NJ Gov. Chris Christie is now pulling back on statements he made earlier today—in response to the recent measles outbreak—that parents should have a "choice" whether to get their kids vaccinated. "The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection, and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated," a statement from his office read this morning, as per the Washington Post. But the outrage from his call for "balance" had already been incited, as evidenced by the following reactions:
- At the Daily Beast, Olivia Nuzzi says statements like the ones Christie originally made today keep him "on the good side of the anti-vaccination crowd"—extra support that may come in handy if he runs for president next year—and reminds readers of a letter he wrote during his gubernatorial run in 2009 that seemed to acknowledge a link between autism and vaccines.
- As Sam Biddle writes on Gawker, Christie believed "public health [trumped] individual discomfort" in the case of Kaci Hickox, the nurse he involuntarily quarantined as a precaution against Ebola. "Except in the case of the Ebola nurse, it was unfounded and unscientific," Biddle notes. "If only Christie could take his 'I'm the boss, f---in' deal with it' stance against paranoid, negligent anti-vaxx parents, instead of a nurse with a fever."
- Some of the strongest criticism against Christie comes from Kelly Faircloth at Jezebel, who calls him an "IRRESPONSIBLE, PANDERING S---HEAD" (all-caps hers) and writes, "I guess he's only worried about scary African diseases, not good old-fashioned American diseases like measles." Faircloth adds, "Your average ancestor circa 1810 would probably rip every hair out of your head if she thought you were seriously considering turning your back on an invention that renders a great scourge powerless."
- Other heated responses, as per Business Insider, include GOP media guru's Rick Wilson's Twitter feed this morning (in which he calls Christie "wildly irresponsible," among other things), as well as that of Taegan Goddard of Political Wire, who posted, "Wow, I'm getting really sick of politicians who deny basic science."
- Former CNN news reporter Campbell Brown kept her tweet short and sweet: "Insane. Christie is done."
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