Real Time Host Bill Maher implied it is ‘realistic’ to suggest a link between autism and childhood vaccines – a dangerous and debunked theory that puts childrens’ lives at risk.
The astonishing claim was made by Maher during an interview with controversial doctor Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics who has gained prominence in the anti-vaxxer community in recent years and advocates for a ‘balanced, moderate view’ regarding vaccines.
As the first guest on the latest edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, the pair discussed vaccines and Gordon shared his own medical history and about disadvantages to modern medicine.
Real Time Host Bill Maher claimed it is ‘realistic’ to suggest a link between autism and childhood vaccines during an interview with controversial doctor, Dr. Jay Gordon
‘You know, to call you this crazy person,’ he told Gordon, ‘really, what you’re just saying is [a] slower [vaccination timetable], maybe less numbers, and also take into account individuals.
‘People are different. Family history, stuff like that. I don’t think this is crazy.’
Maher then supported the view among anti-vaxxers and said it was ‘realistic’ that there could be a link between autism and childhood vaccines.
‘There’s all these parents who say, ‘I had a normal child, got the vaccine.’ This story keeps coming up. It seems to be more realistic to me, if we’re just going to be realistic about it.
‘Like, it probably happens so rarely, but you can’t say it happens one in a million times because then somebody could think, ‘Well, I could be this millionth one.’ So, you scare people, so you can’t say what might be the more realistic opinion.’
In 2015, Gordon told CBS News that he has signed hundreds of personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements.
He claimed measles was almost always a ‘benign childhood illness’ that parents don’t need to be concerned about.
‘This measles outbreak does not pose a great risk to a healthy child,’ said Gordon. ‘And quite frankly I don’t think it poses any risk to a healthy child.’
Dr Jay Gordon has gained prominence in the anti-vaxxer community in recent years and advocates for a ‘balanced, moderate view’ regarding vaccines
Maher supported a view among anti-vaxxers and said it was ‘realistic’ that there could be a link between autism and childhood vaccines.
Gordon claimed that the discussion is closed when it comes to talking about the side -effects of vaccines as opposed to other treatments.
‘When someone gets antibiotics form me I talk to them about, there could be a yeast infection, you could get diarrhea and a rash. But with vaccines, the discussion is closed.’
Maher was reported by the Huffington Post as saying during the interview: ‘I’m just saying we don’t know s**t.
‘We don’t know a lot about how the body works. So how do vaccines fit in with, I don’t know, all the new chemicals?.
‘There’s thousands of new chemicals, pollutants, irritants. We didn’t use to have all this corn syrup in our bodies, antibiotics. It could be any combination, so I’m a little cautious.’
Paediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon has gained some prominence in the anti-vaxxer community and advocates for a ‘balanced, moderate view’ regarding vaccines
Leading health experts and studies have found there is no correlation between the life-saving MMR vaccine and autism.
Anti-vaxxers have peddled the dangerous myth for almost 25 years, after a now debunked study suggested there was a link between the two.
In March, Danish scientists again shot the controversial theory in the foot, by analyzing data from more than 650,000 children given the jab.
MMR protects against measles – a highly contagious viral infection which can prove deadly – as well as mumps and rubella.
The World Health Organization has already this year declared anti-vaxxers as one of the top 10 threats to global health, alongside pollution and climate change.
Scientists around the world are still trying to get to the bottom of what causes autism, which strikes around one in 100 people.
Currently, the medical community believes the disorder could be caused by a mixture of genes and environmental factors, such as being exposed to alcohol in the womb.
The Lancet published a study in 1995 which showed children given the MMR jab were more likely to have bowel disease and autism.
As a result, MMR vaccination rates in the US and the UK plummeted, dipping below the 80 per cent mark in the UK at the height of the fears.
Dr Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, publicly described the research as ‘fundamentally flawed’ in 2004 – nine years after it was published.
Dr Horton alleged that Andrew Wakefield, the gastroenterologist behind the paper, was paid by a group pursuing lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers.