The Jenny McCarthy body count

American Jenny McCarthy is a self-appointed vaccine expert, having graduated from the University of Google after an earlier successful career as a slapper, the grotesque details of which are described on countless websites less concerned with maintaining high standards of taste and decorum than this one.

Her venture into the lucrative field of childhood vaccination controversy was motivated by the diagnosis of her son, Evan, as having an autistic spectrum disorder, though he now’s been “cured” leading to speculation that he was misdiagnosed in the first place [edited 21.04.09 to add, he has apparently been cured by using “alternative means”. Yeah, right.] In addition to her enviable Google education, McCarthy comes with a wealth of experience as a former Indigo Mom.

The day I found out I was an adult Indigo will stay with me forever. I was walking hand in hand with my son down a Los Angeles street when this woman approached me and said, “You’re an Indigo and your son is a Crystal.” I immediately replied, “Yes!” and the woman smiled at me and walked away. I stood there for a moment, because I had no idea what the heck an Indigo and Crystal was, but I seemed so sure of it when I had blurted out “Yes!” After doing some of my own research on the word Indigo, I realized not only was I an early Indigo but my son was in fact a Crystal child.

McCarthy is at pains to point out that she is not anti-vaccine. Not at all. In an interview with Time magazine that reveals her sharp, analytical mind she says,

People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

vaccine expert at work
Vaccine expert at work

In honour of this Joan of Arc of the vaccine movement, a website has been set up which helpfully provides a running total of the cases and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. since Jenny McCarthy started “promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric” in 2007. The site points out that it is not blaming Jenny McCarthy for all this disease and death, “however, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.”

Amen to that and I’m delighted that a clever blogger called the Lay Scientist stepped up to the plate and brilliantly made a widget out of it so we can all have Jenny McCarthy body count totals on our blogs and I am happy to sport one in my sidebar in solidarity with all those battling against McCarthy’s iniquitous campaign across the pond.

But it was our very own Andrew Wakefield who started the most recent wave of infectious disease promotion so how about somebody making a body count widget for the UK?

In the meantime, here’s The Jenny McCarthy Song. Enjoy!

Update 2/11/09.  See Crispian Jago’s blog for a nice wee video he’s made: The Jenny McCarthy body count. If you can stand it for long enough, you get to see McCarthy’s tits.

10 thoughts on “The Jenny McCarthy body count”

  1. Jenny McCarthy is an idiot who capitalizes on her status as a celebrity to tout utter BS. Sadly plenty of people fall for it and millions of children (and eventually adults) will suffer as a result.

  2. Halftruthsarelies/endaknob, you might want to do some research before you post a comment. There are placebo controlled trials of vaccines, just some random examlples:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21816199
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21329971
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20728932

    But even if there weren’t any, placebo controlled trials are not the only way to establish efficacy.
    Please cite a source for your claim that UNEP has “taken the Geiers’ recommendations”, and do tell how you came to the conclusion that “one (dose of?) vaccine contains 25 times the amount of mercury allowable in the average human body”. The “allowable amount” (or rather the ADI, the amount you can ingest daily for the rest of your life without negative effects) is 30 µg/day. 30 µg*25, that would be 750 µg in a single dose, name one vaccine that contains such an amount of mercury.

  3. Well, let’s see, what about cohort studies? Are you telling me you never heard that different kinds of studies have different levels of evidence? You probably have but if you haven’t let me enlighten you:
    http://www.mh.org.au/royal_melbourne_hospital/levels-of-evidence/w1/i1017827/

    It’s okay that you don’t know everything there is to know (I don’t think I do), but it’s quite disappointing to see you somehow think this gives you an advantage in our discussion. Your arguments are full of holes that are easy to spot, yet you are so confident.

    Again, what’s the name of that vaccine that contains 750 µg mercury per dose (you were the one saying it’s 25 times the allowable amount, so I fail to see why all of a sudden such an amount is lunacy)?
    Please provide a source for the claim that UNEP has “taken the Geiers’ recommendations”.
    Tell me what we would expect as a placebo, if not either a vaccine that doesn’t contain the pathogen or one that contains another pathogen that is not responsible for the disease the study is about?
    Tell me how it is audacious to cite a study while it’s perfectly fine to spout bold statements for which you don’t cite a single piece of evidence? (You are not really saying that we don’t know what causes flu, do you?)

