, an author and spiritual adviser seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said Thursday she “misspoke” when she called vaccine mandates “draconian” and compared the controversy surrounding them to the abortion debate.
Williamson told supporters at a Wednesday evening event in New Hampshire that vaccine mandates are “Orwellian,” according to a tweet shared by an NBC reporter.
“To me, 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 reportedly said.
Marianne Williamson leans in to vaccine skepticism in NH: “To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate. The US government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.”
+ added vaccine mandates are too “draconian” & “Orwellian”
— Julia Jester (@JulesJester) June 20, 2019
In a statement on Twitter the next day, Williamson said her prior remarks did not reflect her beliefs and she misspoke.
“I understand that many vaccines are important and save lives. I recognize there are epidemics around the world that are stopped by vaccines,” she said.
Williamson didn’t fully condemn the anti-vaccination movement, though, saying she also “understands some of the skepticism that abounds today about drugs which are rushed to market by Big Pharma.”
“I am sorry that I made comments which sounded as though I question the validity of life-saving vaccines,” she said.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) June 20, 2019
The anti-vaccination movement has seemingly gained popularity, leading to the country’s worst measles outbreak in more than 25 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 1,022 cases as of June 6, with confirmed cases across 28 states.