As Measles Cases Hit Record Highs, Acting Director of National Vaccine Program is… a Veterinarian

Following FAA Fiasco, Trump Administration Hits Another “Acting Director” Snag Amid Measles Outbreak

Washington — This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the measles outbreak is now up to a record total of 704 cases across the country. But the National Vaccine Program Office doesn’t have a permanent Director, only an “acting director.” Just like the Boeing Disaster shed light onto the acting director of the FAA, the measles crisis is now shedding light onto the National Vaccine Program – and just how seriously the Trump administration is taking the measles crisis.

The current “acting director” of the National Vaccine Program Office is Dr. Tammy Beckham, a veterinarian and former Dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Beckham doesn’t appear to have adequate experience working in human medicine, and she was quietly appointed to her position.

“As false information and measles spread across the country, it’s no surprise that the Trump administration has been forced to speak – he has been pushing dangerous myths about vaccines for years,” said Lizzy Price, spokesperson for Restore Public Trust. “Not only is the National Vaccine Program headed by a doctor of veterinary medicine, it’s also held by an acting official. And even more concerning are all the anti-vaccination comments coming from this administration. Trump’s comments are too little, too late – it’s crystal clear the Trump administration is not taking these dangerous public health threats seriously.”

The National Vaccine Program Office “provides strategic leadership and management and encourages collaboration and coordination among federal agencies and other stakeholders whose mandate is to help reduce the burden of preventable infectious disease.” In contrast, Dr. Beckham’s predecessors, Dr. Bruce Gellin and Dr. Jewel Mullen, both had extensive resumes combating infectious diseases.

Beckham isn’t the only “acting” official in the Trump administration. The administration’s heavy reliance on acting officials has raised questions about the legality of having non-Senate confirmed political appointees in positions that are supposed to be Senate confirmable.

Despite recent comments, President Trump has a history of pushing anti-vaxxer statements, despite being disproved by science over and over again:

  • Far from being “pro vaccine,” Trump has made blatantly anti-vaxxer comments, previously suggesting vaccines caused some children to become autistic.
  • Before his election President Donald Trump helped spread these vaccine fears — “for reasons he has yet to truly defend or even explain.”

Press Release

Comments are disabled.