ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson appeared on The View Thursday and sought to clarify her position on childhood vaccinations saying that while she supports the concept of vaccines she doesn't support the idea of anyone on either side of the debate mandating what people should do.
"I understand the issue of public safety must come first. But I also understand that we must have a balance between public safety and the issues of individual freedom," she told the show's hosts and said that she doesn’t trust the “propaganda on either side.”
Williamson has been critical of vaccinations for years, attributing the rise of vaccination mandates to powerful pharmaceutical companies. On Wednesday night, the candidate reportedly called the concept of mandatory vaccinations “draconian” and “Orwellian” at a Manchester, New Hampshire event.
“To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate,” Williamson said at the event, according to a tweet by an NBC News reporter. “The U.S. government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.”
On Thursday morning, Williamson tweeted an apology.
Williamson's appearance on the show was aimed at promoting her atypical 2020 bid and vow to bring a "moral and spiritual awakening" to the U.S.
"I challenge the idea that the people who got us in this ditch are the only ones who can get us out of it,” she said on The View on Thursday.
Williamson secured her spot at the next week's first series of Democratic debates and is set to share a stage with front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
As a celebrity best-selling author with no prior experience in public office, Williamson often speaks frankly about her lack of political experience and has said that her work as a spiritual leader makes her qualified to speak on behalf of everyday citizens. She has also suggested that long-time political leaders, including many of her 2020 contenders are part of the "political establishment" that has contributed to the economic struggle of middle class and disenfranchised Americans.
As a candidate who puts the ideology of love and peace at the center of her campaign, she has been critical of Democrats for being "arrogant and condescending to people of faith," which she says only deepens the disconnection between public officials and their constituents.
Her spirituality is also at the center of her political policies, including her stance on reparations for African American slave descendants, a call she's been pushing since 1997.
Ahead of the House Judiciary subcommittee historic hearing on reparations, Williamson told ABC News' 'Start Here' podcast that the policy is a necessary way for the country to atone for past actions.
"You can't have a future unless you clean up the past," Williamson said on The View. "America can atone and make amends and put the horror behind us."
The spiritual author-turned-presidential candidate has proposed dispersing between $200 and $500 billion to eligible recipients over the course of 20 years and forming a "reparations council" to determine how that money would be spent, adding that there may be stipulations limiting the allocation of funds to the sole purpose of "economic and education renewal."
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