Milwaukee interim health commissioner: 'Science is still out' on vaccines and autism

MILWAUKEE -- On a radio show this week, the newly appointed Milwaukee interim Health Department commissioner Patricia McManus said she believes “the science is still out” on the link between autism and vaccines. 

“I mean, there’s still people who believe it," McManus said on the talk show The Forum. "And so I don’t know. I think the science is still out. I think that’s a decision that these families are going to have to make on their own at this point.”

Alderman Michael Murphy called the comments "troubling" in a news release Friday. 

“This is not true and it is a very troubling view from someone who has just been entrusted with the public health of our city and the future lives of untold thousands of children,” he said in a statement. “Our top public health official should be an advocate for the best public health practices and with the goal of ensuring the good health of all of Milwaukee’s children.”

McManus was recently appointed interim commissioner after Bevan Baker resigned following a communications error in which the department failed to notify the families of children who were at risk of lead poisoning. 

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