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Jenny McCarthy's Anti-Vaccine, Anti-Science Campaign Kills Children.
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.
- Jenny McCarthy: Anti-vaxxer gets remedied on Twitter.
Just when you think that Internet commentary is nothing more than a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a light shines through so strongly it can help restore your optimism about people. By now you know about anti-vaccination mouthpiece Jenny McCarth
- Jenny McCarthy's autism fight grows more misguided - Autism - Salon.com
So what if a study linking autism and vaccination has been called fraudulent? The "warrior mother" still believes
- Pertussis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia