Jenny McCarthy's Anti-Vaccine, Anti-Science Campaign Kills Children.

Would you take medical advice from this woman?
Would you take medical advice from this woman?

Jenny McCarthy, former Playboy model, actress, and spokesperson for Generation Rescue, runs around the country convincing the unwitting and the uneducated that there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism. There is no such link between vaccinations and autism. There is no proof, whatsoever, that vaccinating one's child can lead to autism. Data, studies, and science all show that vaccinations for children are perfectly safe. Sadly, Jenny now gets to promote her unfounded opinions on The View.

McCarthy's belief that vaccinations caused her son's autism come from a combination of personal belief and a completely discredited study done by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998. There are probably other reasons, but should we care? The answer is no. In fact, the answer is not only no, but it's necessary for smart people to do everything they can to discredit and ridicule McCarthy because her beliefs are extremely dangerous and lead to people refusing to vaccinate their children.

McCarthy is symbolic of a large-scale problem in our society, which is the inclination to listen to celebrities about issues they may know nothing about nor have the education to discuss. The sad fact of the matter is that McCarthy is considered more of an expert on autism and childhood vaccinations in this country than the thousands of Ph.D. educated scientists and doctors who actually study it. This is but one of many examples of how our society elevates fluff, faith, and garbage over science because science is harder to understand. Science doesn't often provide easy one-liners for understanding a subject. Science is often complex. Scientists aren't exciting guests on "Oprah".

Generally-speaking, I like Jenny McCarthy. I think she's pretty smart and pretty funny. When I've seen her, she's always had a good sense of humor about herself and other things. While she's attractive, she doesn't seem like a bimbo in the Pamela Anderson mode. Furthermore, if either one of my sons was diagnosed with autism, I'd be devastated. I'd want answers. I'm sympathetic toward anyone who has a child with a disability. I can barely handle two healthy children and cannot imagine the burden of having a child with a serious disability.

That does not excuse the fact that Jenny McCarthy is a real danger to our society. It is hard to imagine that her public criticism of childhood vaccinations hasn't had a direct effect on reducing the number of parents willing to have their children vaccinated. Skipping childhood vaccinations represents a dangerous threat to children everywhere because the risks of not getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks of getting autism, which are zero. And to be fair, there are definitely risks with vaccinations, but their occurrence is very low and insignificant when compared to the risks of not getting vaccinated.

I'll provide but one brief example of how this dangerous trend in celebrity influence on medical issues translates into real danger. I live in one of the most educated cities in the United States: Boulder, Colorado. Yet, when I took my son for his first round of vaccinations, I was told that there was an elevated threat of him contracting Whooping Cough because so many parents were turning down the vaccination. The doctor recommended that both me and my wife get the shot for Pertussis (the clinical name for Whooping Cough) so that at least we wouldn't be the ones responsible for passing it on since adults can get it and barely notice. Yet, it can kill an infant. So here we in one of the most educated cities in America with a real threat of children contracting and possibly dying from Whooping Cough because Jenny McCarthy and people like her are running around scaring people. That is the definition of dangerous.

According to Wikipedia, "Pertussis is the only vaccine-preventable disease that is associated with increasing deaths in the U.S." Worldwide, Pertussis is responsible for 295,000 deaths. From 1996 to 2001, the rate of death from Pertussis increased from 4 to 17 in the United States. All were infants less than a year old.

McCarthy should stick to what she knows best: nude modeling, acting, and humor. Science should be left to the scientists. The more celebrities are considered experts on dishing out life-changing medical advice, the more people will end up dead. If we follow Jenny McCarthy's "advice", children will die.

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Comments 17 comments

crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

Michael,

I appreciate your comments. The problem is that people are listening to McCarthy and not their doctors. For example, where I live, in one of the most educated towns in America, we have a very high incidence of Whooping Cough, yet there's a vaccine for it. Why? People are refusing the vaccine and they're doing so because they've succume to the paranoia about vaccines.


michaelallen profile image

michaelallen 5 years ago from Clearwater, FL

Well Crankalicious, what you are saying is technically correct. But, what parent in their right mind is going to heed Jenny's advice when it comes to the care of their own children? Reading about it in the newspaper or hearing about it on television is one thing. But, getting vaccinations is mandatory. So if they object, parents will have no choice but to go to their doctor where they will be told the truth about vaccinations and autism.


