Jenny McCarthy was once the MTV drunk college dating game hostess and former “journalist” on The View. I remember when she joined The View – there was widespread condemnation of her hiring from scientists, journalists, and yours truly because of her annoying anti-vaccine rhetoric. Clearly, no one of any note supported her being hired on the View, except for websites like the Age of Pushing Nonsense To Harm Children.Continue reading “Jenny McCarthy, with help from Oprah, misinforms about vaccines”
I don’t usually do this, but I wanted to post the transcript from the outstanding Brandy Zadrozny podcast about how the anti-vaccine movement treated Tiffany Dover who fainted after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine 18 months ago. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss wrote an in-depth article about Dover soon after it happened, and we have updated it as we have gotten more information. Not to give away a spoiler, but she’s still alive.
I have posted the full transcript of episode 4 because it gives you a history of the anti-vaccine movement and the various “truthers” who pass fall information about it. I’m not going to edit the transcript, but I will add in my commentary here and there (it’ll be in bold type) and links for more information, something you can’t get from a podcast. This is very long, but it’s filled with great information. I have made minor edits to spelling and punctuation to make it more readable.
I’m someone who prefers reading content to listening to podcasts or watching YouTube because I like clicking on links or researching more. If you’re like me, then you’ll love this.Continue reading “Examining the anti-vaccine movement — a podcast from Brandy Zadrozny”
Bill Gates vaccines are one of the biggest shibboleths of the anti-vaccine world. Of course, he is one of the world’s leading sponsors of vaccine research along with healthcare (including vaccinations) to underdeveloped countries.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), founded by Bill & Melinda Gates using their vast Microsoft wealth. I have always favored capitalism, and believe there is no particular moral code associated with accumulating wealth. It is, however, wonderful that they have decided to use their wealth to help humanity.
As strong supporters of vaccines, the Gates and their foundation have become one of the leading targets of the vaccine denialists who use a bunch of outright lies to attack his good works. Bill Gates and vaccines is a constant drumbeat from the anti-vaccine world.
Most of us know that Bill Gates did not invent these vaccines, but the attacks on him make it seem like he did.
For vaccines, I guess we should create a corollary of the law, “if you are supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccinations for children, and you are not hated by vaccine denialists, you’re not doing it right.” I think I want to call this corollary “Offit’s Law,” named for Paul Offit, a tireless supporter of vaccines who has been the target of lies and hatred, or even “Gate’s Law.”
So, let’s talk about Bill Gates vaccines. They are amusing.
Celebrity romances rank with soccer, Game of Thrones, and iPhone vs. Android as the things I couldn’t care less about. I wouldn’t know anything about anyone. But, there are exceptions, like when the USA is actually in the World Cup. When I see stories about Andrew Wakefield and Elle Macpherson, I cannot stop myself. I have to read about it, and I have to make fun of it.
Now, most of us know all about one of the greatest scientific frauds of the past 100 years – Mr. Andrew Wakefield and his false, and ultimately retracted, claims that somehow the MMR vaccine was linked to autism spectrum disorder. Of course, there is a mountain of affirmative evidence that has refuted the claim of a link between the vaccine and autism. That’s settled science, except, of course, in the minds of Wakefield sycophants who believe otherwise. Continue reading “Andrew Wakefield and Elle Macpherson – woo attracts woo while we laugh”
A few nights ago, Oprah Winfrey, billionaire media personality, gave a speech during a Hollywood award show, where fellow millionaires and billionaires get dressed up in ten thousand dollar gowns and tuxes to pat each other on the back. Within nanoseconds of her admittedly powerful speech, desperate liberals and Democrats were suddenly chanting “Oprah for President.”
Of course, Ms. Winfrey has sent some mixed messages as to whether she will run for president, but as I’ve long ago observed in politics, denials have all the value of “a bucket of warm piss.” But if she did decide to run, I get the feeling, from reading posts across social media, she’d move to head of the class of Democratic candidates for President of the United States. She’d surpass more highly qualified progressive Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, who both would get my unconditional support for president (as if anyone would care).
So, why am I commenting on potential presidential candidates two years before the election? I’m sure some of you readers are mumbling, “stick to science you dumb feathered dinosaur. That’s why I’m here.”
But kind madam, it is about science. And based on science, a push for “Oprah for President” will not get my support. Continue reading “Oprah for President – another billionaire pseudoscience pusher looking for a job”
Note – this article has been updated with new research and information about electronic cigarette dangers. Please comment there, as the comment section for this article is closed.
Over the past few years, electronic cigarettes (often called a personal vaporizer, e-cigarette, or many other trendy descriptions–I’ll abbreviate them as EC, just to save space) have become a popular alternative to tobacco cigarettes. They originally were developed as a tool to quit cigarette smoking, which is factually linked to lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.
However, ECs have become much more than a tool to end smoking, but they have evolved into popular subculture phenomenon known as the “vaping community” that, in many respects, seem to mimic the marijuana advocates. The vaping community continues to push a belief that ECs are safer than traditional cigarettes, have little health risk to the vaper (electronic cigarette smoker), and is much more socially acceptable than smoking cigarettes or cigars.
Yes, out of the blue, the vaccine denialist cult is going to foist another individual who will trumpet the evils of vaccination. No, it’s not another Jenny McCarthy. Or Alicia Silverstone. Or Mayim Bialik.
No, this is big time. Wait for it. This is really big.
Updated with more good quotes.
