Two medical professionals seeking the Republican presidential nomination "harmed American kids" by not speaking out against front-runner Donald Trump's assertions that vaccines cause autism during the second debate, medical ethicist Arthur Caplan told Newsmax TV
"Remember, it isn't just a battle about the presidency," Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University's Langone Medical Center, told "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "When Donald Trump comes out and says, 'I've seen kids become autistic a week after they've gotten their vaccinations,' which is what he said, it's irresponsible – he's harming children.
"You can't be president of the United States and put kids in the crosshair," he said.
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Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson "missed his chance and he was derelict in his obligation to kids. Carson should've said something.
"By the way, Rand Paul, too, because he's an ophthalmologist," Caplan said of the Kentucky senator. "He was asked. He didn't step up to the plate, either."
The candidates' capitulation to Trump on the issue during the three-hour contest left Caplan "really exasperated," he told Berliner.
"They do more harm. We get into these fights about who's winners and losers.
"If you go on TV and a 20-million audience and say, 'I think vaccines cause autism,' you've harmed American kids," Caplan added. "You've harmed people who basically might get infected by those kids who, for various reasons, can't vaccinate themselves.
"Boy, do you do a lot of damage — and that's really exasperating."
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