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add these to the tally of the anti-vaccination movement, which is based almost entirely on a long since debunked and withdrawn paper published in Britain in 1998.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

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  1. icon
    chelleliberty (profile), 19 Mar 2014 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: one more

    sigh one more:

    No, first off, you are cherry-picking the article to say what you want; the article is clear that (a) the actual vaccines in use have been in large part responsible for the mutations that have been found, and (b) "listening to people like" me had nothing to do with these decisions, they were made by scientists and researchers who were quite worried about the actual adverse events from the vaccines that existed and were frequently causing severe problems like, oh, death.

    Besides, that wasn't my only point. My point is that decisions like this are made all the time, and the very vaccines that people have been avoiding getting are those causing the issus... These new vaccines were introduced because of the adverse events being seen as unreasonable in the first place.. had nothing to do with the "people like me" (who is that BTW, people that look at the scientific evidence and present it without judging those that come to different conclusions?)...

    And that regardless of your feelings on the matter, decisions like this are made left and right by people making the vaccines, and it's likely that at any point in time the reduced-strength vaccines are causing these issues as evidenced by the fact that so many current vaccines are exactly this type. Besides your reasoning basically equates to "fuck anyone who decides to avoid the much increased risk of their baby dying with the original vaccines, because we have potential future issues that may cause even worse things, even though up to this point the scientific evidence pointed to there being far more danger in the present, and even though up to this point there's been no evidence of a mutation of the severity which I from my lay background and hour worth of study believe could justify it."

    Besides, it's pretty clear that environmental pressures to mutate in a way to avoid vaccines come from... vaccines. Significant populations do indeed give viruses the opportunity to mutate, and there is a chance of it being a way to avoid the vaccine, but it's far less likely to mutate in that way in such a population.

    Besides, again, please give any evidence of a mutation of this kind that has been dangerous enough to justify the types of enforcement proposed; and please give us a rationale for and way to ensure that this type of enforcement is only used for things that are indeed that dangerous.

    And I think that's my biggest point here... The type of rationale necessary doesn't actually exist in an enforcable way, and it's easy to find many cases where either initial studies go the opposite way than the later ones and many reasons that the powers that would have to exist would not be able to make them in a rational way anyway in part due to the fact that decisions would be made on insufficient evidence due to alterior motives, or simply due to the fact that in this type of position you will get totally reamed for deciding not to do something, but generally an incorrect decision will either go unnoticed or given a "well, they were just doing their best" anyway...

    And that was my point. Even if it would be desirable in this case (which I have given a fair amount of reasoning against in the comments) once you generalize it and give power to someone to restrict people, history shows that government will, in the long run, make decisions solely because they benefit the government or the people within it in some way, or based on factors that are still in disagreement in order to be seen as proactive and doing something in the face of what people perceive as a threat.

    Must stop reading now, you don't need me to make these arguments, the science is there, and frankly, I'm not invested enough in this to spend the rest of the night responding to people that seem more interested in a "quick win" than any discussion around whether the current evidence supports draconian governmental policies.

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