Is ABC so desperate for ratings that they need to bring an anti-vaxxer to the View?

I’m sure Jenny McCarthy is a perfectly nice person and I have perhaps laughed at one of her poop jokes once or twice, but she’s the biggest anti-vaccine celebrity out there, spreading all kinds of misinformation. And as far as I can tell, beyond her anti-vax activism, she’s never had even had a passing interest in current events or politics. So why put her on a show where her job is to intelligently discuss current events?

Other than what her anti-vax views imply, it’s unclear whether she’s intellectually checked-in or not. And that’s part of the problem: outside of anti-vaccine activism, McCarthy has no record of political activism or even serious engagement with the world. She was a model turned host of an MTV dating show turned actress in several bad films. I actually find her gross-out sexy-girl schtick somewhat appealing: she farts, appears in ads squatting on a toilet and acted in a movie scene where she sat in a pool of her own menstrual blood. It’s not exactly high-brow humor, but why let the boys make all the poop jokes?

While I appreciate McCarthy’s role in democratizing disgustingness, I’m not going to take someone seriously as a political and cultural commentator if his or her career has amounted to one long toilet gag. Women, of course, can make gross jokes and still be intelligent observers and analysts, but McCarthy hasn’t shown any sign of that. And with plenty of sharp, smart, witty women to choose from who have made careers out of thoughtful analysis, it’s a disappointment that The View chose to feature one who will surely make outlandish and funny remarks, but whose actual insights into the issues of the day seems limited.

The whole piece is here.

[And as an aside, sorry for being MIA this week! I'm in the wonderful city of New Orleans for a cocktail festival, so my internet time has been limited].

Author: has written 5252 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

86 Responses

  1. Wordwizard
    Wordwizard July 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm |

    Write ABC+urge them to reverse their decision to make anti-vacciner Jenny McCarthy a host for The View! Kids will die! http://ww2.abc.go.com/site/contact-us?nord=1

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve July 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

      Write ABC+urge them to reverse their decision to make anti-vacciner Jenny McCarthy a host for The View! Kids will die! http://ww2.abc.go.com/site/contact-us?nord=1

      Why would one do this unless one is a regular viewer of The View and honestly feel she’s pushing an anti-vax agenda on the show?

      I find Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccines and autism atrocious, but I wouldn’t even consider attempting to stop her from getting a job because of those views. If I felt she was openly pushing a dangerous agenda on a (somewhat) widely watched show, I would have a complaint.

      When Jim Carrey was in a relationship with her, he publicly held the same views as she. Where is the petition to tell movie studios not to hire him?

      1. MH
        MH July 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

        Do you watch the View? Even if you don’t, I assume you can understand how its different than a Jim Carrey movie? Movies are scripted and you say whatever the writers/directors have told you to say. They are generally works of fiction (or at least dramatized versions of real events) and are not meant to convey the personal views of the actors. You know. Because they’re acting.

        The View is a daytime talk show. The hosts are basically just discussing their takes on current events and “trending” topics, mixed with interviewing famous people. They’re encouraged to pull from their personal experiences to provide commentary. For many people – including the View hosts – a big part of their personal experience is parenting. In Ms. McCarthy’s case, there’s a lot of anti-vaxxing (and her experience advocating for it, being a de facto spokesperson for it, etc) in that experience that’s already public, so an easy place to go in her new, very public job.

        While I’m not sure I feel quite strongly enough about this to sign a petition, I can easily understand why people might. There’s a difference between saying “Jenny McCarthy is a poorly informed person who should not be employed” and saying “Jenny McCarthy’s opinions are not factual and are dangerous to children. She’s entitled to that opinion, but I don’t want a company that relies on my patronage to pay her to share her opinions with the world. I don’t want my money indirectly going to her salary to spread her views [you know, on The View].” I think the petition is doing the latter. Just because you’re entitled to speak freely doesn’t mean you have to be paid to do so.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm |

          Do you watch the View? Even if you don’t, I assume you can understand how its different than a Jim Carrey movie? Movies are scripted and you say whatever the writers/directors have told you to say. They are generally works of fiction (or at least dramatized versions of real events) and are not meant to convey the personal views of the actors. You know. Because they’re acting.

          The View is a daytime talk show. The hosts are basically just discussing their takes on current events and “trending” topics, mixed with interviewing famous people. They’re encouraged to pull from their personal experiences to provide commentary. For many people – including the View hosts – a big part of their personal experience is parenting. In Ms. McCarthy’s case, there’s a lot of anti-vaxxing (and her experience advocating for it, being a de facto spokesperson for it, etc) in that experience that’s already public, so an easy place to go in her new, very public job.

          While I’m not sure I feel quite strongly enough about this to sign a petition, I can easily understand why people might. There’s a difference between saying “Jenny McCarthy is a poorly informed person who should not be employed” and saying “Jenny McCarthy’s opinions are not factual and are dangerous to children. She’s entitled to that opinion, but I don’t want a company that relies on my patronage to pay her to share her opinions with the world. I don’t want my money indirectly going to her salary to spread her views [you know, on The View].” I think the petition is doing the latter. Just because you’re entitled to speak freely doesn’t mean you have to be paid to do so.

          My point was, that as far as I know, Ms. McCarthy has made exactly as many anti-vax comments on The View as Jim Carrey has in his movies (i.e. none.) This petition is based on the theory that she might say something that really gullible people might believe. To me that does not set the bar high enough to attempt to take away someone’s employment.

        2. ch
          ch July 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm |

          Well yeah, Steve, because she hasn’t yet been on The View as far as I know. She certainly hasn’t been a regular cast member of long standing yet. And given the way the show operates and its format, I have no doubt that she will regularly be spouting her incorrect, ableist, and downright deadly viewpoints on air on a regular basis.

        3. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl July 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm |

          ch, you’re incorrect that McCarthy has not appeared on the View yet. She has been on the show both as a guest and as a guest co-host something like twenty times in the last two years.