Edita 5 years ago

Thanks.. I think what parents (including Jenny) who are struggling with this want, is to be heard and not dismissed as crackpots, so I appreciate your willingness to even look/review the links. Go with an open mind.. you may be shocked. The sand is no place to hide your head, especially when government and/or pharma & money are concerned.

Climate Science.. nooo, can't go there now, I have a job. lol.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

Edita,

I'll read your links. I'm all for open debate, so have at it.

The other argument going on today that seems to parallel this one in some ways is over climate science. People who refuse to acknowledge the results of climate science are actively denying that the science even exists or that it's somehow biased when it's peer-reviewed.


Edita  5 years ago

I understand the analogy, but does it have to be either or?

It seems irresponsible to allow Pharmaceutical companies to dictate what's required without requiring them to adequately test them - and they have not. When the Pharma exec heads the CDC and issues these requirements that they directly profit from without any oversight, it's not good. Kids today get 3 times the number of shots we got, because they keep creating new diseases and scare tactics to go with them. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/infants/down...

They want newborn babies vaccinated against hep B at birth! Are more kids harmed by the Chicken Pox, or the vaccination for it? Check the ingredients of both here.. http://www.generationrescue.org/resources/vaccinat...

That's a lot of stuff to put in an immature immune system.

And.. here's a new article from Dr. Mercola about the use of Human Fetal Tissue used in immunizations. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive...

You can go to Jenny's site and www.generationrescue.com and see that she is Not anti-vaccine at all.. what we as parents want and should demand is safe vaccines, given on a safe schedule. Pediatricians must learn that not all babies are the same and afflicting them with Autism or any other of the risks associated does not have to be the case. Of course that has more meaning when your child is the one..

As much as the pharmaceutical companies would like to discredit her as a quack playboy bunny, she's right about this. Your article (and the headline) do good work for them. You don't have to believe the playboy bunny, but please do the research for yourself. There really is more to the story.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

My main point is that the risk of not getting vaccinated far outweighs any risk to getting vaccinated. Furthermore, not getting vaccinated puts other children and the general population at risk.

Perhaps an analogy is driving your car across the country because you are afraid of flying.


Edita Simms 5 years ago

Are you insinuating that all the vaccines, singularly and in combination have been thoroughly tested and proven to have no link to Autism? I hope not as that would be completely false. Much of the frustration is that these scientific studies have not been done, at least not independent of the Pharmaceutical Industry that profits from the excessive vaccinations that are currently recommended. I realize you're stuck in your opinion, but please don't talk down to me or the other parents that have lived the "anecdotal" evidence. We're pretty stuck in our opinion too, and as the numbers grow so will our voice and our commitment to getting those scientific tests done. The one thing we can agree on is "there's no research". That's the problem. What part of you thinks injecting our babies with vaccines created using human fetus tissue without adequate testing is ok? I really don't get it. I'm not mad, just weary and anxiously awaiting the truth. It will come out eventually.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

cooldad,

Point well taken. McCarthy has not credible evidence to back up her claim other than anecdotal evidence. There's no research.

I certainly have no personal stake in whether she's right or wrong, but I just don't believe you should go around scaring people based on anecdotes when the science says otherwise.


cooldad profile image

cooldad 5 years ago from Florida

If Jenny is to be vindicated, I hope there are scientific, medical test results that are produced by reputable doctors/scientists to support certain findings. If there are many doctors that back her, lets see some research and real answers.


stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 5 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

well written hub on a timely subject,...

the A** in me simply must say, that anyone who would participate in the making of the above reference movie, or any other media project shes taken part in,... has no credibility on any subject....period.

this movie and anything else i've had the missfrortune of seeing her gleaming clueless face in has only served to reduce the collectiv IQ of an entire nation.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

One more general thing about McCarthy: she violates the basic concept of science. McCarthy started with the assumption that the vaccines caused autism, then moved forward looking for evidence to support her thesis.

