Television personality Jenny McCarthy, who repeatedly said that vaccines are unsafe, wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times Saturday in which she stated she is not “anti-vaccine.”
“I am not ‘anti-vaccine,’” McCarthy wrote. “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.’”
But McCarthy has not only said that vaccinations are unsafe; she has also minimized the deadliness of preventable diseases by stating that parents of children with autism would rather they get sick than get vaccinated.
“People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines,” McCathy 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. 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------ measles.”
In that same interview, McCarthy predicted some preventable diseases, like measles outbreaks in California and New York, would come back, but she says it’s not the fault of parents who don’t vaccinate.
“I do believe, sadly, it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe,” McCarthy said. “If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f------ fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s shit. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.”
In her op-ed McCarthy said she was branded anti-vaccine by, “Blatantly inaccurate blog posts about my position have been accepted as truth by the public at large as well as media outlets (legitimate and otherwise), who have taken those false stories and repeatedly turned them into headlines.”
Her story was published as the U.S. measles outbreak now stands at 51 cases. Last year measles was at a 17-year high in the United States, with 189 cases. Measles is a highly contagious disease spread through the air.
Many children are too young to be vaccinated against it, and some groups, like children with such development disorders as cerebral palsy, are too vulnerable to be vaccinated themselves. They rely on herd immunity, which means the rest of the population should be at least 95 percent vaccinated against preventable diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio and meningitis.