WASHINGTON ― Hundreds of state and national medical groups on Tuesday sent President Donald Trump scientific evidence debunking the theory that childhood vaccines cause autism.
“Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to expert recommendations have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature, including a thorough review by the National Academy of Medicine,” reads the letter, which was signed by groups including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The medical groups attached summaries of more than three dozen studies that found no link between vaccines and neurological problems, and noted that immunization has eradicated several diseases in the U.S.
Trump has repeatedly espoused the discredited theory that children can get autism from vaccines. He hosted Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a proponent of the autism theory, in January at Trump Tower in New York City. Kennedy said afterward that Trump had asked him to head a commission investigating vaccine safety.
A Trump spokeswoman previously said no decision had been made about whether to create a commission. The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Public health groups have been wary of wading into the political fray on vaccines, reluctant to give the impression that there’s any legitimate debate among scientists over whether people should have their children immunized. The letter had been in the works since Trump’s vaccine doubts resurfaced last month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Several government bodies already vouch for the safety of vaccines, and nongovernment researchers have repeatedly probed the link between vaccines and autism since a 1998 paper first caused alarm. That paper has since been retracted.