Local doctor targeted in vaccination debate

Dr. Peter Hotez has spent his whole life working on vaccine development, but the world renown doctor now finds himself under attack.

HOUSTON - Dr. Peter Hotez has spent his whole life working on vaccine development, but he world renown doctor now finds himself under attack.

"The anti-vaccine lobby has really stepped it up, both the frequency of their attacks against me and the tenor of the comments," said Hotez.

The attacks are coming via Twitter, email and phone calls.

"They're more personal, more mean spirited," said Hotez.

They've even hurled implications of violence says Hotez, but this time the attacks have hit a new low, attacking his daughter who suffers from autism.

"It is very hurtful, but I try not to respond directly and I stick to the scientific evidence," said Hotez.

Hotez says Texas has become ground zero for the anti-vaccine lobby. He claims their mission is to convince the world vaccines cause autism, and they are using his daughter Rachel as proof.

"There is no controversy, the science is clear," said Hotez. "There is no link between vaccines and autism. It's completely phony."

Hotez is fighting back with a new book, "Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism". He opens up about his daughter's journey and how the family has dealt with Rachel's autism.

The viciousness of the online attacks caught the attention of Chelsea Clinton who retweeted Hotez and offered her support for him and vaccination.

"I do have a lot of support in the science community," said Hotez. "What I'm not hearing so much is in the way of support from the United States government."

He says if Texas allows the anti-vaccine lobby to continue spreading lies, it's children who will be at risk.

"They're actually putting children in harms way just to support their twisted ideology and that's something we have to go up against," said Hotez.

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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