In an October 6 interview with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, syndicated radio host Michael Savage mentioned that he hopes Trump appoints him as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) director. Trump didn’t outright deny the radio host’s request, which now has many people wondering if Savage’s request will become a reality.
Media Matters for America reports that Savage, host of Savage Nation, offered to become head of NIH when and if Trump becomes president. Savage holds degrees in medical botany, medical anthropology, and nutritional ethnomedicine, and asserted that he would be the best man for the job.
“When you become president, I want you to consider appointing me to head of the NIH. I will make sure that America has real science and real medicine again in this country because I know the corruption. I know how to clean it up and I know how to make real research work again.”
Trump acknowledged Savage’s request with a positive reply, yet the response was more of a courteous comment rather than a commitment.
“I think that’s great. And I think that frankly, well, you know you’d get common sense if that were the case, that I can tell you, because I hear so much about the NIH and it’s terrible.”
The problem, however, is that numerous Americans still remember Savage’s controversial views and statements on autistic children in 2008, including labeling almost every autistic child as “a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out.” Many people have concerns with someone heading NIH with such questionable views. Savage also revealed that he felt 99 percent of all children with autism have parents who are too lax in child raising, although medical evidence on the condition suggests otherwise.
Even after being called out on his remarks, Savage stood by what he said and made no apologies, although a myriad of people took offense to his statements.
“My main point remains true… It is an overdiagnosed medical condition. In my readings, there is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism.”
Yet according to NIH itself, there is indeed a two-step diagnosis for autism, which covers a wide spectrum of different levels of impairment.
Regardless, Trump hasn’t made any confirmation that he would actually appoint Savage as the NIH director, which is typically headed by a practicing physician. Despite Trump’s lack of confirmation, however, many websites ran with his positive response and published stories indicating that Savage would indeed become the NIH director should Trump become the next president.
Meanwhile, Savage, never one to stifle his controversial opinions, recently stated that the reason Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is currently leading in the Iowa polls and “trumping” Trump all boils down to “white guilt,” an unofficial term that describes white liberals as feeling guilty for their privilege, and in turn, making atonements for it by voting for or supporting minorities.
“If they’re going to use their white guilt to elect a man simply because he’s an African American who speaks quietly, we’re in real trouble. We’ve had our experiences already with that. What are they doing? Why are they choosing Carson? Does he have any experience running a lemonade stand? Does he have any business experience?”
In addition to Iowa, the latest GOP polls show that Carson has now surged past Trump, leading as the frontrunner for Republican primary voters. This marks the first time since this summer that someone else besides Donald Trump leads in the Republican primary race.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]