  4. I wondered where you’d got to. It’s no good running away from a thread every time I make you look stupid. Just to remind you what I said on the thread you scuttled away from,

    I would appreciate it more if you could manage to present a coherent and supported argument with references and without the adolescent name-calling.

    I take particular exception to your infantile habit for adopting user names that incorporate insults to other posters here, especially when they have been perfectly civil to you. You have the option of choosing a non-insulting name and sticking to it or using the one I have chosen for you. Which is it to be?

    Now, let’s see what you’ve managed so far. You have

    1. Falsely claimed that the richest country in the world has a higher rate of infant mortality than two developing countries and implied that vaccines were the cause.
    2. Falsely claimed that vaccines are “exempt” from RCTS when pubmed has several hundred reports.
    3. Falsely claimed that one (unnamed) vaccine has “25 times the amount of mercury
    allowable in the average human body”. (Like Vicky, I would be most interested to know which vaccine you were thinking of and where you got your misinformation from but I won’t hold my breath).

    You have also said,

    Despite a massive campaign the vaccine industry is floundering, very likely near death – and that’s a very good thing. It may well be that, almost singlehandedly, Mark and David Geier, father and son, will provide the mechanism facilitating it’s demise.

    The United Nations Environmental Program on mercury has taken the Geier’s “mercury in vaccines” recommendations and made them part of the United Nations plans for the elimination of mercury in the environment – a massive victory for both the Geiers and the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMed).

    In an earlier argument you stated that the US was the most vaccine compliant nation in the world. I provided you with a link to a source that shows that many other countries all over the world also have very high rates of vaccination. That being the case, you’ll forgive me for dismissing your first sentence as empty rhetoric.

    Your second paragraph, i.e. the one you lifted from Bolen’s website, refers to the fact that UNEP has recently published the draft text – arrived at after two meetings of its negotiating committee – of a proposed globally binding treaty on mercury. It includes the recommendation that mercury be phased out of pharmaceutical products by 2021. This draft will be considered at a third session in November. Once the draft has been agreed, you will be justified in saying that it is “part of the United Nations plans”. What it is at the moment is a long-term goal, shared by many more than the Geiers’ ‘CoMed’ lobby, to remove thimerosal vaccines provided there are safe alternative means of preserving them.

    Now that we’ve got that clear, I think we can agree that your speculation that the Geiers will provide the “mechanism facilitating [the vaccine industry’s] demise” is a tad optimistic.

    Finally, you seem very hung up on what I said on Zeno’s blog and yet you only quote a bit of it. Let’s remind ourselves of that conversation, which took place here http://www.zenosblog.com/2011/04/is-there-a-doctor-in-the-clinic/

    I said vaccines had saved millions of lives, to which you responded that “there isn’t a single efficacy study that supports this conjecture because all vaccines are exempt from RCT placebo trials”. By this I adduced that your understanding of “efficacy study” was an RCT or nothing. I responded that , “You don’t need an efficacy study when decades of experience and millions of doses provide a very impressive data set of both effectiveness and safety.” The bolded part is the part you keep omitting, for some reason. What part of it don’t you understand?

    By ‘data sets’ I mean the statistics that show a sharp decline in infectious diseases after immunisation is introduced. I’m sure you’ve seen the figures. Why don’t they persuade you? Here’s an example of a chart I would show the parents of any grandchild I might have if those parents were prevaricating over the mmr.

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733835814

    Note what happens to the figures after 1988, when the mmr was introduced. Were it not for fraudsters like Wakefield and the Geiers, of course, we might have been close to eradicating this miserable disease by now. Shame on you, anti-vax cultists.

    I have read a great deal about the history and use of vaccines and it’s a chequered history involving many tragedies that should not have occurred. However, I am satisfied by the scholarly data that I have read that vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine and I’m afraid your childish behaviour and silly comments here – I won’t dignify them with the name ‘arguments’ – have so far done nothing to disillusion me of that view. I would be most interested in what persuaded you to take up your position, if you’d like to share it.

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