For immediate release – 25.4.20
Bleach, Autism and Why Trump’s Comments Should Terrify the World.
THIS week, US President Donald Trump held an extraordinary interview. He questioned whether injecting people with ‘disinfectants’ and exposing patients’ bodies to UV light could help treat the coronavirus.
The news went viral. People were bewildered, amused and horrified that a world leader could seemingly endorse a ‘cure’ that few argue would be at the very least, incredibly harmful, and at the worst fatal. They don’t put poisons information on the side of bottles because of the design aesthetic.
But one international community wasn’t surprised. The autistic community, who have long since campaigned against abusive ‘treatments’ for autism, are well acquainted with ‘bleach cults’ and other groups who routinely[i] advocate for harmful ‘treatments’ for autistic children and adults.
Parents go to extreme lengths for a cure. Those cures range from injecting or forcing children to ingest a bleach solution called Miracle Mineral Solution, in the belief it will kill ‘ropeworms’ that ‘cause’ the condition.
‘Ropeworms’ are not actual parasites, but intestinal lining shed from the gut following the use of bleach enemas (sodium chlorite mixed with citric acid, forming chlorine dioxide and marketed as MMS) and other similarly ineffective and dangerous ‘cleanses’.
The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network of Australia and New
Zealand (ASAN) spokesperson Katharine Annear, says that people preyed on
vulnerable parents whose children had an autism diagnosis and that the practice
was ‘incredibly dangerous.’
“What occurs when a child is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum is that parents go into a panic and they’re desperate for a solution.”
ASAN board member and disability advocate Samantha Connor agrees.
‘Fear is a powerful motivator,’ she said.
‘The reasons parents go to extreme and dangerous lengths to try harmful or dangerous quack ‘cures’ are the same reasons that a man died a month ago after taking chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks.’
Connor, ASAN AUNZ and other autistic advocates have long campaigned against what they call ‘bleach cults’, including the group that contacted President Donald Trump last week – the Genesis II ‘Church’ of Health and Healing.
The Guardian reported last week that the prominent group wrote to Trump, telling him that chlorine dioxide, an industrial bleach, ‘is a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body’ and can ‘rid the body of COVID-19’.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration obtained a federal court order banning Genesis II from selling MMS, which they described as ‘an unproven and potentially harmful treatment for COVID-19’. The action follows years of lobbying by autistic groups.
Genesis II has claimed to be able to cure all types of cancer, ebola, malaria, HIV, autism and multiple sclerosis. It sells bottles of sodium chlorite with mixing instructions as ‘sacramental cleansing water’.
In one promotional video, which claims to cure malaria within two hours, an infant is shown being force fed a cup of the bleach. The infant is screaming as the fluid is swallowed.
It’s not the first time a link has been established between harmful approaches, autism and President Trump. In 2019, a measles outbreak raged across a number of states in the country, forcing President Trump to urge families to vaccinate their children.
Prior to the election, he had alleged that there was a link between vaccines and autism – a link repeatedly debunked by experts across the world.
Connor, who is a disability violence prevention activist, holds concerns that official messaging in Australia has not adequately addressed the public health risk.
At Friday’s post-National Cabinet press conference, Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy was barely able to conceal laughter at the idea of injecting disinfectant, confessing that he ‘hadn’t heard this’ before.
‘It is imperative that our government sends a strong message to all Australians that we must listen to the public health guidance,’ she said.
‘There are large existing communities of ‘anti-vaxxers’ and ordinary Australians who are prone to believing misinformation and acting on harmful advice.’
‘And most Australians aren’t even aware that these issues exist – that autistics are abused through these methods every day.’
‘We’re segregated and isolated, shut in and shut out; we’re part of a world we never actually really get to live in.’
Like Connor, Katharine Annear knows the risk firsthand.
‘We have numerous accounts of parents or caregivers deliberately or accidentally poisoning autistic children and adults.’
‘Many of these accounts will be before the Disability Royal Commission when it resumes.’
‘Autistic people are twice as
likely to die of preventable death and most likely to die of injury or
poisoning – there is ample research
about the dangers of using unproven or quack remedies.’
For more information, contact Katharine Annear, Operations Manager, on 0400003656