Public health official says despite being debunked, anti-vaccine rhetoric 'still lingers'

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday told Hill.TV that the link anti-vaccination advocates attempt to draw between autism and vaccinations "still lingers" despite being debunked. 

"The biggest misinformation has been this connection between measles vaccination and autism, which has completely been debunked as being absolutely false and based on no data," Faucci, the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"Yet it still lingers. There's still people who think that there are major adverse events associated with the measles vaccine, particularly the connection with autism," he continued.

"When that misinformation is out there, you can't get rid of it. It gets on to the internet, and they just keep feeding each other back and forth," he said. 

The number of measles cases in the U.S. has surged recently, with 555 people being infected across 20 states. 

The rise comes as the anti-vaccine movement continues, resulting in clashes between public health departments, schools, religious communities and Congress. 

Anti-vaccination activists have cited being against government-mandated vaccines, and have compared public health measures like banning unvaccinated children from schools to the Nazi persecution of Jews.

In terms of linking autism to vaccines, a recent study showed there is no connection, in line with numerous other studies over the last decade. The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last month found no link between autism and the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. 

— Julia Manchester