December 28, 2007


Trump_babyBy  J.B. Handley

What if you were a large national autism charity and you held a fundraiser at a billionaire’s house and the billionaire told reporters he thought autism was caused by vaccines? What if your large national autism charity was wildly dismissive of vaccines as a cause for autism, had scientists on staff who had worked to produce faulty research exonerating vaccines alongside the CDC, and had no research dollars allocated to exploring the vaccine-autism relationship?

Well, then you would be Autism Speaks holding a fundraiser at Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion. As THIS article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

“At a news conference Thursday in a gold-trimmed Mar-A-Lago ballroom, Trump's wife, Melania, noted her 22-month-old son, Baron, and said: "I cannot imagine what the mothers [with autistic children] and mothers all around the world go through. ... Let's get rid of autism."

In an interview, Donald Trump said he thinks the rising prevalence of autism is related to vaccinations of babies and toddlers.

One in 150 children is now diagnosed with autism, with the prevalence higher among boys.

”’When I was growing up, autism wasn't really a factor," he said. ‘And now all of a sudden, it's an epidemic. Everybody has their theory, and my theory is the shots. They're getting these massive injections at one time. I think it's the vaccinations.’”

Man, where do you start? Perhaps it’s easiest to say this: Autism Speaks continues to pretend to the outside world that they represent the autism community when they do not. In the video link to the article, Trump goes on to assert that Autism Speaks is “finding the reason” for autism – if only he knew the truth.

Well-meaning parents like Donald Trump try to help, and are unaware that they are assisting and donating to a charity that lacks the courage to explore the most obvious link to an exploding epidemic that has every new parent frightened and confused.

Thank you, Donald. You are always one to use logic and speak your mind – if only Autism Speaks would do the same.

J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and Editor-At-Large for Age of Autism.

Managing Editor's Note: Stay tuned for updates on the 2008 grants approved by Autism Speaks and help us play a new game called, "Chromosome Count.": The winner is the person who can count the times the word "genetics" is used in each grant description. Hint: Take off your socks, you'll need your toes. And a centipede nearby will help too.