and Guinea into the U.S. will be required to enter the country through five major airports: Dulles International Airport in Virginia; John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Newark Liberty International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Read the rest of this entry »
U.N. Health Body Aims to Have Majority of Cases Isolated Within Two Months to Reverse Outbreak
WHO: Virus is Killing 70% of People Who Contract Disease
“Every time you isolate another patient, every time you have a safe burial, you’re taking some of the heat out of this outbreak.”
— WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward
Dr. Bruce Aylward, the WHO assistant director-general in charge of the organization’s response to the epidemic, said the Ebola virus is “still moving geographically, still escalating” in some bigger cities. He expressed concern the disease could spread to countries that share borders with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the epicenters of the current outbreak, singling out Côte d’Ivoire as particularly vulnerable. Read the rest of this entry »