With Tom Daschle's withdrawal over unpaid taxes, a leading candidate to head HHS is Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius is Governor of Kansas, has served as Kansas Insurance Commissioner and was an ardent supporter of Obama throughout his campaign. What she has not been supportive of were safety concerns over thimerosal, the highly toxic mercury-based preservative in vaccines.
As early as 2003, her staff has ignored warnings of thimerosal dangers, relying on federal and corporate information. This was even before the 2004 IOM Report and the first major epidemiological study by Stehr-Green denying an association between thimerosal and autism had been published in Pediatrics, a study that had been heavily criticized by Mark Blaxill of SafeMinds for serious flaws. Nonetheless, Sebelius is high on Obama's list of potential appointees for Secretary of the HHS and has said she would take the position if offered to her. If appointed, the future does not bode well for victims of thimerosal damage seeking compensation, or children of future generations who are susceptible to the poison.
Jake Crosby is a student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University who plans to major in history, and a Contributing Editor of Age of Autism.