          And she has made plenty of oblique references to her anti-vaccine stance as well as her son supposedly being “cured” of Autism on the View. Now that she is going to be a permanent co-host I can hardly see how she wouldn’t let her views flow more freely on these subjects. Furthermore, she has already made herself the face of the anti-vax and of the cure your kid of Autism through junk science movements. So, no, I am disinclined to give McCarthy any benefit of the doubt here.

        4. ch
          ch July 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

          Thanks for the correction and info, Lolagirl!

      2. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve July 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm |

        ch, you’re incorrect that McCarthy has not appeared on the View yet. She has been on the show both as a guest and as a guest co-host something like twenty times in the last two years.

        And she has made plenty of oblique references to her anti-vaccine stance as well as her son supposedly being “cured” of Autism on the View. Now that she is going to be a permanent co-host I can hardly see how she wouldn’t let her views flow more freely on these subjects. Furthermore, she has already made herself the face of the anti-vax and of the cure your kid of Autism through junk science movements. So, no, I am disinclined to give McCarthy any benefit of the doubt here.

        Unfortunately Joy Behar is no longer on the show, but surely if Jenny starts getting all woo, having to defend the anti-vax position against Whoopi and BW will do more harm to the cause than good.

        1. yes
          yes July 20, 2013 at 2:11 am |

          It creates a false equivalency. It pretends that there are two sides to the issue. That this is something with merits on both sides that comes down to personal preference.

          Jenny McCarthy actively makes the world a worse place. Lending her authority and credibility, even without a direct soapbox, is both stupid and destructive.

        2. Willemina
          Willemina July 20, 2013 at 3:25 am |

          You also don’t get how the anti-vaxx movement works. It isn’t about debate, it isn’t about silly little things like facts, or studies, or the simple fact that via vaccination we eliminated smallpox, have fought polio down to its last 3 strongholds and reduced the death rates of a score of other diseases by orders of magnitude. No, it’s about that one special case, that “but what about?”

          The fact that though she has nothing to back it up, that Wakefield’s study has been thoroughly picked apart and debunked means nothing to her fight. Any cohost can debate her until they’re blue in the face and it won’t take the shine off her for the people she speaks to. Her point of view requires zero oxygen to maintain. This whole thing stinks of people at ABC operating on the premise that any buzz is good buzz.

        3. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

          I am not saying that both sides have a point or that a ‘debate’ needs to be have.

          What I am saying is that you don’t hear Sherri Shepard talking her creationist shit or Whoopi Goldberg defending rapist anymore, because that show does have a past record of pushing back against bullshit.

          The producers could have very well told her already not mention autism and vaccines for all we know.

          When she says something that is actually offensive on The View, then I will be the first to call for her dismissal. Until that happens, it’s a shitty thing to do.

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm |

          Actually…what I meant to say was what I just said but with better grammar. Wow, don’t know what I’m thinking sometimes.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong July 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm |

          When she says something that is actually offensive on The View, then I will be the first to call for her dismissal. Until that happens, it’s a shitty thing to do.

          That’s pretty fucking stupid. It’s shitty to call for people not to get prominent public roles because of ableist things they’ve said? I assume you feel the same way about asking networks not to hire openly racist/homophobic commentators, right?

      3. mh
        mh July 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

        Let’s not forget that the entire way the anti-vax movement gained credibility was Jenny McCarthy touring talk shows expressly to discuss it – it was the Oprah show that really put this fringe belief on the map.

        ABC must know how people feel about this – just google her name – and to give her this platform without addressing the issue for their audience doesn’t bode well.

  2. John F
    John F July 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

    I don’t know . . . Anti-vax as an ideology is so dangerous and counter-factual that it seems like it crosses a line from mere incompetence to genuine evil.

  3. Willemina
    Willemina July 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

    While I don’t watch The View, I’ve been following McCarthy’s exploits for years now (mostly via Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomer). She’s just plain dangerous and enabling her platform is irresponsible. I remember a story from a few years back where mothers inspired by her example started soliciting chickpox infected items via the mail. Some, wanting to be extra safe even looked around for smallpox.

    Enjoy the cocktails, seeing this again has made me really consider joining in.

    1. Chataya
      Chataya July 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

      Some, wanting to be extra safe even looked around for smallpox.

      what the everloving fuck

    2. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen July 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

      In case you’re wondering what the chickenpox-laced items were… well, they were lollipops. Yes, really.

  4. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |

    Some idiot probably thought she’d bring it the younger MTV crowd…..not realizing that was like 20+ years ago.

  5. Drahill
    Drahill July 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

    My problem with McCarthy is that, at least to me, in her zeal, she is adamantly anti-autistic. I am perhaps a little sensitive to this because I have a younger sister who has behaviors consistent with some variety of autism (she has never been officially diagnosed, but therapists have told us that she is certainly consistent with behaviors displayed by many autistic people). She is a joyous person. Yes, she has hurdles and problems many other people don’t – but many of them aren’t because of her, they are because our society doesn’t allow for a great deal of neurodiversity and isn’t easily adaptable for her. Every time Jenny McCarthy appears on a tv show and talks about the horrors of autism and how she “cured” her son of this terrible affliction, it feels like a weight on my chest because she sends the message that autism is a fate worse than death and that people with autism are damaged, broken, less then and worthy of your pity. She promotes an ideology that holds autism to be so heinous that you are better off risking your child’s physical well-being (and that of the people around them) then to even chance autism in your child’s life. She is actively harming the lives of people with autism when she says this stuff, and that really grinds my gears.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune July 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |

      YES to everything you said. YES.

      What a fucking horrible person. The “soul” went out of her son’s eyes when he “became” autistic? Autistic people are SOULLESS? Fucking really?!?

      1. Drahill
        Drahill July 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

        It happens a lot. I actually have a friend who attended an autism awareness rally once and noticed many parents holding signs that had two pictures on them – one of their child looking happy, smiling, presumably before vaccinations and one after of a sullen, sad looking child. Lots of them had signs that had slogans like “vaccines robbed me of my child” or “vaccines ruined my child” or something like that. And that makes me sad for those kids – they live with parents who inherently view them as defective, damaged goods and who will do anything to “restore” them to the proper state. It must be fun living with parents who regard you as “ruined.” That is what anti-vaccine nuttery has gotten us.