This is the opposite of how science works (or is supposed to work, at least). Scientists do research, review the data, then develop a thesis that's supported by the data.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 5 years ago from Colorado Author

Edita,

I appreciate your willingness to speak up, but unfortunately, you're terribly misinformed and do not understand how the scientific method works. The fact is, many parents are choosing NOT to vaccinate at all due to unfounded fears, which endangers so many it's absolutely criminal.

Ironically, a study came out today linking autism to conditions in the womb.

Melissa, I'm sure if I were in your shoes, I would believe similarly. Anecdotal evidence is a very strong motivator. Further, if I had a child with autism, I would certainly look for an explanation and make whatever connections I could.


Edita Simms 5 years ago

You just might be the unwitting and uneducated one here. Why do you think the government has the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that's paid Millions in damages? Jenny knows more about Autism and Vaccinations than most Pediatricians in this country, and many parents and doctors back her up due to their own personal experience. Of course the pharmaceutical industry will say what they can to discredit her, but who do you think has more at stake? Jenny has said a thousand times she's not "anti-vaccine" but in favor of "save vaccines administered on a safe schedule". What big pharma is getting away with some 32 recommended shots for our children is nothing short of criminal, and is the true danger to society. Hold on to your narrow/naïve view, but it's only a matter of time until the truth comes out and instead of being mocked/vilified for what she's trying to do Jenny will be vindicated for standing her ground against the criminals. Parents like myself that share her experience, value her voice and willingness to speak for us. Sadly, many more kids will be harmed - but the day will come..


MelissaBarrett profile image

MelissaBarrett 5 years ago

So little is understood about autism, that it really is a personal choice. When my daughter started showing signs, we chose to discontinue her vaccinations until after the age of 3. It was based on conversations with her therapists and physicians. I had no idea, until this moment, that Jenny McCarthy had a view on it. My daughter doesn't attend day care and both my husband and I work within the home. We also live in a very small community so the danger of pertussis is minimal while the threat of autism was quite real.

For those treating autism with biomedical alternatives-including vaccination delay and GFCF diets we are quite used to having nothing but anecdotal evidence to back us. Gluten-Free Casein Free diet, for example, has not one shred of scientific proof to back it. However, within two weeks of starting it, My daughter went from 10 single words to over forty, including two word phrases.

If I found a Peruvian alligator dung recipe that had a similar, but admittedly possibly circumstantial, reaction- I would use it too. And I would tell other moms about it too, just in the hope that it might work for them as well.

My "proof" that there is a connection is three families with multiple children I know. The first two children of two families and the first three of the last are autistic and were immunized. The subsequent children are developmentally normal and weren't immunized until later. Does that imply a connection-scientifically? Nope. To me as a mother of an autistic child? Absolutely.


outlawsphinx profile image

outlawsphinx 5 years ago from Northern Indiana

Fantastic hub. I don't mind Jenny on principle but I cannot stand that people automatically take her word as law because 1.) her son has autism and 2.) she gets attention from the press. I had a woman yell at me in my pediatrician's office because I had my son vaccinated. (keep in mind, I have a bachelors in psychology and currently getting my masters) This woman believed Jenny and told me that vaccinations are pointless because we have conquered these diseases! Untrue! Autism is not completely understood but it is recognized that its manifestation has a number of factors. Saying that it is caused by one simple thing is rather silly because nothing in cognitive problems has just one cause.


Rastamermaid profile image

Rastamermaid 5 years ago from Universe

A very good hub,and I like Jenny but believe you me,I would not take any medical advice from her. I may use it,as far as asking a medical professional about it and then if I was really curious I would as more than one medical professional (dr,lpn,rn).

It's like an infomercial,with a celebrity endorsement of an illness. Not a good look!


cooldad profile image

cooldad 5 years ago from Florida

Great Hub here. I agree with you 100%. Sadly, some celebrities feel the need to delve into areas they have no business being in. The last person I want attempting to educate me about autism, or anything scientific, is a Playboy model. Now, if she wants to teach me about sex or make-up, different story, I will listen.

The saddest part to me is that millions of people will believe Jenny McCarthy and anyone else Oprah puts on her couch. We are a TMZ and Kardashian culture, that's why China will eventually win.

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