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Williamson Once Aired Theories Tying Autism to Vaccinations

Candidate has said 'vaccines work' but has also been skeptical
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 6:48 PM CDT
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Marianne Williamson speaks during a public employees union candidate forum Aug. 3 in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

(Newser) – Marianne Williamson's position on vaccinations has been an issue in her Democratic presidential campaign. She apologized in June after calling mandatory vaccinations "Orwellian," per the Los Angeles Times, and saying, "The US government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child." Now CNN reports that on her radio show in 2012, Williamson said she could see both sides of the issue and wrestled with whether to have her daughter vaccinated. When a guest said she knew people who were vaccinated and later diagnosed with autism, Williamson said, "Yes, absolutely." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, "There is no link between vaccines and autism."

Williamson has said her views have been misrepresented. She has tweeted: "I am not anti-vaxx. I am pro-science & medicine." But she also told the Daily Beast, "Public safety must be carefully balanced with the right of individuals to make their own decisions." Reporters trying to pin down her stance have found a series of conflicting statements. She said at a forum this month that "vaccines work." But she later said, per HuffPost, "When I’m president, we will have far more independent research having to do with the amount of vaccines." More than one-third of parents are wary of vaccinations, per Time, and experts worry that they'll be swayed by such prominent expressions of doubt. (Read more Marianne Williamson 2020 stories.)

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