        1. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon July 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

          Ugh, that makes me so fucking sad.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L July 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

      Hasn’t it turned out that her son never was autistic in the first place, making her “cure” of his autism rather dubious, to say the least?

      1. Drahill
        Drahill July 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

        Donna – here’s what I have come to understand:

        She initially promoted an idea that her son was a “Crystal child” and she was an “Indigo Mom” based off a very wishy-washy New Age idea about auras and the next stage in human evolution. That kind of died quick.

        She then came out and started talking about Autism and claimed her son had it. However, she never mentioned how he was diagnosed, whether a doctor diagnosed him, or anything like that. She later claimed that she “cured” Evan by detoxing him through a heavily restricted diet (no gluten, no casein), vitamin therapy and other methods (none of which have any scientific validity). Some scientists who know about this stuff have suggested that her son’s symptoms were more consistent with Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a condition that can go into remission and thus, the child appears “cured.” That is what I understand from just reading around.

    3. Lindsay
      Lindsay July 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

      I feel that way, too, Drahill.

      A lot of times I can’t decide what makes me angrier: her role in encouraging people to forego vaccination and thus helping bring about the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases like whooping cough, or her role in contributing to an extremely fucked-up culture that dehumanizes autistic people.

  6. Emma
    Emma July 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

    Um, did you REALLY have to add the “dumb blonde” comment? Yes McCarthy seems like a not so appropriate candidate for the job but hair color has nothing to do about it. I know it just said she’s “playing” the part but it’s still annoying. And since that part has been written in the Guardian makes it worse because now a LOT of people will read that and probably write comments on there, laughing and agreeing that McCarthy is “such a dumb blonde!” And now the stereotype will still never go away!

    Yes I have blonde hair and this kind of topic always bothers me.

  7. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve July 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

    So why put her on a show where her job is to intelligently discuss current events?

    We’re talking about The View, right? The show with Sherri Shepherd and Elizabeth Hassleback???

    #confused

    1. Kerplunk
      Kerplunk July 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

      I agree. This whole piece is a bit surreal. There is so much wrong with The View, and with many other similar TV shows, that focusing on this particular issue, though it’s a serious issue, seems rather arbitrary.

    2. The Last Selina
      The Last Selina July 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |

      Yeah, I don’t watch The View but of the few clips I’ve seen from it, none of the panelists seemed to intelligently discuss anything. Joy Behar is semi-OK and I agree with a lot of what I have heard her say. Elizabeth Hasselback just appeared on a reality tv show once before doing The View, right? If that’s the bar they’ve set, Jenny McCarthy has cleared that by about a mile.

      1. BabyRaptor
        BabyRaptor July 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

        Hasselback was on one of the early seasons of Survivor, I believe.

    3. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl July 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm |

      I watch the View semi-regularly, and while the conversations are not Washington Week in Review caliber, they are interesting and entertaining much of the time.

      I am utterly appalled that they are bringing McCarthy on board. Her autism denialism and anti-vaccination propaganda is outrageously uninformed, and downright dangerous. And giving her such a prominent platform from which to preach her gospel according to Jenny is so, so wrong. I hate to say it, but she is really is a walking stereotype at this point, and I’m at a loss to see what demographic the producers of the View think she will tap into as a co-host. It’s insulting to women, as well as to those who have autism, and to viewers in general.

  8. Sammi
    Sammi July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |

    Hey Emma, I have blonde hair too, but this honestly didn’t bother me as much, and the reason is because it seems that the article was talking about how it IS ridiculous that people play into the “dumb blonde” stereotype. Especially by the producers of the show who want to continue to use “pretty ladies” who don’t have much experience in politics. OTHER people who use that stereotype are the ridiculous ones and Jill was just talking about how the stereotype is unfair and how it’s continuing to be used.

    And if it makes anyone feel any better, both Hasselbeck and McCarthy are NOT natural blondes anyway. So there you go.

  9. Kathe
    Kathe July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |

    Wow..a whole lot of intolerance and hatred here.
    You are dismissing a whole lot of women (and men) here..people with brains and perhaps experiences that are different from yours.

    I am surprised to hear women who claim to be feminists resort to stereotypes. There is a diversity of opinion on this subject yet you sound like a posse or lynch mob.

    1. (BFing)Sarah
      (BFing)Sarah July 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm |

      Yeah, definitely a place where using the phrase “lynch mob” is offensive, just in case you were wondering.

    2. Drahill
      Drahill July 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

      Really Kathe? We sound like we are soon going to chase down an innocent African American man and hang him from a tree solely for amusement? Mercy me, I must have missed that post.

    3. Librarygoose
      Librarygoose July 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm |

      Yes, how dare we stereotype McCarthy as ignorant of science and willfully harmful when she’s…ignorant of science and willfully harmful…wait, something is wrong with this thought. Hold on, I’ll get it.

    4. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen July 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm |

      Around here, we tend to reserve our derision for those who dehumanise others. Given that McCarthy promotes an ideology that folks with autism are broken and less than a whole person, deriding her is wholly justified.

    5. BabyRaptor
      BabyRaptor July 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

      “Diversity of opinion” does not mean “proven fact,” Kathe. We are not obligated to respect an opinion just because someone holds it.

      Also, your racist dog whistle is offensive. Please refrain from using it again.

  10. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom July 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

    You can have a diversity of opinion on any damn thing. You can believe the sun isn’t going to rise in the morning. The thing is, regardless of your opinion, the sun is going to rise in the morning.

  11. Anna
    Anna July 20, 2013 at 1:42 am |

    Women, of course, can make gross jokes and still be intelligent observers and analysts, but McCarthy hasn’t shown any sign of that.

    Unless, perhaps, you’re talking about Jenny’s cousin Melissa. (OK, I’m not too familiar with her oeuvre, so hopefully that comment won’t come back to bite me in the ass.)

