A killer is on the loose. As many as 900 children may have died as a result of one person, and the number is still rising. Sometime this month, the number of children made ill because of this menace is expected to top 100,000. Children across America now are infected with diseases that were once declared eliminated largely because of the efforts of this individual.
This killer isn't a terrorist or a war criminal, it's nude model and television personality Jenny McCarthy. Rather than living behind bars or hiding shamefully in exile, McCarthy is busy hosting a reality show on NBC and appearing on the cover of this month's issue of Playboy, earning paychecks almost as large as her (very ample) cup size.
So how did a Playboy Playmate-turned television tomboy end up with the blood of so many children on her hands?
In 2005, McCarthy received devastating news. Her 3-year-old son, Evan, had been diagnosed with autism. Like most parents, McCarthy searched for causes and cures. Regrettably, one of the places she found answers was in a widely discredited 1998 paper by British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield that linked a common vaccine to an increase in rates of autism.
Armed with Wakefield's research, McCarthy used her fame as a platform to spout scientifically spurious anti-vaccination rhetoric. In order to spread her belief that vaccines caused autism, McCarthy wrote a series of parenting books, made hundreds of public appearances and appeared on shows such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," lining her pockets and convincing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of parents not to vaccinate their kids along the way.
Wakefield's study was always viewed with overwhelming skepticism in the medical and scientific communities. In 2004, it was determined that he had falsified his research and no scientific proof linked vaccines to autism. Wakefield had invented the data after being bribed more than $600,000 by lawyers hoping to bring lawsuits against drug companies that manufactured vaccines.
In 2010, Wakefield's medical license was, thankfully, revoked. Later the same year, McCarthy came forward with the claim that her son was cured of autism as a result of treatments including aromatherapy, electromagnets, vitamins, a gluten-free diet and other such silliness. In truth, her son never had autism in the first place. He was simply misdiagnosed and is now a healthy 8-year-old kid, albeit with a dishonest dope for a mother.
Despite the fact that the study that she relied on for her facts was as fake as a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge, and her son, whom she claimed had contracted autism through a vaccination, never had autism in the first place, that hasn't stopped her anti-vaccine campaign. She continues to defend Wakefield's study and urge parents not to vaccinate their children.
As a result, the website Jenny McCarthy Body Count blames 895 deaths by preventable illnesses on McCarthy due to her anti-vaccine screeds. The website, which uses reports on vaccine-preventable illnesses published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as its basis, also pins the illnesses of 99,135 on McCarthy's ignorant anti-vaccination evangelization.
Cases of mumps and whooping cough are at their highest levels in generations, and measles, which the CDC declared "eliminated" in the United States in 2000, plagued 222 Americans last year -- and McCarthy is almost single-handedly responsible.
(Men, please read only the paragraph below labeled "Men," then skip to the paragraph that begins "It's vital." Women, please skip to the paragraph labeled "Women" and continue reading from there.)
Men: It's hard to believe Jenny McCarthy could steer anyone wrong. She's so smart. And so hot. She has been in Playboy seven times -- look it up (after you've installed that new antivirus) -- so she obviously has nothing to hide, right? But she's wrong about this. Kids are dying of diseases that Americans haven't had in 70 years because they weren't vaccinated. It's hard not to listen to someone you've seen naked (unless you're married to her), but remember: Just because you'd like to play doctor with Jenny McCarthy doesn't mean she is a doctor.
Women: Can you believe the audacity of this floozy? She becomes famous for taking off her clothes and then she is suddenly Dr. Jenny Know-It-All. Did she watch a few episodes of "House" and think she was ready to cure autism? Did all that silicone go to her head? Still, it's easy to feel sorry for a mother of a special-needs child (even though he turned out not to be a special-needs child, after all), but her "cure" for autism not only doesn't prevent autism, it has caused thousands of kids to get measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough and several other horrible diseases.
It's vital that every parent in America understand that vaccines pose no threat to children, but the consequences of not vaccinating a child may be fatal. For the sake of your children, take healthcare advice from a doctor, not a Playboy Playmate.