Sept. 1 (UPI) — The government of Australia has banned this week one of the world’s most prominent anti-vaccination advocates from entering the country because of his views.
American Kent Heckenlively was planning a tour in Australia in an effort to encourage more parents to stop vaccinating their children, reported Australian ABC News. But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton refused to allow the anti-vaccination advocate in the country.
“These people who are telling kids, telling parents that their kids shouldn’t be vaccinated are dangerous people,” Dutton told Sydney radio station 2GB. “We have been very clear in having a look right through this particular case, and it is clear to me that it is not in our national interest that he should come here.”
Heckenlively, the author of two books against vaccines, argues they cause an array of medical disorders, including autism.
The Center for Disease Control has said there’s no evidence to support the claim that vaccines cause autism.
Catherine King, Australia’s shadow minister for Health and Medicare praised Dutton’s decision.
“Good. There’s no place for Kent Heckenlively’s dangerous and discredited anti-vaxxer rubbish,” she tweeted. “Vaccinations save lives.”
But Dean Anderson, a right-wing Australian nationalist, felt differently.
“Denying someone like Kent Heckenlively access to Australia because you don’t like what he has to say? Makes u wonder,” he tweeted.
Heckenlively isn’t the first anti-vaccination campaigner to be denied entry to Australia.
Last month, two British anti-vaccination advocates Polly Tommey and U.S.-born Suzanne Humphreys were banned from entering Australia for three years, reported the BBC.