Note: I don't mean to be snippy, but WE had an epidemic long before C19 came around. And all the troubles facing families in Europe, the USA and elsewhere, have been SOP when you have one (or more) children of any age with autism. We also have no treatment. No cure. And.... no prevention. Our children die too young. We're alone a LOT. We stay inside and avoid public places. Careers have been sidetracked, income decimated, savings devoured, healthcare lacking, schools unable to educate and???? We're mocked left and right. Onward, friends. Thanks to Anne for this terrific interview.
By Anne Dachel
Thanks to the incredible work of political economist, Dr. Toby Rogers, we’ve gotten a preview of what the nightmare epidemic is going cost us in the very near future, as I reported in my Mar 11th coverage of Dr. Rogers on Del Bigtree’s Highwire interview.
Here is a follow-up Skype talk I recently had with Dr. Rogers:
“My doctoral research is relatively straightforward. Anybody can read these studies. I gathered the best cost estimates from economists from around the world about the costs of autism.
“We know that autism is devastating financially to families, particularly to mothers who often become caregivers.
“We know that autism is the most costly medical condition in the United Kingdom. A study from the London School of Economics shows that autism costs the United Kingdom more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined. And we know that five years ago  …autism cost the United States $268 billion a year.
“We’re looking at a trillion dollars a year in costs for autism in the United States within five years.
“There’s no plan for how to respond to this. The federal government isn’t ready for this. The state government isn’t ready for this. This is strange, and the question becomes WHY. Why is it that government officials are so slow to respond to an epidemic that is all around us?
“I think there are multiple answers for that and none of them are good. We’re trying to understand a very strange social phenomenon.
“I think elected officials tend to live in information bubbles. They tend to be surrounded by other people who look and think like them. They tend to only talk to people who look and think like them. They tend to listen to lobbyists who are in their ear and writing them checks. So then a parent comes to testify or to meet with them to explain the vaccine injury that happened to their child, they don’t know what to do with this information. So they dismiss it or they don’t want to think about it, or they find ways to distract themselves.
“I don’t quite know how things go astray with elected officials, but in the social science literature they say that knowledge is socially constructed. We would like to think that we all just are governed by the facts, and that we all follow logic and reason.
“The social science literature shows that that’s not actually how knowledge works. The way that knowledge works is that we’re all social creatures, and so we look for cues to other people. We look at other people in our social group and how they’re thinking and acting.
“And our financial position influences this too, right? The old Mark Twain quote where it’s difficult to get a man to understand a set of facts if his salary depends on not understanding them. Well, I think that’s happening with elected officials too.
“What we’re trying to dismantle in the work that you do and the work that I do is this socially constructed worldview that there’s nothing to see here. We all know that we’re in the midst of extraordinary epidemics of childhood illness. It’s not just autism. It’s [also] autoimmune disorders, it’s arthritis, it’s life threatening allergies, it’s asthma, diabetes, cancer.
“We’re living in this incredibly troubled time when our kids are sick in record numbers. Fifty-four percent of our kids are sick [with one or more chronic illnesses]. I think we just need to keep talking to elected officials, keep talking to the press until it breaks through.
“I think it’s not going to be linear or gradual. It’s all going to tip in a short space of time. I feel like we’re on the verge of this tipping point where elected officials and the media are going to wake up. They have to because U.S. society is headed over a cliff right now if we don’t do something to stop these epidemic of childhood illness.
“And the way we stop these epidemics is by putting fewer toxic chemicals in children’s bodies. We know this, and one of the largest sources of toxic chemicals in children’s bodies is the pharmaceutical industry. Not only the pharmaceutical industry but mostly the pharmaceutical industry.
“In my research I show extraordinary harms from Tylenol,selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant and then just this bloated, grotesque U.S. vaccine schedule that’s really based on profits for the pharmaceutical industry and was never based on the health of children or the wellbeing of our society.”