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Trump's rhetoric fuels anti-science, says medical researcher

1 June 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
Donald Trump
Science
Trump
anti-vaccine movement
COVID-19 vaccine
anti-science

A poll published last week revealed that only about half of Americans would get the Covid-19 vaccination if one were available.

US President Donald Trump has explicitly promoted the mistrust of vaccines, says medical researcher Dr. Rebecca Hodes.

Hodes, a medical historian and the Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, says Trump's reckless tweets and utterances have been proven to intensify anti-vaccine attitudes among his supporters.

People are horribly confused. President Trump has shown mistrust of science in a way that agitates people further and amplifies the voices of anti-science, pro-conspiracy theory

Dr Rebecca Hodes, Director - AIDS and Society Research Unit - UCT Centre for Social Science Research

Despite the fact that numerous studies discrediting the notion that vaccines cause autism and other chronic illnesses, the anti-vaccination movement is prominent in the United States.

With the anti-vaxxer movement, it's often not scientific articles that people are relying on.

Dr Rebecca Hodes, Director - AIDS and Society Research Unit - UCT Centre for Social Science Research

When we look at anti-vaccination popular responses, they tend to be very specific to context and places.

Dr Rebecca Hodes, Director - AIDS and Society Research Unit - UCT Centre for Social Science Research

Traditionally in South Africa, we've had a very different culture in responding to vaccines, and that's partly to do with an extremely long history of using vaccination to prevent disease.

Dr Rebecca Hodes, Director - AIDS and Society Research Unit - UCT Centre for Social Science Research

In South Africa at present, we have stunningly high rates of uptake of vaccines and immunisations within the public health sector.

Dr Rebecca Hodes, Director - AIDS and Society Research Unit - UCT Centre for Social Science Research

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


1 June 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
Donald Trump
Science
Trump
anti-vaccine movement
COVID-19 vaccine
anti-science

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