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add these to the tally of the anti-vaccination movement, which is based almost entirely on a long since debunked and withdrawn paper published in Britain in 1998.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


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    a.s., 20 Mar 2014 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Vaccination is one of the most important medical advances in history but

    Thank you for reading the message before replying, that seems to be unusual and is appreciated. Now, let's compare the risks. Keep in mind that the risk is not of the diseases being vaccinated against but rather of those who are unvaccinated either:
    A. Weakening herd immunity to the point where people who cannot be vaccinated will get the disease or
    B. causing diseases to somehow mutate so that the vaccine will no longer be effective.
    Let's compare that risk with "terrorism", which is the risk being used by certain governments as a reason for their actions. How many people have died due to terrorism in the past twenty years in the United States? How many people have died due to diseases for which there are vaccines over the past twenty years in the United States? I'm yanking times and places out of the air here, I'm happy to extend the period if you like, and I'm using deaths because if we included suffering, we would have to include every cough and every person who got scared that the "terrorists" are going to get him). This comment is long enough as it is but if you want to extend the periods or play with suffering rather than death, let me know. Over the past twenty years, approximately 5000 people have died due to terrorist acts in the United States (I'm being deliberately low about these). Over the past twenty years, deaths from Measles, Mumps and Rubella, just the first three diseases that came to mind, have been less than 1000, combined, in the United States according to a quick and dirty google search. Frankly, I think if terrorism is a phantom or minor risk, the lack of vaccination is much smaller and more ghostlike. Diseases are mutating, but, as has been said here earlier, there are plenty of other reasons for that. This is a tiny risk which people assume mainly for themselves or their own kids. It is a tiny number of people assuming the tiny risk. The outrage here over this tiny risk makes the NSA look reasonable by contrast.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.