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Autism Day Celebrated As GOP Leader Called 'Hypocrite'

World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated across the globe on April 2 as key, important landmark buildings were illuminated with a blue light to shine awareness on the day. Still, as the White House lit up, the Trump administration, as well as Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, were blasted for their "hypocrisy" over celebrating autism awareness while trying to take away health care.

Advocacy group Autism Speaks started the tradition in 2008 as a means of raising awareness about the prevalence of autism so that autism-friendly events would spring up, reports The Huffington Post.

The "Light It Up Blue" campaign takes place every year in April, which is also National Autism Awareness Month. 

Landmark buildings, such as New York City's Empire State Building, The White House, Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai, India, glowed in blue all night to commemorate the day. 

"Together, we celebrate the many ways individuals with ASDs enhance our daily lives and make priceless contributions to our schools, work places and communities," the White House said in a statement.

The Trump administration stated in late March that the White House would turn blue for the evening so  President Donald Trump could honor his promise made to the founder of Autism Speaks before the election. The woman, Suzanne Wright, co-founded the group with her husband Bob in 2005.

Suzanne died in 2016. 

"He said, 'If I’m elected president, in supporting this cause that you care so deeply about, I will light the White House blue,'" White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing. 

"So it is in Suzanne and Bob Wright’s honor that this will occur for this great cause."

Ryan, meanwhile, has been slammed and called a hypocrite for honoring World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, just days after fighting hard to get the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, passed, which would have adversely affected children with autistm.

Ryan posted a photo of himself on Twitter, wearing a blue puzzle pin on his lapel to be in alignment with the hashtags #LightItUpBlue and #AutismAwareness.

The United Nations chose April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in 2008. 

According to New York Daily News, one social media user commented: "Great pin! Now you're still committed to stealing autistic people's healthcare, right?"

"Thank you for representing children like my son!" another user added. 

"Empty gesture," commented a third social media user. "You've shown us where you stand by your proposal to cut services to people with Autism."

"Are you serious?" another user wondered. "You fight to repeal the ACA when most plans don't cover behavioral health and the Medicaid expansion is the only security." 

A Congressional Budget Office report found that more than 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance coverage under the proposed GOP plan. 

Sources: The Huffington Post, New York Daily News / Photo credit: The White House/Twitter

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