John Oliver makes case for vaccines using infant son's health struggles

For everyone who believes vaccines are dangerous, Sunday's Last Week Tonightspent half an hour arguing the opposite.

John Oliver tackled the anti-vaccination movement with a lengthy segment on this week's show, in which he condemned everything from Internet memes to actor Rob Schneider for spreading misinformation about medical myths.

His list of guilty parties included President Trump, with Oliver calling him a "megaphone" for anti-vaxxers. The president has previously repeated the widely-debunked claim that vaccines cause autism, and earlier this year, vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told reporters that Trump expressed interest in him leading a “vaccine safety commission.”

"Despite (vaccines') success, small groups are both skeptical and vocal about vaccines, which is nothing new," Oliver said. "But these days their voice has been amplified by the human megaphone that is the president of the United States." ​

In March 2014, Trump linked vaccines to autism in a tweet: "Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!"

The president also theorized about vaccines during a Republican presidential debate in September 2015: "Just the other day, two years old, 2½ years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic."

Oliver ended the segment with a personal plea in support of vaccines. "For what it's worth, and if this helps at all, I have a son. He is nineteen months old, he was born prematurely following a very difficult pregnancy and I'm worried about his health and I still worry about his health a lot."

"But we are vaccinating him fully and on schedule," Oliver continued. "And if I can resist the temptation to listen to the irrational shouting of my terrified lizard brain, then I believe that everyone can."

 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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