Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has come under fire for his stand on mandatory vaccinations and his belief that “some exceptions” apply.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor faced criticism for his stance after responding to questions about vaccinations and indicating that states have the right to mandate vaccinations but exemptions should be allowed if there is “no public health crisis.”
With the U.S. seeing the worst measles outbreak in decades, renewed attention has been brought on vaccines and the exemptions allowed on religious, personal or medical grounds. Presidential candidates for 2020 were asked about their views in a report published Tuesday by BuzzFeed News, and Buttigieg’s response sparked an instant social media outcry.
“The law of the land for more than a century has been that states may enforce mandatory vaccination for public safety to prevent the spread of a dangerous disease. Pete does support some exceptions, except during a public health emergency to prevent an outbreak,” a spokesman for the Indiana Democrat said.
According to BuzzFeed:
In particular, Buttigieg believes exemptions are appropriate for people who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. Personal belief and religious exemptions should only be allowed in states that aren’t facing a public health crisis and where herd immunity rates of vaccination are maintained.
“These exemptions include medical exemptions in all cases (as in cases where it is unsafe for the individual to get vaccinated), and personal/religious exemptions if states can maintain local herd immunity and there is no public health crisis,” the spokesperson said.
The 37-year-old progressive’s stance sparked some negative attention, prompting a “clarifying statement” by Wednesday.
“Pete believes vaccines are safe and effective and are necessary to maintaining public health,” the spokesperson said. “There is no evidence that vaccines are unsafe, and he believes children should be immunized to protect their health. He is aware that in most states the law provides for some kinds of exemptions. He believes only medical exemptions should be allowed.”
While some of the Democratic 2020 contenders, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Obama HUD Secretary Julián Castro, and Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, did not respond to the BuzzFeed questions, many others did and supported vaccinations.
President Trump addressed the measles outbreak while speaking to reporters outside of the White House last week.
“They have to get the shots,” he said. “The vaccinations are so important.”
President Trump on measles outbreak: “They have to get the shot. The vaccinations are so important.” pic.twitter.com/C3ZMJ4Srf1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 26, 2019
Buttigieg sparked a backlash on Twitter as his response to the vaccination question was reported.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) May 1, 2019
Someone should really tell Pete Buttigieg that vaccines aren’t implemented *after* a “public health crisis.”
They’re kind of a thing because they’re supposed to stop them… https://t.co/TWxJJqYhgU
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 1, 2019
That’s like putting on your seatbelt after the car crash.
— ❌ DeplorableDad ❌ (@1deplorabledad) May 1, 2019
Personally don’t support the exemptions he was talking about, and also the uproar to this was such that he’s changed his position in the last 12 hours, so either he didn’t care that much about his position or decides he had taken the wrong one
— Andrew Rose Gregory (@arosegregory) May 1, 2019
Full stop for Pete. Why let it get to an emergency? Sounds kind of stupid and ignorant https://t.co/U6AQQXGWGz
— Ryan H (@Ryhows) May 1, 2019
Damn it Mayor Pete, this was an easy pitch. ? https://t.co/IAt4UiBEUf
— Tommy Z (@BullZei1) May 1, 2019
OK well Mayor Pete is canceled. https://t.co/lAPLbyl6cV
— Alex Duzik (@aduzik) May 1, 2019
- 52 passengers boarded plane with neg Covid results, test positive after landing in Hong Kong - April 26, 2021
- Supreme Court agrees to hear major gun rights case on concealed handguns - April 26, 2021
- Final Census data shows the blue states likely to lose House seats, and the red states picking them up - April 26, 2021