    McCarthy’s dehumanizing comments about autistic people (aimed at her own son, no less) have always bothered me, and I agree 100 percent that giving her a bigger platform is going to do no favors for public health. Vaccines are one of the biggest successes in medicine, and to drive people away from them through fear-mongering is just unconscionable to me. That it can lead to needless and often painful deaths is an outrage.

    I’d also like to express some general appreciation for the awesome comments to this post. Pretty much everywhere I go on the Internet, I have to tell myself “DON’T READ THE COMMENTS,” but the discussion here is one of the reasons the Internet has the potential to be great. Thanks for the great comment-reading experience, everyone! <3

  12. Radiant Sophia
    Radiant Sophia July 20, 2013 at 2:10 am |

    I know that I’m probably going to receive flak for this, but…
    Anti-vaccine ideology is just another symptom of a death-obsessed culture. The idea that ANY effect of a vaccine is worse than children dying to preventable disease is laughable.

    1. Willemina
      Willemina July 20, 2013 at 3:41 am |

      In before flak!

      There are strong elements of individual exceptionalism and almost egoist divorce from any form of social contract as well. Most parents who do this and talk about it 1) assume their child won’t get the disease or it can’t possibly be that bad, heck it might even be good and “natural” 2) completely ignore the fact that it isn’t just about their kids.

      The very nature of disease eradication via vaccination means that at some point the risk of adverse effect from the vaccine will be higher than the risk of catching and dying from the disease.

    2. matlun
      matlun July 20, 2013 at 5:40 am |

      The idea that ANY effect of a vaccine is worse than children dying to preventable disease is laughable.

      No, it is clearly not.

      Side effects of vaccines are important to worry about since even a very small fraction getting serious side effects translates into a large number of children.

      The problem with the anti-vaxxers is that they are ignorantly wrong.

  13. Aquaria
    Aquaria July 20, 2013 at 5:33 am |

    The thing that really, really, really torques me about know-nothing genocidal maniacs like McCarthy is that some of us were around before vaccines were. Even people like me, born in 1962, know just how terrible life was before vaccines.

    How many of you remember people with polio? How many of you had relatives in wheelchairs, or with withered arms? Or the uncles and aunts and cousins who just didn’t make it through that awful disease?

    How many of you had classmates with pregnant moms who had miscarriages, stillbirths, or, if they carried to term, blind or severely disabled children, because there was NOTHING anyone could do to stop Rubella?

    How many of you had oozing sores all over your body from chickenpox, that you could expect an epidemic in every school every few years? How many of you suffer from shingles now because there was no vaccination against chickenpox THEN?

    How many of you were out of school because you had mumps, and were throwing up everything, with a face more swollen than a chipmunk’s in a Planter’s factory?

    How many of you had measles as a baby, or in a year when the outbreak of measles was so bad that nearly half a million people were infected with it that year, and over 400 of them died from it?

    How many of you have sat with a child in a hospital for weeks after he was infected with HiB–and the only thing that kept your child from having meningitis and brain damage is that you took him to the emergency room right away, rather than waiting to see a pediatrician in the morning?

    I know ALL about those things, because I experienced them first hand. I was the baby with measles in one of the worst outbreaks of it, ever. I was the kid with the uncle with the withered arm from polio, and the neighbors in wheelchairs. I was the kid with the friends with blind brothers and sisters, and moms having miscarriages and stillbirths. I was the one with the chipmunk face from mumps, the one covered in sores from chickenpox, the one with recurring outbreaks of shingles now, and the one in the hospital with my four-month-old son in ICU for two weeks, and not sure if he would live or die.

    All because there were no vaccines, or there hadn’t been vaccines to prevent all of these illnesses, maiming and death.

    When these genocidal maniacs try to tell me that vaccines are evil, I tell them what life without vaccines was really like.

    Only morons don’t know the real suffering and misery these diseases caused.

    And I’m sick and tired of idiots getting all the attention on moron American TV.

    1. miga
      miga July 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |

      While many of your insults are ableist (e.g. moron, which is both ableist and ironic considering the topic, I have to agree with you on how frustrating it can be when anti-vaccers forget about the cost of a world without herd immunity.

      Both of my parents lost siblings to illness, and several members of my family suffer from life-threatening immune system disorders. It is very very easy for them to get sick, and takes a very long time for them to recover. Without the herd immunity provided by vaccinations, many of them wouldn’t be here today. It makes me furious that someone would think, without even the slightest smidge of science to back them up, their oh-so-special fairy-child is more important and delicate than people like my little sister.

    2. Radfem
      Radfem July 24, 2013 at 12:28 am |

      While I get your point, if some folks aren’t fond of “lynch mob” and rightfully so, I’m not keen on terms like “morons” and “idiots” having had to get into a few fistfights as a child over a friend who was called both because she had CP. But to each his or her own I guess.

      I had chickenpox, rubella, mumps (though not from the U.S.) and had a mom with Polio (and post-polio syndrome), Rheumatic Fever, sisters with Scarlet Fever and “red measles” as they were called. I do have a sister who never vaccinated her kids (though I did negotiate successfully for rabies if her kids were bitten by a rabid animal which happens) and they never got sick most likely because they lived in a country with socialized medicine and thus a high vaccination percentage. I was more worried about them being in the U.S. where vaccination percentile rates had dropped.

      The kicker is I’ve been inoculated three times for MMR and managed to get two out of three of those diseases anyway. First i was too young, then the second vaccine didn’t take allegedly b/c it was killed viruses and then the third? Well rubella can sometimes infect you more than once and I never did get that or red measles. I presume that trio of vaccines has its kinks all worked out by now. Always reacted a bit badly to DPT in terms of side effects though the toughest was rabies which is not compulsory for children outside of high risk of exposure but that’s probably because of the anti-serum component.

      Small pox and measles were more easily cut down than polio (though obviously SP more than measles which enjoys resurgences but the vaccine led to pretty immediate results) and some of the others b/c they don’t mutate very much, they only infect humans (no animal vectors) and one bout gives permanent immunity. Polio could be next but is more difficult b/c polio’s different anyway in its history than a lot of viruses are.

