Via STAT: Andrew Wakefield, vaccine skeptic, attends inaugural ball. Excerpt:
Controversial vaccine skeptic Andrew Wakefield attended one of President Trump’s inaugural balls late Friday, prompting a flood of mostly negative reaction on social media, with many commenters raising concerns that his discredited ideas will gain traction in the new administration.
Wakefield, who helped launch the anti-vaccine movement with a fraudulent study linking vaccines to autism, posted a Periscope video from one of the balls, calling for an overhaul of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the video, a tuxedo-clad Wakefield strolls through the ball declaring it a “very exciting time” and briefly narrates his efforts to find influential people to talk to about his proposals.
“Just looking around to see if there’s anyone important here — see if I can prevail upon them to make the world a better place for children with autism, a safer place for children,” Wakefield says. “What we need now is a huge shakeup at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a huge shakeup. We need that to change dramatically.”
Neither Wakefield nor a Trump spokesman could be immediately reached for comment Saturday.
His short video triggered instantaneous reaction on Twitter, with many commenters seizing on it as an example of the kind of people and ideas that are finding a new audience in the Trump administration.
Wakefield met with Trump over the summer and later said he found him to be sympathetic to his cause. Earlier this month, Trump also met with vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who announced he will be chairing a new federal panel on vaccine safety. Trump’s aides quickly pulled back the idea of such a panel, saying no final decisions have been made.