After mounting criticism, Jenny McCarthy is trying to backtrack on her anti-vaccine stance, but the damage is already done
Jenny McCarthy recently released a column in the Chicago Sun-Times, where she states that she is not now, nor has she ever been, anti-vaccine. Many are puzzled by this stance, which she says she has always maintained. Lest we be dismissed as just another “factually incorrect blog,” as Ms. McCarthy asserts, let’s go right to the source.
Here then, are points from Jenny McCarthy’s column claiming she is pro-vaccine debated by an anti-vaccine advocate she knows very well: Jenny McCarthy.
Pro-vaccine Jenny vs Anti-vaxxer Jenny, PVJ and AVJ. Ding, ding! Take it away ladies.
PVJ: “I am not ‘anti-vaccine.’ This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted.”
AVJ: “If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the fucking measles.” (That line is actually the omitted final sentence of Jenny’s ‘pro-vaccine’ statement)
PVJ: “People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines,” I told Time Magazine science editor Jeffrey Kluger in 2009. “Please understand that we are not an anti-vaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.”
AVJ: “I love Botox, I absolutely love it. I get it minimally, so I can still move my face. But I really do think it’s a savior.” (Botulinum is an extremely dangerous toxin.)
PVJ: “What happened to critical thinking? What happened to asking questions because every child is different?”
AVJ: “Corner one of the hundreds of doctors who specialize in autism recovery, and they’ll tell you stories of dozens of kids in their practice who no longer have autism. Ask them to speak to the press and they’ll run for the door. They know better.”
PVJ: “For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, “pro-vaccine” and for years I have been wrongly branded as “anti-vaccine.”
AVJ: “Our own government clearly acknowledges vaccines cause brain damage.”
PVJ: “I’ve never told anyone to not vaccinate.”
AVJ: “With so many kids with autism, the environment has to be to blame, and vaccines are an obvious culprit.”
PVJ: “I am passionate about important conversations on how we can improve health care for our children and generations to come.”
AVJ: “Many of the parents of recovered children I know, myself included, blame vaccines for their child’s regression into autism.”
PVJ: “Again I ask, what happened to critical thinking?”
PVJ: “I have been wrongly branded as “anti-vaccine.”
AVJ: “People are also dying from vaccinations.
“Her words echo and articulate my concern with inflexible thinking.”
Jenny McCarthy does indeed illustrate inflexible thinking. Until of course, she sees the bed she has made, and decides she might not want to deal with impending repercussions of her irresponsibility. Her column distancing herself from past statements against vaccines came about because of rising public anger against anti-vaxxers and Jenny herself.
All this comes down to is Jenny McCarthy backtracking. Preventable diseases are running amok. People are dying that did not have to. And this latest statement from her is an attempt to misdirect blame for her blatant dissemination of dangerous misinformation. In simpler words, it’s a spin job.
Yes, Ms McCarthy, you are anti-vaccine. It’s impossible for anyone to believe you are not when you have made so many anti-vaccination statements. Especially considering that you willingly chose to become the celebrity face of fraudulent theories and questionable pseudo-science that the movement is based upon. You have a hand in these epidemics. You have turned public health into a debate, and your willing ignorance brings a death toll that will forever hang over your head.
While it isn’t impossible to find some sympathy for Ms. McCarthy, as it can be argued this all came about due to a mother’s concern for her son, there can be no denying the harm the anti-vaxxer movement has caused. Harm that wouldn’t have had such impact without her celebrity alliance. Still, we all know what the road to Hell is paved with. Even anti-vaxxers are mad at Jenny, for abandoning them.
There is one burning question I have for Jenny McCarthy, and all those against vaccinations, now that preventable diseases are reaching epidemic proportions:
How did you think this would turn out?
“‘You’ve gotta respect everyone’s beliefs.’ No, you don’t. That’s what gets us in trouble. Look, you have to acknowledge everyone’s beliefs, and then you have to reserve the right to go: “That is fucking stupid. Are you kidding me?” ~ Patton Oswalt