Bob Wright is the founder of Autism Speaks. We all know the story: his grandson, Christian, has regressive autism. Christian’s mom, a hero to us all, believes vaccines caused Christian’s regression.
Bob Wright ran NBC for years and worked for General Electric (the parent of NBC) forever. He is a well-connected, very powerful person.
Seven years ago, with much fanfare, Autism Speaks was born. Seven years later, Autism Speaks is a tragic farce. Yes, you can nibble around the edges and tell me all the great things Autism Speaks has done to reform insurance coverage, etc. and I wont argue with you. Those are good things.
They are also very proud of their “awareness campaign.” Sorry, not too impressed. As Mark Blaxill said, it’s pretty hard to miss autism!!
Bob Wright’s testimony before Congress was painful to watch. It wasn’t his bald mullet hairdo or the reading glasses he seemingly borrowed from Prince, it was the fact that he opened his conversation by acknowledging that his own daughter thought vaccines caused his grandson’s autism…
His own daughter! The mother of his grandson!
If my parents started an autism organization in my son’s honor and they then spent seven years without remotely pursuing the science or theory that I was sure befell my son…I would disown my parents. I really mean that. I would literally never speak to my parents again and they would have no access to my life or family. How Katie does it…I will never know.
Bob Wright gave a disorganized, jumbled testimony, which is appropriate, because that’s the impact Autism Speaks has had on our community. He spent a disproportionate amount of time talking about the prevalence study they had done in South Korea…
Bob Wright, on the off chance you are listening, and with all due respect to South Korea (a lovely country where I lived for three years of my childhood):
None of us give a flying F%$# about the prevalence of autism in South Korea when the answer to ending all of this tragic regressive autism is not only staring you right in the face but literally sitting in your own family. To spend seven years disrespecting your daughter’s experience and actually adding to her stress and suffering is incomprehensibly horrible and you are on track right now to leave a very rotten legacy. If you were less concerned with the humanitarian awards and social life that your role as an “autism activist” has given you and Suzanne, perhaps you would be actually be doing things to end this madness.
I met with Bob Wright and several of the other smug, do-nothing schmoes of Autism Speaks several years ago (most of whom have since been terminated). I was in a room with Lynn Redwood, Mark Blaxill, Katie Wright and many other powerful voices from our community. I asked Bob Wright a simple question:
“Bob, do you think vaccines caused Christian’s autism.”
Bob’s answer to me, an answer I will never forget:
“I don’t know, but it’s one hell of a coincidence.”
Four years after that meeting, I guess he still doesn’t know. Bob, it’s not a coincidence and your inaction and the inaction of the organization you started is starting to border on the absurd. Stop counting autism cases and start PREVENTING them!