November 6, 2008

Obama's Autism Influences, Correcting Arthur Allen

Today in the Washington Independent Arthur Allen reported, while lamenting the possibility that RFK, Jr. could be chosen as head of the EPA, that Obama adviser David Axelrod was an autism parent who had been rumored to have let the President Elect know that autism was not caused by vaccines:

During the campaign, anti-vaccine advocates asked Obama and Sen. John McCain to comment on whether they thought parents should have the right to skip vaccines they feared. McCain hemmed and hawed, while Obama said he thought children should get all the recommended vaccines. Obama apparently was influenced on this by his chief strategist, David Axelrod, who reportedly has an autistic child. Sources in the autistic parents’ community say that Axelrod set Obama straight about the lack of any link between vaccines and autism.

Except that Alexrod apparently does not have a child with autism, but a child with eplipesy.

Senior Obama Strategist David Axelrod and Wife Susan to be Honored for Their Decade-Long Commitment to Epilepsy Research at NYC Benefit

NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- David Axelrod -- one of America'sleading political strategists and senior adviser to Senator Barack Obama --and his wife, Susan, will be honored for their decade of leadership andcommitment to epilepsy research at the First Annual New York City Benefitfor CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy). George Stephanopoulos,Chief Washington Correspondent for ABC News and anchor of "This Week withGeorge Stephanopoulos," will be the guest speaker at the May 13 event.PARADE Publisher Randy Siegel will emcee.

The Axelrod's commitment to curing epilepsy is deeply personal. Theirdaughter Lauren, now 26, has suffered irreversible brain damage as a resultof the disease. She began experiencing life-threatening seizures when shewas just seven months old.

However Michael Strautmanis, Obama’s former Senate chief of staff and close personal friend, is apparently an autism dad. From

"Obama’s Senate chief of staff and close personal friend, Michael Strautmanis, is the father of a child with autism; Obama’s campaign chief David Axelrod is the father of an adult with epilepsy (Obama was a keynote speaker for a foundation run by Axelrod’s wife in 2005). I have spoken with Sen. Obama about our issues in the past and he was always receptive and supportive."

Now, I have no idea if either of these men have "set Obama straight about the lack of any link between vaccines and autism", but I thought the record should be corrected.

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