Over this past weekend, a social media protest on Twitter, Facebook, reddit and various blogs created an atmosphere where Chili’s, who was planning to contribute 10% of each guest’s check to an organization whose mission is to support the needs of the autism community, was getting stuck in a tight corner. Although the National Autism Association (NAA) appeared to be a fine charity, helping autistic children in numerous ways, their explicit statement that “Vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions,” contradicts the vast mountain of evidence that explicitly and clearly refutes any connection between vaccines, vaccine ingredients, and the number of vaccines with autism.
Last week, former Playboy Playmate, recently appointed co-host of the ABC-TV (USA) show, the View, and anti-science/antivaccination rabble rouser Jenny McCarthy, decided to head to Twitter to get relationship advice. Not sure what she expected, and maybe she’s much more clever than we think by making this a trending topic, but it started rather quietly:
What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks
— Jenny McCarthy (@JennyMcCarthy) March 13, 2014
A hurricane of replies flew across Twitter (much of the evening I was retweeting the best ones, or just laughing). As one Tweeter remarked, “this is why the internet was invented.” Yup. Maybe Jenny didn’t know what she was doing?
If you haven’t ventured over to the hijacked #jennyasks (Jenny McCarthy) hashtag, I suggest you do it. This is why the internet was invented
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownM2) March 17, 2014
Here are my favorites, and ones I haven’t seen on other articles.
— Andrea (@_CoveredInRain) March 15, 2014
— molly green (@MissyInDC) March 18, 2014
Someone who, when coughing, I can be pretty certain does not have Whooping Cough (Pertussis)…because he was vaccinated. #JennyAsks
— Ranit Mishori MD MHS (@ranitmd) March 18, 2014
#JennyAsks Someone who doesn’t actively harm society by using their celebrity status to spread false information about important medicine
— Kevin Major (@kevinmajor1) March 18, 2014
#JennyAsks Someone who understands that “peer reviewed” research doesn’t include your anti-vac mommy group and google searches.
— Tony O’Snark (@Anti_twatwaffle) March 18, 2014
#JennyAsks, perfect mate?Someone who doesn’t endanger vulnerable populations with perfectly preventable plagues.
— nicole (@twin336) March 18, 2014
Hysterical. A nerdy reference:
Ideal Mate is a Movie Lover: Contagion, Andromeda Strain, Outbreak, 12 Monkeys, 28 Days Later, Last Man on Earth, Quarantine #JennyAsks
— Douglas Morse (@DougMorse) March 18, 2014
I like my mate immune to measles. Who can resist a girl who isn’t spewing contaminated fluids? #JennyAsks
— Evil Librarian (@evil_librarian) March 18, 2014
— Seth Mnookin (@sethmnookin) March 15, 2014
I like my men like I like my dogs… up to date on all their shots! #jennyasks
— Rebecca Knapp (@therebeccaknapp) March 15, 2014
One who doesn’t take med advice from a washed up PB bunny who singlehandedly has potentially harmed more kids than autism #JennyAsks
— Kelly Hicks (@kellydean77) March 16, 2014
— Sir Brian (@Brian_Ofthelost) March 18, 2014
Someone who knows that measles and smallpox never got their fair chance to wipe out humanity, and wants to help them out. #JennyAsks
— Larry (@senatorlarry) March 18, 2014
#JennyAsks Jenny refuses to vaccinate her child, moved to NY for crappy talk show now there’s a major measles outbreak in NY. Coincidence?
— Nicola Suntine (@NicolaSuntine) March 18, 2014
There were so many more I could have used, but laughing that hard for so long can wear a person out. I did a rough estimate of pro-vaccine to anti-vaccine Tweets for #JennyAsks, and it was around 100-200:1. So, you can conclude that either most Twitter users who follow hashtags are pro-science/pro-vaccine, or anti-vaxxers have limited access to computers and Twitter, since they’re living off the grid avoiding the evil Jews trying to vaccinate them. Oh yeah, that’s a thing amongst the antivaccination crowd.
A few months ago, I got into a discussion with writer and brand new mother Tara Haelle, claiming that social media wasn’t very useful in changing the society’s views on topics. I was skeptical that massive “protests” on Twitter or Facebook would move the body politic on any issues. Apparently, I was wrong. Because Jenny’s hashtag was completely and utterly hijacked by the pro-science/pro-vaccine world.
By the way, I added my own tweet to #JennyAsks a few days ago:
— SkepticalRaptor (@skepticalraptor) March 15, 2014
This week, writer Aaron Carroll provided a graphic depiction of the toll of the antivaccination movement, which itself comes from a Council on Foreign Relations interactive map of “vaccine-preventable outbreaks” worldwide 2008-2014. I narrowed down the map to just include measles, mumps, and rubella, three diseases that can and are prevented by the MMR (or more commonly in the USA, MMRV, which includes chickenpox) vaccine.
Even though the vaccine deniers champion the trope that these diseases are “not serious,” real evidence from real infectious disease medical specialists say otherwise. Measles, mumps and rubella can be dangerous diseases with debilitating complications, including death, for both children and adults. And as you can see in the map (click on it for greater detail), outbreaks of measles (in red), mumps (in olive) and rubella (in blue) are larger than it should be in both the developed and the developing world than it should be, given the easy access to the MMR (or MMRV) vaccines. Continue reading “Measles, mumps, rubella outbreaks–the culpability of Andrew Wakefield”