New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, currently visiting the United Kingdom on a trade mission, told an MSNBC reporter that his own kids have had their vaccination shots, but added that the approach to childhood vaccines should be “balanced.”
The combative governor whose beloved Dallas Cowboys were eliminated during the NFL playoffs, left last week for England on what was regarded as an attempt to burnish his foreign policy credentials before making a run at the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Previous GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney conducted a similar tour in 2012 to disastrous results; managing to insult Olympic games host London, in what British officials called a “car crash” of a visit and “worse than Sarah Palin.”
Although, Christie did not insult his hosts, he did open himself up to some questions regarding his comments on childhood vaccination at a time when concerns are being raised about the spread of measles following an outbreak that originated at Disneyland in California and has spread across the country.
According to a tweet from MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, the governor said his own kids were vaccinated, but he left open the door for the so-called ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement that is resisting childhood immunization shots out of discredited autism concerns.
Hunt tweeted: “I asked Gov. Christie if Americans should vaccinate their kids. He says his kids are — but says approach should be “balanced”.
The reporter did not indicate whether she followed up with the governor to expand upon his “balanced” comment.
The Washington Post reports Christie said, “Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health.”
He continued, “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no question children should receive their childhood immunizations shots, with Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, calling the Disneyland outbreak “a wake-up call.”
“This is a wake-up call to make sure we keep measles from getting a foothold in our country,” she said.
Measles were declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but the increasing numbers of parents opting out of having their children vaccinated has caused a dramatic resurgence in the disease.
Kasie Hunt tweet, below:
I asked Gov. Christie if Americans should vaccinate their kids. He says his kids are — but says approach should be “balanced”
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) February 2, 2015