Liz Birt’s accomplishments
Dear Editor:Liz Birt of Wilmette, Ill. was killed in a car accident on Highway 82 yesterday. Liz will be greatly missed by her friends and community.A health-care attorney, Liz began researching the role of vaccines and autism in 1998 shortly after the issue was given attention by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Liz started Medical Interventions for Autism, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding the possible link between inflammatory bowel disease, immune system disorders, viruses from vaccines and autism in 1999, shortly after her son, Matthew, who has autism, was diagnosed for his inflammatory bowel disease.In 2000 she helped found the advocacy group SafeMinds and as general counsel obtained various important documents relating to the CDC’s knowledge of the dangers of Thimerosal. Based on Liz’s report for the Congressional Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness investigating the FDA and CDC, in May 2002 the committee’s staff report was released to Congress and the public, titled “Mercury in Medicine – Taking Unnecessary Risks.”Liz also had a private law practice in Chicago and continued to be an advocate for vaccine damaged children. Liz had a sense of humor and was not afraid of Capitol Hill. Recently, her life and work were profiled in the book “Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy,” written by David Kirby of The New York Times. Kara M. FriedmanHighland Park, Ill.
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Just in time for Halloween, the Pitkin County Board of Health voted 4-2 to reduce the size of informal gatherings from 10 to five for at least the next two weeks starting Friday. According to the public health director, officials are currently investigating 11 outbreaks in Pitkin County.