MANCHESTER, N.H. — Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson Thursday walked back comments expressing skepticism about government-mandated vaccinations.
Appearing on "The View,” Williamson was challenged on remarks she made at an art gallery reception in Manchester, N.H. on Wednesday evening. When asked by an attendee about her perspective on medical freedom and choice, Williamson responded with her views on government-mandated vaccinations. “To me," she said, "it’s no different than the abortion debate. The U.S. government doesn't tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.”
She added, “I have met very sincere, very smart people on both sides of the vaccine issue. I understand infectious diseases are no small deal, but I have to say I know as a mother, if you're telling me that I have to put a needle into the arm of my baby and I don't feel good about what's in that needle, I'm not sure about that.”
"I’ve seen too many mothers with just tears in their eyes," she added, "with real fear. And that’s too draconian to me, it’s just too Orwellian to me."
On Thursday, Williamson said that as president, she would have a commission of scientists, not paid by “big pharma,” to research vaccines and infectious diseases. "The days of blind faith in big pharma are over," she said.
Pressed by "The View" co-host Meghan McCain on calling mandatory vaccines “draconian” and “Orwellian,” Williamson responded, “I think I misspoke in that one sentence.”
She later added, “I understand that public safety must come first, but I also understand that we must have a balance between public safety and the issues of individual freedom. I do not trust the propaganda on either side,” telling co-host Whoopi Goldberg, “I support vaccines.”
The latest Monmouth University poll released on Thursday shows Williamson at one percent, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.