1. Because of that risk to the vulnerable population, does he believe that it’s time to revisit state laws that allow some parents to opt out?
MR. EARNEST: Well, I know that there has been substantial litigation around this, too. I think in the mind of the President — I did have the opportunity to visit with him shortly before the briefing on this very issue — the President believes it shouldn’t require a law for people to exercise common sense and do the right thing. And again, this is the right thing for them to do both by their own children, but by also other children in the community. They have a responsibility to do this.
And the fact is the only reason that people would even consider the option of not getting the measles vaccine for their children is that we have actually succeeded in making the measles virus very rare, that they feel like they are not at risk at catching measles so that’s why they don’t have to get the measles vaccine. But the truth of the matter is the only reason that the measles virus is relatively rare is because everybody has been getting the vaccine.
So there is an element of common sense that needs to be applied here because the science and the expert guidance that we get from our public health professionals is crystal-clear.