Thanks Anti-Vax Loons: The Return Of The Measles And The Backlash Against Jenny McCarthy

from the endangering-us-all dept

For all you people out there still going on about how horrible vaccines are for children, still ultimately relying on a thoroughly debunked fraud of a research paper put forth by a quack paid for his quackery by a law firm planning on suing vaccine-makers, thanks a lot. Measles is back. And it's your fault. What was once limited to some worrying reports in rural areas, often times due to either conspiracy theorists or those practicing an unfortunate brand of theology, measles is now back in populated areas like New York City. Oh, and whooping cough. And mumps.

Measles is spreading in upper Manhattan and the Bronx, according to public health authorities in New York. About 16 cases have turned up, including two that involved contagion in doctors' offices. Outbreaks have also been reported in the Boston area, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Much of the current outbreak is traceable to the Philippines, where the disease is raging and easily spread to unvaccinated travelers. They come home to the U.S., where the virus is finding a surprising welcome. Health experts add these to the tally of the anti-vaccination movement, which is based almost entirely on a long since debunked and withdrawn paper published in Britain in 1998.
Measles, should you not be aware, was at such low levels as to be officially considered obliterated. It was essentially gone, removed from our daily list of dangers thanks to the power of vaccines. Thanks to the unvaccinated in America, however, when foreign pathogens are brought here, they are allowed to find hosts in which they can mutate such that the vaccinations everyone was supposed to have are no longer as effective, or effective at all. Driving the point home, children too young to be vaccinated often find themselves the victims of the spread of these mutated diseases, resulting in sick children... and dead infants.

And, lest anyone attempt to argue that the vaccinations themselves are more harmful than the diseases they control, or for those that argue that our natural immune system is better suited to fighting off these pathogens:
During a similar outbreak last year, the national Centers for Disease Control concluded that 82% of the cases occurred in unvaccinated persons, and of those, 79% said they deliberately shunned vaccination on "philosophical" grounds.
And, from there, the disease mutates and spreads, mutates and spreads, rinse and repeat until we reach the point where we now have outbreaks in major cities. Fortunately, many folks are looking at this as a teaching moment for the portion of the American public that is endangering the rest of us. Chiefly in the cross-hairs has been Jenny McCarthy, who has been the spokesman for the stupid when it comes to the anti-vaccination crowd for a long, long time. Recently, she asked her Twitter followers "What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate?" The responses were less than kind.
They vaccinate their kids RT @JennyMcCarthy: What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks

-- Jen (@oneninjen) March 14, 2014

Someone who vaccinates, b/c I'd want our kids to survive. @JennyMcCarthy: Most important trait you look for in mate? Reply w/ #JennyAsks

-- Seth Mnookin (@sethmnookin) March 15, 2014

While I do love getting diseases that were eradicated in the last century, I would say vaccinated is a trait I look for #JennyAsks

-- Jennifer Lott (@JennLott) March 14, 2014
Now, it's worth noting that McCarthy has been relatively quiet on the anti-vax topic the past couple of years, as these long-dead diseases have reemerged. Were I her, I wouldn't want to be spouting off as children get sick either. Maybe she's learned how wrong she was. If she has, she may want to inform her co-celebrities Katie Couric and Kristen Cavallari and Jay Cutler, because they apparently haven't gotten the memo yet.

Look, to be clear, if you don't want to vaccinate your children, you have that free right, but only because I haven't attained enough power in this country yet to have you summarily arrested and to take your children away from you so that they can live with someone with whom they'll be more safe, like, say, a family of rabid wolverines. Vaccinate your damned children. It isn't about you or your kids, it's about all of us.

Filed Under: anti-vaccination, health, jenny mccarthy, measles, public health, vaccinations


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  1. icon
    chelleliberty (profile), 19 Mar 2014 @ 3:49pm

    and frankly

    I think what tweaked me the most was the headline that starts the article with what might as well be schoolyard name-calling.

    It's quite insulting. I am a bit pissed off, since I came to Techdirt expecting its usual fare of well-reasoned and logical *arguments* against the stupid bullshit happening in government as it enriches and empowers itself and its friends at our expense, but instead the story that catches my eye is from someone calling people 'loons' and piously espousing a holier-than-thou attitude: even against those who may have decided through logical reasoning (whether you agree that reasoning or not) to avoid the non-negligible risk of their baby dying of SIDS because of a vaccine.

    And no, this isn't some crackpot theory: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170075/ "Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?". Notice the source. TL;DR: Basically, "SIDS" or (as it turns out) later variations on causes of death relating to infant suffocation didn't start to show up until the start of institutionalized programs of infant vaccination.

    The article above, on reclassification of possible vaccination related deaths:

    "It appears as though some infant deaths attributed to SIDS may be vaccine related, perhaps associated with biochemical or synergistic toxicity due to over-vaccination. Some infants' deaths categorized as ‘suffocation’ or due to ‘unknown and unspecified causes' may also be cases of SIDS reclassified within the ICD. Some of these infant deaths may be vaccine related as well. This trend toward reclassifying ICD data is a great concern of the CDC “because inaccurate or inconsistent cause-of-death determination and reporting hamper the ability to monitor national trends, ascertain risk factors, and design and evaluate programs to prevent these deaths.”29 If some infant deaths are vaccine related and concealed within the various ICD categories for SUIDs, is it possible that other vaccine-related infant deaths have also been reclassified?"

    The conclusion?

    "The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs. [...] [A] correlation coefficient of 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. [...] 98.3% of the total variance in IMR was explained by the unweighted linear regression model. These findings demonstrate a counter-intuitive relationship:nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates."

    So, I ask this of you, Timothy: please reconsider whether your opinion on this matter is as cut and dried as you think, and whether it makes sense to call people that disagree with you 'Loons' for what is likely for many of them a reasoned position. Why not argue for your case (that the risk of mutations, etc. outweighs these dangers) rather than simply name-calling and assuming your reasoning is the only correct way to think of this.

    Thanks.

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