Former Playboy model, Jenny McCarthy is to start appearing on a national TV programme in the USA. McCarthy is known for her extreme anti-vaccine views. See the excellent Jenny McCarthy Bodycount website to understand the role that she has played in the deaths of over a thousand children in the US over the past five years. McCarthy is also famous for her willingness to defend ex-Dr Andrew Wakefield, the fraudster who conducted experiments on vulnerable children and then fabricated evidence of a link between autism and vaccines. Wakefield was stopped from practising medicine in the UK because of his unethical conduct.
This piece from The New Yorker is not brilliant but it contains one nugget to illustrate that just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one causes the other: “the rise in sales of organic food in the United States has mirrored the growth in autism rates almost exactly. No sane person would suggest that those facts are related.” Here’s the weakness in the article: Michael Specter says, “[it] does not mean that vaccines carry no risk: nothing is entirely without risk, and there is a small but measurable possibility that any vaccine can cause a serious adverse reaction.” Yes, but it is almost always much more of a risk to leave a child unprotected: the side effects of vaccines are very rare and usually not serious; infectious diseases maim and kill.