On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) pushed back against a Democrat Louisiana state lawmaker for discussing the vaccines-autism connection saying, “That’s fake news that’s being said on the Senate floor.” (Cassidy is a medical doctor and clearly feels the science of vaccines is settled. We will thank him to remember that not all of his colleagues agree.)

At the Senate microphone during a debate over a bill related to a voluntary immunization database, State Sen. John Milkovich said, “There is a very contentious scientific debate that’s going on right now in America and has been for decades. Many are saying that these vaccinations pose danger. For example, when (I was) growing up autism did not exist.”1 He even went on to claim that tissue from aborted fetuses is used to make vaccines and that vaccines contain dangerous neurotoxins. (All scientific fact).

Cassidy repeatedly dismissed Milkovich’s claims as “fake news” and said “As a doctor who has spent my life (remember he went to pharma funded med school) trying to bring health to the people of Louisiana, I strongly endorse immunizations. There is no linkage to autism that has ever been made by a credible scientist.”1

The vaccine choice movement has spread since a paper by Andy Wakefield (whom I have interviewed) circulated in 1998 purporting a link between the MMR and autism. Watch below as Dr. Wakefield explains the paper.

Milkovich has declined to comment further on his remarks and many- including us- applaud his bravery.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR, is estimated to be about 97 percent effective at preventing measles. It is also known to shed the same virus it’s meant to protect people from and has surely been responsible for some of the 700 individual cases across 22 states this year.


  1. The Advocate