The San Antonio area district attorney says he’s prepared to take on criticism over his comments in a recent video, in which he blames his children’s autism on vaccine injections.
Sworn into office last year, Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Nico LaHood and his wife expressed critical thoughts about vaccines in an excerpt posted to the Vaxxed film’s official Youtube channel.
“I’m here to tell you that vaccines can and do cause autism,” he says in the video uploaded Tuesday.
LaHood and his wife tell the story of how their infant daughter Maya suffered an auto-immune reaction shortly after receiving her scheduled immunizations while at the hospital.
“It was really bad. It was bad to where I had to tie her down to sleep because she would scratch herself and start bleeding,” Davida LaHood said describing her daughter’s eczema-like symptoms.
The mother and father also recounted their son Michael’s physical and mental changes shortly after getting vaccinated.
“He was a very alert baby. He was very talkative. He was very happy. He would smile a lot. He would love for you to look him in the eyes,” she described.
“It was like 18 months, it was after a round of vaccines and he just started doing this [winces]. Like a tick,” LaHood described, saying they at first thought it was cute.
“But fairly quickly I think both of us came to the conclusion that that’s not cute anymore,” LaHood said, with Davida adding she was concerned after Michael stopped making eye contact.
“There’s a big change right here,” Davida says. “He stopped completely looking at you. He stopped responding to his name completely. And then we started just seeing a lot of other – just motor skills not developing the way they had been.”
LaHood says at the time he spoke to a friend who worked as a scientist for the Merck pharmaceutical company, who told him he never vaccinated any of his four children.
“I seek truth. I’m a prosecutor for a living. So I look for truth. I have to follow evidence wherever it leads me. I don’t have a bias. So I took that same approach in looking at this issue,” LaHood says.
“At the core of my spirit I hate deception,” he says. “And what has been promulgated on us as a community – even by our own damn government – is deceptive. Whether it’s intentional, or not the result is the same.”
Now the prosecutor is standing up to scrutiny from the media and people on Facebook, declaring he has the First Amendment right to express his opinion.
“Some are upset that LaHood, an elected official, was recorded making the statement from his desk in the county office,” reports KENS5 News.
LaHood argues he’s entitled to offer his opinion while in office as other elected officials such as President Obama and former Governor Rick Perry made parallel statements supporting childhood vaccination.
“I’m not forcing my opinion on you. I’m giving you my opinion and I think I’m entitled to it,” he told ABC affiliate KSAT.
The Bexar County judge, Nelson Wolff, backed up LaHood and his right to discuss the issue.
“He’s a terrific father. He’s concerned. He has a son with autism. I have a nephew with autism. I know what it’s like,” Wolff stated to KSAT.
Despite the criticism, LaHood says he will continue asking questions and looking for answers, and encouraging parents to do their own research before vaccinating.
“My opinions are just my opinions as a daddy, as a husband, who happens to be the district attorney. People are allowed to have a First Amendment right to an opinion. I know this is not a politically correct opinion,” he said.
Watch: David Knight discusses Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s ever-evolving stance on vaccines.