Jenny McCarthy doesn’t want you to think she’s “anti-vaccine,” although she hasn’t changed her views nearly as much as she claims.
The “View” co-host published an op-ed column Saturday in the Chicago Sun-Times that leaves out some of her past claims about vaccines and their disproven link to autism.
“I am not ‘anti-vaccine,’” McCarthy began. “This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, ‘pro-vaccine’ and for years I have been wrongly branded as ‘anti-vaccine.’”
The actress and comedienne says she began questioning vaccines and their recommended use after her son was diagnosed with autism, but McCarthy claims she never advocated eliminating vaccines but instead merely raised questions about their mandated usage.
“I believe in the importance of a vaccine program and I believe parents have the right to choose one (shot) per visit,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never told anyone to not vaccinate.”
But McCarthy has consistently claimed vaccines contain toxins that can be linked to autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, and other physical or behavioral problems – a link that has been debunked in multiple studies.
She blames “blatantly inaccurate blog posts” for twisting her position on vaccines and their use, but a science writer accuses McCarthy of twisting her own words to misrepresent her views.
“People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines,” McCarthy said she told Time Magazine science editor Jeffrey Kluger in 2009. “Please understand that we are not an anti-vaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.”
The Playboy model did say that, but Kluger said she left out the next sentence: “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-cking measles.”
Kluger says this offers parents a false choice between autism and “the f*cking measles.”
And that false choice promoted by the TV personality has encouraged many parents to forgo vaccinations and rekindled some diseases and illnesses once nearly eradicated by medicine.
“As outbreaks of measles, mumps, and whooping cough continue to appear in the U.S. -- most the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children because of the scare stories passed around by anti-vaxxers like you -- it’s just too late to play cute with the things you’ve said,” Kruger writs in an open letter to McCarthy. “You are either floridly, loudly, uninformedly anti-vaccine or you are the most grievously misunderstood celebrity of the modern era. Science almost always prefers the simple answer, because that’s the one that’s usually correct. Your quote trail is far too long -- and you have been far too wrong -- for the truth not to be obvious.”
[Image: Jenny McCarthy via Shutterstock]