Rand Paul: ‘The State Doesn’t Own Your Children’

Melanie Arter | February 3, 2015 | 11:27am EST
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told CNBC on Monday that vaccines are “a good thing,” but “parents should have some input” on when and whether to vaccinate their children.

“I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing, but I think the parents should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom,” Paul said."

As CNSNews.com reported earlier, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said he is “very concerned” that a recent uptick in measles cases could lead to “a large outbreak” in the U.S.

In California, there have been 91 confirmed cases of measles – including 58 connected to visits to Disneyland or contact with someone who was there while they were sick. In addition, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Nebraska, and Arizona have recorded measles cases.

According to the CDC’s “frequently asked questions” measles page, the measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, “because it has a highly effective measles vaccine, a strong vaccination program that achieves high vaccine coverage in children and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.”

“I understand that you’re all for the choice, but again, if we’re left in a situation where diseases that were once almost wiped out are now coming back because people are deciding not to vaccinate their kids. Isn’t that a problem?” CNBC host Kelly Evans asked Paul.

“I think public awareness of how good vaccines are for kids and how good they are for public health is a great idea. ... These are some of the things that are things that we should promote as good for our health, but I don’t think there’s anything extraordinary about resorting to freedom,” Paul said.

Paul said he delayed giving his newborn the vaccine for hepatitis B, a disease that is sexually transmitted and transmitted through blood transfusion.

“The hepatitis B vaccine is now given to newborns. We sometimes give five and six vaccines all at one time. I chose to have mine delayed. I don’t want the government telling me that I have to give my newborn hepatitis B vaccine, which is transmitted by sexually transmitted disease and/or blood transfusions,” Paul said. “Do I think it’s ultimately a good idea? Yeah, and so I had mine staggered over several months.”

“I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he added.

Paul, an opthalmologist, said he thinks vaccines are “the greatest medical breakthroughs that we had.”

“I’m a big fan and a great fan of the history of the development of the small pox vaccine, for example, but you know for most of our history, they have been involuntary, so I don’t think I’m arguing for anything out of the ordinary. We’re arguing for what most of history has had,” he said.

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