      My concern about vaccine is maybe spacing with mainly Hep B and HPV (which is generally given at an older age anyway). And with the oversantization of society, meaning a dispenser of sanitizer on every corner which is a different topic altogether from immunizations. You kill off “good” bacteria as well as bad (ditto antibiotics along with separate issues with those) and your immune system doesn’t have as much to do. Some of the “super bacteria” left from overexposure and use or incorrect use of antibiotics are every bit as nasty as some of these diseases which people are vaccinated against.

      Incidentally Polio became a more severe disease some experts think b/c of improved sanitation beginning in more affluent areas which shifted the demographic of age of infection to older people. When polio’s mean age of infection went from childhood to teens to young adults, you started seeing more severe manifestations perhaps b/c the immune system plays a role. It’d been a disease in young children who were exposed early due to poor sanitation that usually was more survivable and led to immunity. The whole Polio episodes of the 1920-1960s and beyond is a very interesting part of our history in terms of the impact socially and politically as well as health-wise.

  14. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve July 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

    Okay, I’m worried that my tepid defense of Ms. McCarthy is any sort of support for the anti-vax/anti-science movement. It’s not something that I think is just a weird irrelevancy. When I used to have a late night chat show I would regularly rail against anti-vaxxers (and any sort of anti-science people or conspiracy theorist.)

    However, there was a certain point where I was talking to an anti-vaxxer, a regular caller who would talk all sorts of nonsense about ‘chelating minerals,’ whatever that may be, and he was telling me about how three of his kids have autism and they all started showing signs after their MMR, and I responded by pointing out to him that surely the fact that 3 out of 4 of his children have autism points to a hereditary link. At which point I realized “I’m blaming this guy for his kids’ autism, as if he’s never thought of that. What a fucking asshole I am.’ Here’s a guy whose 3 year old daughter won’t eat and I’m implying it’s either his or his wife’s genes that are the cause of it.

    And here’s the thing: to some extent, they very well could be, but I can sure as hell understand why he would want to think they weren’t and why he would look for any solution (the whole ‘chelating’ thing had something to do with getting her to eat.)

    That’s when I came to the conclusion that while anti-vaccine doctrine is as horrible and evil as many other dangerous dogmas, but the people who believe that vaccines cause autism do so because they are dealing with situations at home which I could only imagine confronting in my wildest nightmares. Never mind the screaming fits, non-autistic kids have those too, but having a 3-year old daughter who won’t eat and a 6-year son who constantly hurts himself must be heart breaking.

    So despite the fact that they can’t see how dangerous the ramifications of their beliefs are, I still have sympathy for them based on the journey that took them to this dangerous and wrong idea.

    1. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla July 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm |

      Having parents that think of them as broken goods, soulless, etc must be heartbreaking to the children with autism.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve July 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm |

        Having parents that think of them as broken goods, soulless, etc must be heartbreaking to the children with autism.

        Absolutely GG, you are 100% correct, and if I’d have encountered one of those parents, I would probably be of a different mindset.

      2. martian
        martian July 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

        Nothing in Steve’s comment is about that.

        I’ve worked with children severely affected by autism. Both the kids and the families suffered terribly. It’s horrendous to struggle to prevent a child from hurting himself, to have either restraints or drugs as your only immediate options to prevent truly terrible self-injuries. And, yes, many parents will in desperation turn to all sorts of pseudo-scientific woo.

        It’s not always about thinking their child is defective and less than. Sometimes it’s about loving them so much that they just won’t give up on figuring out “why” or on finding a “cure” and the only paths that seem open have medicine show quacks pointing the way.

        People like Andrew Wakefield are complete scum. But what’s so wrong with extending a little sympathy to the victims of his scams? Desperate people, desperate measures.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm |

          People like Andrew Wakefield are complete scum. But what’s so wrong with extending a little sympathy to the victims of his scams? Desperate people, desperate measures.

          Thanks for that, those three sentences perfectly sum up what I was trying to say in several rambling paragraphs.

    2. martian
      martian July 21, 2013 at 8:11 am |

      *For what it’s worth, I think your feelings about your interaction with your caller do you credit but, since it was a public conversation rather than private, it was probably important not to leave the genetics issue unsaid.

      I feel for the guy. You’re living a nightmare when you know that you might outlive children who will always need your care and advocacy. Who will love them when you’re gone? Not just indifferently feed and monitor, love them. Good residential treatment in this country is so hard to get placement for, we just don’t have the infrastructure in place to offer the support these families and individuals need.

      *I would attach this to your response to me, but the nesting was already at it’s limit, I guess.

    3. ch
      ch July 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm |

      Chelation therapy is a dangerous and completely unscientific “therapy” that involves putting dangerous chemicals into autistic children’s bodies, and it can be deadly (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Chelation). Like most “alternative” “cures” for autism, it is dangerous and preys on the fears of parent of autistic kids. So, like, I get that you had sympathy for this guy and I probably would too, but he was not only putting everyone’s kids at risk if he didn’t vaccinate, he was also directly putting his own kids at risk by using chelation, which is not harmless or value neutral.

      Also, I fail to see how pointing out the (pretty well founded in science, IIRC) hereditary cause for autism is “blaming” the guy. His genes are not his fault, FFS. Do you also see it as blamey to point out the hereditary nature of other conditions? Is it blaming a parent of a child with, say, cystic fibrosis if you say to them that their child has a genetic disorder?

      1. martian
        martian July 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm |

        This response is for your response to me below:

        I mean, I get that they’ve fallen for quack therapies and some of these parents are just desperate people who mean well. But at the same time, if I had to choose between the two, my empathy in these situations would fall squarely with the autistic child, not with the parent desperately trying to “fix” that child.

        Why would you need to choose?

        Are there actually circumstances where it would be useful to demonize these parents, call them selfish, assert that they’d prefer dead children to disabled ones? Seems highly counterproductive to me.

