Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., claimed Monday that vaccines can cause “profound mental disorders.”
Paul, in an often contentious interview with CNBC, argued that parents should have a choice whether to vaccinate their children.
“I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” Paul said.
The scientific community overwhelmingly believes that vaccines are safe and the alleged link between vaccines and autism has been discredited.
Paul, who is expected to run for president in 2016, told CNBC he isn’t against vaccines and just thinks parents should have control over whether their children should get them. He said his child was vaccinated, but he decided the vaccinations should be given over time instead of all at once.
“I'm not arguing that 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 their children, and it is an issue of freedom," Paul said.
The nation is in the midst of a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in California. It’s spreading in areas where parents don’t get their children vaccinated.
Editor’s note: This headline was clarified to note that Paul suggested vaccines can cause mental disorders.