State seeks to rescind controversial autism appointment
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is trying to oust David Geier from a state autism advisory panel, The Sun's Meredith Cohn reports.
Geier and his father, Dr. Mark Geier, have drawn scrutiny for their controversial view that autism is linked to the mercury in in vaccines -- an idea that has been discredited by the Institute of Medicine.
Mark Geier's medical license in Maryland was suspended this week; David Geier is not a medical doctor, but the Montgomery County man has worked closely with his father.
"Under the circumstances, we do not believe it's appropriate for David Geier to serve on the autism commission," said David Paulson, a spokesman for the state health department. "Unfortunately, he declined to resign his commission. ... As a result, we are considering the appropriate next steps."
The health department recommended David Geier and 18 others for the panel, which was created in 2009 and advises Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly on autism.
Health officials have not explained why it wanted Geier's input, other than to say they sought a "diverse" array of views. Like all applicants, Paulson said, Geier applied on his own.
The Maryland Commission on Autism is led by Renata J. Henry, deputy secretary of behavioral health and disabilities. Sen. Katherine Klausmeier and Del. Kirill Reznik also serve on the panel.
The commission's preliminary report to the General Assembly is due June 1, and a final report is to be submitted in September 2012.