        1. ch
          ch July 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm |

          I mean, yeah, no actual need to choose between the two. Just saying that my advocacy and energy on this issue is firmly on the side of the people who are autistic, the people who have disabilities, rather than on the side of their parents. I support the parents, I feel for the parents, but if there’s a situation where the parents’ interests are at odds with the kids’ interests (for example, if the parent in his desperation has fallen for a quack doctor who told him to feed his kids poison), my support is going to fall behind the autistic children, who generally lack the social support, power, and general empathy from society that their parents have.

          Also, yeah, I don’t think most parents of autistic children believe that a dead child would be better than a disabled one. Like any other parents, some of them are shitty and abusive, but most of them love their children and want what’s best for them. On the other hand (a) “A dead child is better than a disabled child” is kind of the root ideology behind the entire anti-vax movement and related strains of “autism epidemic” hysteria, isn’t it? I really can’t see how it couldn’t be (For the anti-vaxxers, I would say it was “Your child being dead is better than my child being disabled,” but I don’t think most of the general population actually understands herd immunity that well). Also, (b) A lot of the rhetoric that you hear from parents of autistic children who have bought into some of this bullshit, even loving, well-meaning ones, is super ableist and heading towards similar kinds of thinking. Stuff like “autism stole my child and I want my child back” etc. Maybe it’s not their fault that they hold such repugnant views about their own children. I mean, the disability rights movement does not have very widespread acceptance, and in a lot of circles people don’t even know that there is a disability rights movement, whereas the “omg autism epidemic” rhetoric is everywhere you turn. But dehumanizing language like that, about any group makes me sick, no matter who it’s coming from or how sympathetic a figure they are (although I admit I’m especially sensitive about autism, both because I am on the spectrum and because there’s such broad societal acceptance of these dehumanizing views).

      2. martian
        martian July 22, 2013 at 5:27 am |

        I wrote a huge, long response that, on rereading, I don’t think is exactly responsive, so I will have to return to this conversation later today when I’m thinking more clearly. Probably seems ridiculous to post this, but I value this conversation and didn’t want to leave you unanswered.

      3. martian
        martian July 23, 2013 at 1:26 am |

        Sorry for the late reply. Life stuff.

        I agree that when a conflict of interest arises, support should go to the actual autistic people. But I guess I see the parents and children as being very separate interest groups from the problem of the anti-vax movement. Certainly, the body of the movement is the parents, but they’re mostly just followers. It’s the people shilling for the quackery that are the source of the trouble and some of them can go to jail as far as I’m concerned. Making a buck off selling inappropriate chelation therapy for autistic children? Go to jail. I think the anti-vax stuff is dangerous, pernicious crap, if my opinion on that isn’t absolutely clear.

        I do agree that the rhetoric the parents often use is horribly ableist, but I honestly think that a lot of that is from immersion in the movement and a lack of consciousness about the full implications of some of the language. Also, the way some of them have experienced autism, where they had a “normal” child who seemingly slipped away, gives them the idea that they can rescue that phantom child. I think they’re misguided sure, but turning to a movement that offers them at least some hope seems really human to me. I don’t want to minimize how awful some of the language is; It is terrible, dehumanizing language. A lot of the parents just appear to think they can talk about the autism as an invading entity separate from their children.

        What I’m rambling too much saying here is that I don’t believe the parents can be severed from the children in advocacy. Not in this country where children are still practically property and not with parents primed to be their children’s heroic rescuers. To advocate for the kids, you have to advocate to and through the parents, and how will that be possible if they’re being attacked?

    4. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan July 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

      However, there was a certain point where I was talking to an anti-vaxxer, a regular caller who would talk all sorts of nonsense about ‘chelating minerals,’ whatever that may be, and he was telling me about how three of his kids have autism and they all started showing signs after their MMR, and I responded by pointing out to him that surely the fact that 3 out of 4 of his children have autism points to a hereditary link. At which point I realized “I’m blaming this guy for his kids’ autism, as if he’s never thought of that. What a fucking asshole I am.’ Here’s a guy whose 3 year old daughter won’t eat and I’m implying it’s either his or his wife’s genes that are the cause of it.

      Yeah, the guy is fucking poisoning his child but heaven forbid he feel bad about something! Maybe I’m alone in this, but I hope that the parents of children who are forced to suffer by their parents themselves suffer 10 times the agony they inflict on those around them. If his kid ever gets whooping cough or god-knows-what thanks to his dumb ass, I hope he breaks every rib in his body just like that little girl will. He has decided that letting little kids die is preferable to not. I hope he feels every second of that selfish decision down to his miserable bones.

      1. martian
        martian July 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

        If the guy thinks his kids started showing signs after their MMRs, then his three autistic children probably got all of their infant/toddler vaccinations which would include pertussis. The older children may even have all the vaccinations normally given since it clearly took a while for the parents to board the anti-vax train.

        Three children impacted by autism, the parents fall for a scam that promises the moon, and you want to make monsters out of them?

        1. ch
          ch July 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm |

          Well, giving your child chelation therapy is literally poisoning your child, regardless of whether or not they’re vaccinated.

          I mean, I get that they’ve fallen for quack therapies and some of these parents are just desperate people who mean well. But at the same time, if I had to choose between the two, my empathy in these situations would fall squarely with the autistic child, not with the parent desperately trying to “fix” that child.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 22, 2013 at 2:05 am |

          I should add that the chelation therapy this guy described merely involved her taking fish oil caps, which my doctor recommends to me for HDL reduction. So, maybe the chelation thing is a bit of a derail, as I would have reacted differently if he had described what the wiki described.

        3. ch
          ch July 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

          Yeah, that does actually temper my outrage, Steve. I had no idea anyone considered fish oil to be part of chelation; as far as I know fish oil is harmless and I’ve had it recommended to me, too. Thanks for clarifying.

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve July 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm |

          Yeah, that does actually temper my outrage, Steve. I had no idea anyone considered fish oil to be part of chelation; as far as I know fish oil is harmless and I’ve had it recommended to me, too. Thanks for clarifying.

