- Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said during an event in New Hampshire on Tuesdays that vaccination mandates are “draconian” and “Orwellian.”
- She later apologized for her remarks, writing in a Thursday Twitter statement that she “misspoke.”
- This isn’t Williamson’s first time expressing skepticism toward vaccines.
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Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is facing criticism after she referred to vaccination mandates as “draconian,” and “Orwellian,” – adding that “it’s no different than the abortion debate. The US government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.”
The long-shot candidate made those statements during a Tuesday night event in Manchester, New Hampshire, according to a tweet from NBC reporter Julia Jester, and comes as the US continues to grapple with a nationwide measles outbreak. So far this year, there have been 1,044 cases of measles confirmed in 28 States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Julia Jester (@JulesJester) June 19, 2019
Williamson, an author and spiritual lecturer, later apologized for her remarks, writing on Twitter on Thursday that she “misspoke.”
“I understand that many vaccines are important and save lives. I recognize there are epidemics around the world that are stopped by vaccines,” she said in her Twitter statement. “I also understand some of the skepticism that abounds today about drugs which are rushed to market by Big Pharma. I am sorry that I made comments which sounded as though I question the validity of life-saving vaccines.”
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) June 20, 2019
This isn’t Williamson’s first time expressing skepticism toward vaccines. In 2011, she acknowledged on Facebook that she understood the “controversial aspects of vaccinations, and I share many of the concerns.” And, during a 2015 appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” she said that “the government has earned our distrust, I think the pharmaceuticals have,” adding that while she did vaccinate her daughter, “I think there’s a skepticism which is actually healthy on this issue of vaccinations.”
She later clarified on those remarks, writing in a 2015 tweet that “I DO support the measles vaccine; just don’t always trust pharmaceutical companies.”
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