Logically, we all know the man or woman shouting the loudest isn’t necessarily right, but when the situation involves extremely vocal members of a minority group and a largely apathetic majority, that rational approach can sometimes be lost. Such is the case with vaccines and their supposed links to autism. Jenny McCarthy and her band of pseudoscience goons have screamed loud enough and often enough that a tangible percentage of ignorant Americans have mistakenly concluded whether or not to vaccinate their children is a legitimate scientific debate. It’s not, and with McCarthy taking over as a co-host on The View, we collectively need to get a whole lot louder to remind people what the science really says.
You see, there’s no scientific link between autism and vaccines. None. The study published linking the two was based on fraudulent research. It was later stricken from the record and its author Andrew Wakefield was stripped of his medical license and banned from practicing in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, since its publication in 1998, the percentage of parents vaccinating their children has dropped, and now, diseases such as measles and mumps are reappearing at alarming rates. Make no mistake, children are dying and because of the reduced rates of vaccination, our collective herd immunity is now being compromised.
Thanks to The View, McCarthy will now have a podium to peddle her noxious opinion to more than three million viewers a day. Outlets like Time Magazine and Boston.com have taken ABC to task for the network’s decision to hire the former Playboy model, but now that this decision has come down, we all need to respond accordingly.
So, when a concerned mother tells you she’s thinking about not vaccinating her children because she doesn’t want them to contract autism, rolling your eyes and making fun of her later is no longer good enough. You need to look her in the eyes and tell her there’s not a single shred of evidence that vaccines cause autism. When a nervous father tells you he doesn’t trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations because they accept money from pharmaceutical companies, you need to tell him every one of those studies is overseen by numerous trained professionals and despite lucrative donations, medications fail to gain clearance all the time.
People don’t take medical advice from celebrities. Instead, they hear wild opinions from celebrities and ask their friends, and as usually happens in cases like this, the ones with the wild opinions shout the loudest and the ones with conventional (and logical, science-supported) opinions don’t make a big issue out of it. Well, not anymore. That’s not good enough when it comes to vaccines. Your curious friends who are looking for answers need to know where you stand. They need to know this isn’t a debate or a controversy. It’s a medically-accepted fact by almost every single doctor in the United States that vaccines are not only vital for young children, they’re vital for the health of the nation as a whole.
I know it’s your impulse to look out for yourself and not scream about something most people already agree with, but right now, this is a matter of national security. We all need your aggressiveness and your sensible point of view. Let it be known to those you care about that you stand for vaccinating your children. Every single voice counts, especially now that McCarthy will be delivering her message to millions every day.