          I just googled it and there were quite a few things on message boards, but in terms of websites there wasn’t much so it’s unsurprising you hadn’t heard of it. Anyway, I found this:

          http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/frequent-dose-chelation/message/14107

          I’m not saying it works in ANY way, just that it seems harmless.

      2. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve July 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

        eah, the guy is fucking poisoning his child but heaven forbid he feel bad about something! Maybe I’m alone in this, but I hope that the parents of children who are forced to suffer by their parents themselves suffer 10 times the agony they inflict on those around them. If his kid ever gets whooping cough or god-knows-what thanks to his dumb ass, I hope he breaks every rib in his body just like that little girl will. He has decided that letting little kids die is preferable to not. I hope he feels every second of that selfish decision down to his miserable bones.

        Bagelsan,

        i am in agreement with you in every respect. However, examining a case on the internet is different than actually having a conversation with someone whose son continually bashes his face in to the wall to the pint where his nose bleeds. It’s your right to look down on me for being sympathetic to someone in that situation but it doesn’t mean I think differently than you about this anti-science attitude.

        I do think the anti-vax, anti-science agenda is dangerous, far more dangerous than certain other fringe beliefs, for example, that Obama was born in Kenya. However, I think it matters for something, that the birthers are motivated by racism and the specific anti-vaxxers I’m referring to you are motivated by watching their children harm themselves,

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan July 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

          I’m not looking down on you for treating him gently; I think that was kind of you. But I’m also not sold that anyone should feel obliged to treat dangerous ignoramuses gently; if they suffer some of the consequences from their ridiculous beliefs –such as ridicule– that’s awesome in my book.

    5. Jamie
      Jamie July 24, 2013 at 11:06 am |

      Yeah, I think that while we need to be clear that the idea that a kid is better off dead from a preventable disease than autistic is vile, and the idea of the kid as “soulless” or “damaged goods” is equally fucked up, we also need to make space for the fact that not every kid being discussed are high-functioning people with Aspergers, but kids who are suffering as well.

      Desperate people have always been vulnerable to con artists and scammers, but I wonder if the information overload going on in the past decade or so makes it worse, because if you haven’t been taught to read critically, it’s difficult to decide which information to trust. We’re bombarded with ads all day that we know are lying to us, we’re much more cynical about government. I wonder if this leads people to be more susceptible to Alex Jones-style “This is the REAL truth that’s being kept from you!” type bullshit, in addition to just not knowing how to sift through everything you Google.

      1. Jamie
        Jamie July 24, 2013 at 11:15 am |

        I should also add, after reading the replies above, that I agree with those above that a lot of it is due to most people not being aware, at all, of the concept of disability rights and that they probably don’t actually wish their kid was dead, just that they’re not thinking through the full implications of what they’re advocating. So, basically I’m just repeating what was said above. :/

  15. SamBarge
    SamBarge July 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

    I don’t actually think the worst thing Jenny McCarthy did was make autistic children seem “broken”. Frankly, most people already did/do view autistic kids as needing fixing. Hell, there are people out there who think their kids need fixing for being gay. We live in a world full of shitty people who are parents.

    The worst think Jenny McCarthy did was convince parents to not vaccinate their children. There has been a marked rise in whooping cough deaths among infants who cannot be vaccinated themselves and rely on herd immunity until vaccination age. So, all the special snowflakes’ mommies and daddies, who didn’t want to “pollute” their children with vaccines, ended up letting their child infect an infant. An infant with no defenses, who ends up coughing to death.

    That’s the worst thing Jenny McCarthy has done. 10 infants in California last year alone.

    You can discuss whether autistic children are or aren’t damaged. But dead infants are just dead.

    Thanks, Jenny.

    I almost wish I watched the View, so I could stop watching it because of her.

    1. Drahill
      Drahill July 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm |

      Actually, there’s not much evidence that McCarthy was ever directly responsible for decreasing vaccination rates. The largest single decline (across the board) began around 1999. Why? Because that’s within months of Andrew Wakefield’s publication of a fraudulent piece that kicked off the autism-vaccine hysteria. McCarthy didn’t begin the anti-vax movement – and, truth be told, she isn’t even the most prominent pusher of it anymore. If you follow the science blogs, that title now belongs to a great many others, including a bunch of them. Another thing is consider is that, if McCarthy had the influence you say she did, then wouldn’t the rates of vaccination be lowest for those vaccines she specifically attributed to autism – mainly, the MMR vaccine? However, the CDC data says that MMR vaccination rates are still among the highest in the country – second only to polio: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/immunize.htm

      I look at it this way: McCarthy’s son was born in 2002, and was diagnosed in 2005 – which is the start of when she began her advocacy. However, the CDC’s own data shows that US vaccination rates hit bottom around 2002 and 2003 – before McCarthy showed up on the scene. That hysteria was largely driven by quacks with medical degrees who spread false information (and who capitalized on the fear Wakefield spread over in Europe).

      I realize this is treading close to a defense of Jenny McCarthy – and I have no love for the woman. However, I do not agree with arguments that blame her for low vaccination rates, when largely, that wasn’t her doing. It also lets the people who DID have a large hand in the rate decline off the hook – and they are still around, albeit less influential. They are also more dangerous because, unlike McCarthy, they have degrees and titles they exploit to further their agendas. Personally, McCarthy hasn’t influence the movement nearly as much as they have. So I save my ire for the decrease for them. McCarthy, I blame for plenty else.

      1. Jamie
        Jamie July 24, 2013 at 11:21 am |

        This is really interesting. Thanks for bringing the facts!

  16. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie July 22, 2013 at 1:55 am |

    I think it is normal, even healthy, to grieve for the person your child once was. It’s not the same as saying you no longer love the child. It’s a matter of recognizing and honoring the fact that everyone’s life will be different now, and harder. And of course parents feel that sickening fear of who will take care of their offspring once the parents are gone.

