I’m well aware that wisdom can come in surprising forms, but there is none in the plastic shell of Jenny McCarthy. Yet, this woman spurred a nationwide movement to avoid basic vaccinations for infants. Further, she believed that these vaccinations cause autism (as of last year, it’s been suggested that her son doesn’t have — and never had — autism). And that’s fine for her to believe. But how in the world did she convince parents across the country to believe the same?
I’ve seen the film “Baseketball.” Dozens of others have also. That should really be the end of this discussion.
There are so many parents and individuals whose voices maybe aren’t as loud, but should probably get more attention in the vaccination debate. Perhaps doctors, Rosalynn Carter or other parents should have more credibility. Instead, McCarthy and/or her PR team were on talk shows everywhere pushing her theory, giving an incredible amount of publicity (and implicitly, credibility) to her far-fetched idea.
Meanwhile, my belief that robots will take over the world goes unnoticed, so maybe it’s my jealousy that makes me dislike McCarthy.
[It should be noted, that if we were to rank the social influence of hot chicks from the 90s, McCarthy’s a surprising No. 1. She just edges out Rachel Hunter, whose appearance as Stacy’s mom was something of a social commentary on younger men-older women relationships, I suppose. Poor Courtney Thorne-Smith, well, at least she’s still working.]
Regardless, due to McCarthy’s sway, we’re starting to see some serious impact from a lack of vaccinations in kids. This country is in the middle of its largest infant measles outbreak in 15 years. At least 220 measles cases have been reported in 2011, more than three times the usual figure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 87 percent of those cases were in unvaccinated individuals. And whooping cough cases are surprisingly high as well, especially in California. Now, according to the journal Pediatrics, more than one in 10 parents selectively delay or skip doctor-recommended vaccinations.
The foundational study, the one Jenny and her followers so heavily relied upon, has been discredited. New research is available, and clearly suggests that most vaccinations have a health benefit to kids. So unless Singled Out is coming back (I hope it does), no one should really be listening to Jenny McCarthy for a while.