The Donald thinks autism comes from a “monster shot”

Donald Trump’s wig must be on way too tight. He’s developed a theory, based on some anecdotes he’s heard, that autism comes from a “monster shot” vaccination. He explains in his weekly Fox And Friends address visit, starting at about 2:40:

Something like this, I guess.

clipart of a cartoon nurse holding a huge syringe

Who’s the voice of reason on this ship of fools? Gretchen Carlson, of all people. She suggested the studies said vaccines are safe, and there might be an environmental factor — but The Donald is a rebel and “couldn’t care less” that the science says otherwise. Of course, “environmental” includes vaccines, technically. But vaccinations happen routinely at about the same time that autism will present, and autism presents in locales where vaccines are not routinely administered in equal numbers, so there’s obviously no correlation, much less a correlation that can be assumed to be causative.

Orac tears this fuckwittery apart with all the appearance of a man resigned to the fate of Sisyphus. Every time he rolls the science rock up the hill, and puts chocks on it to keep it from rolling back down, someone new comes along with a sledgehammer and a grudge.

Okay, that metaphor kinda got away from me.

The Donald thinks autism comes from a “monster shot”

15 thoughts on “The Donald thinks autism comes from a “monster shot”

  1. 3

    Trump made his money with construction projects, not science. Of course, for Faux News viewers, anyone who is rich must know everything about everything…

  2. 4

    Yeah, because he actually did something and made something of himself, not sit around in a lab all day playing with tubes. Of course the fact Trump’s father was a successful real estate developer, and Donald got his start in the business working for his father, had nothing to do with him becoming rich.

  3. 5

    I pictured a ‘monster shot’ as more of an oversized shotglass, maybe holding a litre or two. Not sure the end result of that woukd be autism though…

  4. 6

    Though I think people above answered my question (anyone rich must know everything, according to Faux News) but seriously, if you want to discuss vaccines and autism, why listen to anyone’s opinion who isn’t from a life sciences background at all?

    As for Trump being a ‘rebel’ ‘bad boy’ or whatever, he’s a rich jackass, which makes him about as far from truly counter-cultural as you can get. How rebellious can you be when you buy into the most establishment-friendly views of life and success out there?

  5. 7

    Jesus tap-dancing Christ on a cracker, the evidence is CLEAR: Autism is GENETIC.

    WHY do people still insist that it must have an external cause?

  6. 8

    Because genes aren’t an easy target to blame & abuse?

    After all, they are all complicated, requiring a level of patience & attention beyond that traditionally exhibited by people who are easily distracted by shiny things.

  7. 11

    @WMDKitty – Many people do indeed want easy answers. A black and white world is very comforting to the masses, which is why, even without religion, you have people that subscribe to stupid ideas.

    I think there is also a lingering aspect of religion that exacerbates the situation as well in that people expect that bad things really only happen to people that have been bad. In a black and white world, there is no room for bad things to happen to truly good people.

  8. 12


    I suspect the major reason is that people want to blame someone more for the reason that “we can do something about it if it’s not genetic.” If it’s environmental, then you can remove the things causing the problem. If it’s genetic, it’s inborn, it’s something you can’t (easily) fix.

    It’s kind of sad, that parents who think that way are most likely doing so because they want to “fix” their children, as if those with ASDs are “broken.”

  9. 13

    I wouldn’t be so quick to hail “genetics” as the answer.

    The latest round of studies of older fathers implicated a number of genes; but the penetrance is so low that I don’t think you can make a definitive statement. Plus, there seem to be an extraordinary number of genes implicated. I’ll bet more than a few of them are just statistical anomalies that won’t be confirmed.

    My guess is that there is a “two-hit” hypothesis looming.

    There was also research released just recently showing that overweight mothers had a 67% higher likelihood of having an autistic baby that normal weight mothers. So, that would be a developmental issue, not a genetic one.

    But whatever is behind the rise in autism (other than the trend to dub any weird kid as being autistic), it’s clear that vaccines are not responsible.

    Donald Trump is an idiot.

  10. 14

    Folks, we finally have irrefutable direct correlation between Donald Trump and facepalms. I know correlation doesn’t equal causation, but in this case I’m willing to go out on a limb.

  11. 15

    I’m with Kevin. I would not be surprised that, like with things like lung cancer, a genetic predisposition isn’t enough to develop autism, and it requires some environmental trigger.

    At the same time, it might be that it’s entirely genetic, we just don’t know the exact confluence of genes necessary to cause it — or there could be multiple combinations that cause it, given that autism appears to be a spectrum rather than a single state. Amish communities abstain from most of the environmental conditions we have in our industrialized world, but see the same levels of autism.

    Zinc Avenger: I don’t give a crap what the scientific community says, your anecdotal evidence is good enough for me. I mean did you see the size of the facepalm I got from this video?

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