    Chances are, many – if not most – parents may experience an even fiercer and deeper love for a child who has greater need for care. But to condemn them for their shock and sorrow at their world turning upside down seems harsh to me. Accusing parents you don’t even know of regarding their children as “defective” is awfully mean-spirited.

    1. thinksnake
      thinksnake July 22, 2013 at 5:38 am |

      ‘to grieve for the person your child once was’

      No. They aren’t grieving for the person their child once was. They’re grieving for the person they thought their child was. Important difference.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve July 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

        No. They aren’t grieving for the person their child once was. They’re grieving for the person they thought their child was

        What? Now we’ve moved on from anti-vaxxers to anyone who detects a change in their child’s behavior?

        Guess what? I’ll state it here and now: According to my belief system, children with autism are soulless. PEOPLE HAVE NO SOULS. We are all soulless.

      2. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie July 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

        Not nevessarily true, thinksnake. Many conditions/illnesses/ events do actually change a person. And anyway, who cares? Does it make a parent’s grief illegitimate if they didn’t recognize a condition early on? Yeesh.

        1. Radfem
          Radfem July 24, 2013 at 12:55 am |

          Exactly but it helps to know that if you’ve been there. If anyone chooses to judge me (who’s gone through testing for autism and Asp a time or two though I was ultimately not diagnosed with either) or those I care about for not being perfect that I’m supposed to be well and just figure out how to get it right on the spot, then I guess I’ve just remembered one of my less favorite uses for one of my fingers.

          Life is messy in reality. There’s all kind of things involved like emotions that can leave you topsy turvy from one day to the next. Hell, tomorrow you might chastise yourself for something you’ve done/said/thought or believed today. Because you didn’t get it right. Parents and loved ones I think already judge themselves rightly but more often it seems wrongly in so many different ways made far easier by society’s tendency to judge. Maybe that’s what makes people more vulnerable to those doctors, McCarthy or whoever as well. Sometimes life is just easier, right or wrong, if you have something to point at and blame.

          And autism has no fully recognized cause yet. Theories about genetic relationships but no isolated gene(s) yet and/or “environmental factors” keyed in on either.

          Soulless? I was wondering when someone would say, hey I just believe all folks are soulless period. World’s a diverse place after all.

          I find “The View” somewhat boring so don’t watch it. I find that true of talk shows in general.

  17. amblingalong
    amblingalong July 22, 2013 at 2:08 am |

    I don’t know- autism can be mild and primarily manifest itself through social differences, but it can also include violence, self-harm, and an inability to function on one’s own even at an adult age. So while I have absolutely no patience for the anti-vaxxers, I also don’t have much respect for the people saying “oh, your kid’s just a little different, you have no right to be even slightly upset, and if you wish your kid didn’t have this illness you’re an evil ablest monster.”

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie July 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm |

      I agree with this.

    2. Andie
      Andie July 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

      You can also be sad FOR your children because of things that stand to make THEIR life much harder for THEM. Autism being one of these things.

      Parents being sad or upset about having an autistic child isn’t always about how it affects them as parents.

      1. Radfem
        Radfem July 24, 2013 at 1:00 am |

        That’s very true. And Austism is a spectrum condition so it runs the gambit of ‘highly functioning’ as it’s called to being a much more challenging situation for parents. I’ve known folks whose kids with autism mainstream in high schools to where in a couple cases, they have to keep kids including young adults from lying in the middle of the street refusing to move.

        Grief’s part of it for quite a few people whatever you tie it too. Whether it’s what was lost, perceptions that were changed, or dreams of the way you hoped your kids would be. It’s another thing to work through for parents. Not made easier by people saying, so your kids a little bit different? One response to that attitude might be, spend a day in my shoes first before you tell me that!

      2. amblingalong
        amblingalong July 24, 2013 at 2:37 am |

        You can also be sad FOR your children because of things that stand to make THEIR life much harder for THEM. Autism being one of these things.

        Parents being sad or upset about having an autistic child isn’t always about how it affects them as parents.

        You can be both. It’s legitimate to be sad that life is harder for your kid, and it’s legitimate to be sad that your kid’s condition makes life harder for you at the same time.

        Parents are allowed to care about their own lives as well as those of their children.

  18. Athenia
    Athenia July 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm |

    If you say Jenny McCarthy has no interest in “politics”, then you haven’t done you’re research, because Jenny McCarthy is very interested in sexual politics. I remember years ago on the Rosie O’Donnell show, she sat on the couch, deconstructing photoshopped images of herself. If you’ve read her book series Belly Laughs, again, you’d be familiar about her hilarious insights about sex, pregnancy and being a woman. In fact, her dangerous advocacy of anti-vaccines is political. (Hello there the personal is political).

    I think McCarthy will do a good job, but we’ll see how it goes. I wonder how the whole autism/anti-vaxx thing will play out.

    1. tigtog
      tigtog July 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | *

      Quick question TomSims: childhood vaccines in the USA have not contained thimerosal since 2001 (process began in 1999). If thimerosal really was the culprit in causing autism, we would expect that ASD diagnosis rates in children vaccinated in the USA since 2001 would have declined steeply. What is the actual trend in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis rates since 2001?

      These trends have been studied, you know. It’s revealing that the article you link cites court cases yet doesn’t post trend graphs.


      Autism Prevalence by Nation

      Autism Prevalence by Nation

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan July 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm |

      Yes, the renowned scientific journal The Courts Ruled, with it’s peer-reviewed studies on vaccination and it’s formidable understanding of biology and medicine. 9_9

      1. Donna L
        Donna L July 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

        Exactly. The fact that in a handful of cases children got encephalitis and subsequently suffered brain damage shortly after being vaccinated — and that the Congress was persuaded to set up “vaccine courts,” and that the government eventually agreed to make payments some of those cases — doesn’t remotely prove that the vaccines caused the encephalitis. Study after study has shown that children are no more likely to contract encephalitis after a vaccination than at any other time. I’m no scientist, but even I can tell that those decisions were confusing correlation with causation. Even if you believe that any of what happened in these cases really had anything to do with autism in the first place.

Comments are closed.