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Experts condemn Donald Trump for remarks on vaccines, autism

Donald Trump speaks during CNN's debate Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where he suggested a link between infant vaccinations and autism.FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump speaks during CNN’s debate Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where he suggested a link between infant vaccinations and autism.

Donald Trump should check his medical facts before mouthing off about vaccines and autism during GOP debates, experts said Thursday.

“What happened last night put many children at risk,” Alison Singer, president of the Manhattan-based Autism Science Foundation, told the Daily News a day after the Republican frontrunner’s TV tirade.

Singer called Trump “reckless” for suggesting a link between vaccinations and autism while speaking to the millions who tuned in for the CNN spectacle.

“Once you put a scary idea in someone’s head, it’s very hard to get rid of it,” she said.

EDITORIAL: TRUMP’S WORST OUTRAGE

Trump said Wednesday it seemed wrong to inject a “beautiful baby” with a shot that looks “meant for a horse.” He even claimed to know a 2-year-old who recently got a combined vaccine, developed a tremendous fever and now is autistic.

“This has been thoroughly studied and the conclusion is very clear: There is no relationship between vaccines and autism,” Dr. Jane Zucker, the top immunization official in the city’s Health Department, told The News.

She said the national Institute of Medicine analyzed more than 1,000 research papers before reaching that conclusion in 2011.

“I’m biting my own tongue right now,” Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor in pediatrics and environmental medicine at NYU School of Medicine, said Thursday when asked about Trump.

A children's doctor gives a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox to an infant. Medical experts say the study that demonized the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) has been thoroughly debunked.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A children’s doctor gives a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox to an infant. Medical experts say the study that demonized the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) has been thoroughly debunked.

“We need to put this issue to rest,” he said. “This obsession with vaccines is distracting us from the urgently needed attention we should be paying to more plausible environmental factors (causing autism) such as air pollution and pesticides.”

Trasande said the fraudulent 1998 study that first demonized the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) has been thoroughly debunked, and further scaremongering could contribute to a public health crisis.

“We know vaccine-preventable diseases are starting to emerge again, such as whooping cough and measles. I appreciate that people have forgotten them as distant memories, but they can, in some instances, kill,” Trasande said.

“It’s time to move on. There’s not a bottomless pit of money to fund this research,” Singer, who has an 18-year-old daughter and adult brother with autism, said.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (l.) also made controversial comments about vaccines at the debate.FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (l.) also made controversial comments about vaccines at the debate.

Experts also questioned the debate remarks of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the Republican candidate who sparred with Trump Wednesday before agreeing it might be prudent to delay some vaccinations.

“The CDC guidelines aren’t willy-nilly. Infants are at greater risk of complications from these diseases. That’s why we give the vaccinations to infants,” Singer said Thursday.

“There’s no evidence to support the notion that too many shots are being given too quickly. An infant’s immune system can handle it,” Zucker told The News.

“What we do know is that when parents delay immunizations, it puts their children at risk of acquiring life-threatening infections,” she said.

JAN. 29, 2015, PHOTODamian Dovarganes/AP

Experts tell The News that Trump is wrong about vaccines — and his remarks could be dangerous.

She pointed to the measles outbreak earlier this year that was traced to Disneyland in southern California and an outbreak of whooping cough now underway in New York as examples.

“When you withhold vaccines, you do nothing to reduce the risk of autism, but you’re absolutely increasing the risk (the child) will contract a disease from which they can die,” Singer said Thursday.

“I would like to see the candidates stand behind the science and not pander to voters,” she said.

ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

ndillon@nydailynews.com

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donald trump ,
2016 election

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