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Actor and anti-vaxxer Rob Schneider: I have proof the CDC ‘fraudulently changed’ autism data

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Actor and anti-vaccine advocate Rob Schneider contacted California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office (D) claiming to possess documents showing that the Centers for Disease Control has hidden data showing Black children are at a particularly high risk of developing autism from vaccines.

According to the anti-vaccine site The Canary Party, Schneider stated in his letter to deputy legislative secretary Lark Park that he was “compelled” to share his proof of a CDC report the agency suppressed and “fraudulently changed.”

“One disturbing disclosure, AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN were and still are THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERCENT more likely to develop Autism under the current Vaccine MMR schedule,” Schneider wrote. “This according to the original CDC study in 2001.”

Schneider may have been referring to a 2004 letter to the CDC regarding a study of African-American children which was recently unearthed. Anti-vaccination activists say the letter proves that evidence of a link between the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine and autism was suppressed by the CDC. The agency said in a statement that the study’s results were due to issues with the sample and not a vaccine-autism link.

He also reaffirmed his opposition to AB 2109, an October 2012 law requiring parents looking for non-medical school vaccination exemptions for their children to provide proof that they met with a healthcare provider and discussed the potential drawbacks of their decision.

Four months earlier, when the state Senate Health Committee approved the bill, Schneider mistakenly posted online that it had been passed and called lawmakers “Nazis” for doing so.

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“This policy of one size fits all Vaccine schedule for every child is as absurd as giving the same eye prescription glasses to every child,” he wrote in his letter to Park. “The fact is EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and there is currently NO SYSTEM or thought to which child could be more susceptible to adverse reactions including permanent injury and death from any Vaccine or Vaccine ingredients.”

A CDC study released earlier this year blamed anti-vaccine activists for fueling an increase in measles outbreaks around the country; 80 percent of the new cases involved people who refused to get the MMR vaccine because of “philosophical differences.”

Editor’s Note: The story has been corrected to better reflect Schneider’s statement.

[Image via Wikipedia Commons]

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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