Donald Trump has a theory about autism and vaccines. And FOX News celebrated Autism Awareness Day by letting him spew it all over TV.
The Raw Story offers a partial transcription:
“I’ve gotten to be pretty familiar with the subject,” Trump said. “You know, I have a theory — and it’s a theory that some people believe in — and that’s the vaccinations. We never had anything like this. This is now an epidemic. It’s way, way up over the past 10 years. It’s way up over the past two years. And, you know, when you take a little baby that weighs like 12 pounds into a doctor’s office and they pump them with many, many simultaneous vaccinations — I’m all for vaccinations, but I think when you add all of these vaccinations together and then two months later the baby is so different then lots of different things have happened. I really — I’ve known cases.”
Gretchen Carlson did try to talk him down and offer some fact-like material, so good for her.
Trump's sources for all of this garbage? According to him, Autism Speaks founders Bob and Suzanne Wright. As Orac at Respectful Insolence says:
Let's just put it this way. The Wrights have drunk deeply of the antivaccine Kool-Aid, so much so that the continued embrace of antivaccine nonsense by Autism Speaks in the face of overwhelming evidence that vaccines are not linked with autism is a large part of the reason why Alison Singer left that group. Trump's even done fundraisers for them.
Occupy Autism Speaks
I guess I have not been clear enough about this:
I think Autism Speaks is evil.
I think this for many reasons. The fact that they hide their eugenic agenda is one. Their need to publicize negative stereotypes about autistic people is another. The contempt with which they treat autistic adults (myself included) is a third.
Today I want to talk about their phony concern-- the pretense that they care about things that they manifestly could not care less about. Most of the time they just pretended to care about autistic people. This week they also decided to pretend to care about victims of child abuse.
As an autistic victim of childhood sexual abuse, I want you to know that I find the statement of Autism Speaks co-founders Bob and Susanne Wright regarding the sexual abuse tragedy at Pennsylvania State one of the most disturbingly offensive things I have ever read:
The horribly tragic situation at Penn State University is a sobering reminder of what can happen when the powerless have no voice and powerful institutions have no one holding them accountable.
You know what else is a sobering reminder of that?
The Judge Rotenberg Center.
Am I alone in finding it both bizarre and disgusting that the Wrights feel the need to speak out about a sexual abuse scandal in a football program, but have never felt the need to object to a facility that houses people with autism where two blameless teenagers can be awakened from their sleep to be given a total of over a hundred electric shocks between them?
The system is open to abuse. The school has 29 residential properties in which students sleep at night and, in August 2007, a call came in to one of them to report that two students had misbehaved earlier in the evening and needed to be shocked. It was 2am, but the staff located the two students, aged 16 and 19, and began zapping them in their sleep. The boys awoke and protested that they had done nothing wrong, but the shocks continued. Over a three-hour period, one boy was shocked 77 times, the other 29. It later transpired that the initial call had been a hoax.
The Wrights, and Autism Speaks, have silent about that. If you search for information about the Judge Rotenberg Center on the Autism Speaks site, you will find one relevant article. It's about the center's head, Dr. Matthew Israel being forced out of his leadership role there, but it focuses on his defense of his actions. Apparently, Autism Speaks wants to make Matthew Israel look as good as possible.
But this is what they say about Penn State:
It is the cause and effect result of power dynamics at its most extreme, where institutional dominance is protected over the safety and well being of the most vulnerable; where the most trusted have committed the most serious betrayal.
Now, again, I was sexually abused as a child. I take this issue about as seriously as possible. But, no, it is not the most serious betrayal.
The happened to Jawara Henry, a 27-year-old autistic man who was strangled to death by his attendant at the South Beach Psychiatric Center
Autism Speaks said nothing.
Jonathan Carey was a 13-year-old boy who was crushed to death at the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center.
Autism Speaks has been silent.
Nor have they made a special statement calling for investigation into the Richmond State Supported Living Center (or state facilities in Texas) after David Taylor was beaten and left to die there.
It hurts my soul that autistic people are killed in facilities that are suposed to care for them, and people in general don't care very much. For Autism Speaks to engage themselves more with a football sex abuse scandal rather than any of the tragedies I mention here shocks me. It illustrates so clearly the extent of their indifference to suffering of autistic people, especially if they are adults, especially if they are poor.
And it hurts my soul as someone who was damaged seriously when I was raped as a young boy to see the Wrights forcing their phony concern at me from that direction, too.