In a more perfect world, the fact that Jenny McCarthy of “that blonde woman who wasn’t Pamela Anderson who was on MTV for a little while” fame, is not a medical professional would be so obvious that pointing it out would be considered a grave insult. However, for the past few years she has been at the head of a battle to discourage the use of common vaccines, citing potential health risks. Now, not that I want to start anything, but absolutely nothing qualifies Jenny McCarthy to discuss health risks related to vaccination. She began her campaign almost exclusively because her child was diagnosed with Autism.
What does Autism have to do with being vaccinated, you ask? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except that the time when you are vaccinated for many common diseases is around the same time developmental disorders become apparent. It’s when you’re supposed to start speaking, smiling, interacting and all that, so if you don’t it’s more apparent. Jenny, understandably, became worried that her child’s disorder was triggered by an outside event, perhaps the recent vaccinations. Unlike a sane person, however, Mrs. McCarthy’s response when the doctor and every other scientific or medical professional employed in the world told her “no, vaccines don’t cause Autism at all” was to go on Oprah and accuse the entire scientific community of a dastardly cover-up.
Well, good news! Her child never even had Autism. According to a new article in Time magazine, she says her child likely never had Autism but rather Landau-Kleffner, a different disorder with similar but lesser effects. She’s also recanted her position on vaccination, seeing as how it’s now obvious even to her that a Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine could not have caused developmental delays in her child. In the meantime she contributed to the deaths of many children whose parents were willing to trust her diagnosis, as well as the endangerment of any children exposed to an un-vaccinated peer.
Vaccines are an unqualified good. They’re one of the most amazing medical technologies in existence. Younger generations, basically anyone under the age of 60, have forgotten that it wasn’t all that long ago that one in ten children contracted something deadly before the end of middle school. There’s a reason all of your grandparents had such comically gigantic families. We’re spoiled enough now that a scare about a non-fatal condition that affected a very small population caused some people to give up a technological advantage that has proven itself over and over as a vital bulwark against actual for-real death of children. At least now, one of the major proponents of this child endangerment has recanted. Hopefully more will follow.