3:23 pm CT – The public witnesses are seated. They are:
- Mr. Bob Wright, Co-Founder, Autism Speaks
- Mr. Scott Badesch, President, Autism Society
- Mr. Mark Blaxill, Board Member of SafeMinds, an anti-vaccine advocacy group
- Mr. Bradley McGarry, Coordinator of the Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst, Mercyhurst University
- Mr. Michael John Carley, Executive Director, Global & Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership
- Mr. Ari Ne’eman, President, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bob Wright is up first. The former president of NBC Universal is schooled on how to use a microphone.
Wright is playing to the peanut gallery now, slamming Boyle and Guttmacher for their testimony.
“The CDC spends almost no money for autism – only $20 million or $30 million.”
3:32 – Scott Badesch of the Autism Society.
“The services for autism are currently difficult to navigate.” Then he blasts the IACC for not including government officials.
“The need for adult services is extensive. The greatest cliff occurs when somebody with autism turns 21, and there’s no one there to help them.”
Mark Blaxill’s turn. “I wrote a book on autism. It argues that autism is a new condition.” Before 1930, he says, the rate of autism in the US and the world was “effectively zero.”
He’s showing PowerPoint slides. “It’s obvious when somebody is autistic.” This is nonsense.
“It’s absurd to waste money on genetic research in this crisis. There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.” The “autism gene hunt.”
The CDC has given us securities fraud to avoid accountability for an epidemic.
3:43 – Bradley McGarry. “This is just the beginning of the wave that has been characterized as an epidemic.”
3:48 – Michael John Carley. “Research is based on the future, and not on where the greatest need lies, which is the present.” Adults on the spectrum are starved for housing, jobs, and other opportunities. Yeah!
“We are not amidst a health crisis. We are amidst a services crisis.” This guy rocks.
“Evidence-based conviction, not hope.” He’s appalled that we are still talking about vaccines.
3:55 – Ari Ne’eman. “In God We Trust, everybody else bring data.”
Ne’eman doesn’t buy into the epidemic talk. He asks for a prevalence study looking at adults with autism in the US, similar to the one in the UK which found 1 percent.
Dan Burton again. “I want you to get a copy of this whole hearing, and disseminate it and try to get as many people as possible to take a look at it.”
He says the NVICP isn’t getting money to people who need it. Does he want to raid the fund?
He calls people with autism a burden.
4:05 – Rep. Cummings. “I listened to you Mr. Blaxill, and you feel there’s been a great deal of game playing.”
More epidemic talk. Ne’eman responds. “It stands in contravention to a good deal of science.”
He adds “The perception that autism is a recent new thing is damaging” because it excludes the needs of adults.
“What kind of services are you talking about?” asks Cummings.
Carley: ABA, enforcement of IDEA, housing for adults, job training. “This is not a population short on brain cells.”
Carley addresses the myth of the epidemic. Now Blaxill wants to respond.
“The 1:88 number – the CDC doesn’t break out the categories. We don’t know if Asperger’s is part of the increase.”
DSM-IV, he says, was supposed to be a “corrective narrowing” of the expansion.
The “great unmentionable – vaccines.” An inflection point in 1990 – vaccines explain it.
“Statistical trickery” by the CDC.
Issa asks Bob Wright some questions. “There is such a wide divergence in the science. The IACC seems to be missing the mark. What is your view of what needs to be done?”
Wright: We need a nationwide strategic plan. That includes safety research on vaccines. Somebody has to coordinate all this activity. The CDC and NIH don’t do services.
“What we deal with is a lot of ignorance.” Wright was talking about doctors, not the people who applauded Mark Blaxill.
Rep. Kelly is grilling Blaxill about his criticism of genetic research. “Who else believes what you do? Why haven’t we heard of this before?”
Blaxill blames the IACC and NIH. “They are not accountable in any way. The were only trying to maintain the status quo.”
Rep. Cummings is quoting Sam Cooke – “I was born by the river….Change is going to come.”
The committee seems to have calmed down now. The talk has turned to adults with autism and services.
Spoke too soon. Blaxill is back on the “inflection point.” The beginning of the epidemic. A tsunami of desperate families. The inflection point was in 1990. So those kids are 22 NOW!! OH NOES!
Now Blaxill has been asked to comment on the Brick Township study. Scientists are being punished for being politically incorrect. The NIH enforces the orthodoxy. So does the press.
A boy with autism wanders in front of the witness stand. I predict a strained metaphor from Mark Blaxill.
4:44 – Issa wraps up. A list of things we have learned today. “There is nothing we heard today that is off limits for this committee to explore.”