Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Jenny McCarthy, Queen of the Anti-Vaxxers

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This has been "Vaccination Week" in the news, as Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and ABC's Laura Ingraham decided they would set modern medicine back about 100 years and diss vaccinations in the middle of a Measles Epidemic.

But they are just minor players in this meme. Many on Twitter are pointing fingers at actress and erstwhile Playboy Bunny Jenny McCarthy as the real Evil Queen of the Anti-Vaxxers because she was so outspoken about her belief that childhood shots are the cause of autism. Without her help, that debunked theory might have died long ago. Thanks to her, humans may die long before the Anti-Vaxx movement dies.

From Huffington Post
...Jenny McCarthy has been described as a "Playmate turned pseudoscientist" who "by dint of sheer energy and celebrity... became the nation's most prominent purveyor of anti-vaxxer ideology." She is president of Generation Rescue, a non-profit group founded in 2005 by Lisa and J.B. Handley, which promotes the discredited idea that children with autism can be cured by unscientific, non-medical methods. Its website claims, "Conventional medicine treats the symptoms of autism. Biomedical treatment addresses the root cause." McCarthy stumbled onto this website within weeks of its debut in 2005, shortly after her son was diagnosed with autism, and soon afterwards began her anti-vaccine crusade.
. . . Now that long-dormant diseases are reappearing, McCarthy has tried to deny her anti-vaxxer history. Worse, she is still misinforming the public.
"I am not anti-vaccine," she said last November, right before the debut of her new SiriusXM radio show. "I'm in this gray zone of, I think everyone should be aware and educate yourself and ask questions. And if your kid is having a problem, ask your doctor for an alternative way of doing the shots," meaning receiving fewer doses at once, which is not medically recommended, since it increases the time children remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to illness.

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