Like many, I love Robert De Niro for his work in front of the camera, but he’s obviously not informed on this topic. I also don’t think this makes him a bad person – as he’s clearly motivated by a desire to protect children from harm (even if that harm is imagined).
It’s just an unfortunate fact that he is Robert De Niro which means his views will travel and misinform scores of others as a result. Tragically, this has the potential to cause genuine harm to children – unlike his unmerited concerns about autism.
The scientific consensus on this is clear: There is no link between autism and vaccinations.
The whole ‘anti-vax’ movement picked up steam due to a paper published by British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s ‘research’ on the link between the MMR vaccination and autism has been roundly discredited because of falsified data, yet is still used to justify anti-vaccination claims today.
I recorded a conversation with Sarah Levin from The Secular Coalition For America about the misinformation peddled by the anti-vaccination crowd and why it is vital to vaccinate your kids. You can listen to it below.