Lt. Governor Candidate Don Turner Responds to Lt. Governor David Zuckerman’s Comments on Vaccines and the CDC

Milton, VT--Today, candidate for Lieutenant Governor Don Turner issued the following statement in response to Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman’s remarks opposing the elimination of the philosophical exemption for vaccines and impugning the integrity of the Centers for Disease Control during the VTDigger Lieutenant Governor Debate:

“In 2015, I was proud to vote for H.95, which eliminated the philosophical exemption for vaccines with tri-partisan support. Ensuring Vermont’s children are healthy and safe is an essential function of state government. That’s why mitigating the risk to public health by requiring standard immunizations is so crucial. Unfortunately, my opponent voted against this legislation, referring to the science of whether vaccines are safe as ‘disputed.

“Yesterday evening during the VTDigger Lieutenant Governor forum, my opponent reiterated his opposition to requiring vaccines, and said, ‘It’s a question of whether or not government should be forcing people to accept vaccinations, especially when there’s another 250 to 300 in the pipeline from the pharmaceutical industry.’ He then stated, in response to a question about lyme disease and vaccines, that ‘the CDC’s Infectious Disease Control board has a number of conflicts of interests, both researching vaccines for lyme as well as connections with the pharmaceutical industry.’

“I am extremely disappointed to hear my opponent not only reiterate his position--which is rejected by the experts on this issue, including the American Academy of Family Physicians--but also to question the role of the pharmaceutical industry in influencing the CDC. If Lieutenant Governor Zuckerman has any demonstrable proof that the CDC’s decisions or actions are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, he should disclose that evidence.

“I am proud to stand with the scientific and public health community on this important issue. I would call on Lieutenant Governor Zuckerman to retract his remarks regarding the integrity of the CDC and vaccines.”

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