Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics

What was that about Jenny McCarthy and “Green Our Vaccines” not being anti-vaccine?

Yesterday, there was a press release announcing the “Vaccinate Your Baby” campaign being promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Every Child by Two. This morning in New York, there will be a press conference to unveil the initiative, described thusly:

Every Child By Two (ECBT) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are launching a new campaign with actor Amanda Peet to urge parents to immunize their babies from vaccine-preventable diseases. This new initiative will address misinformation about vaccines that causes confusion among parents and puts children at risk. These myths are resulting in real life consequences – the United States is currently facing the largest measles outbreak since 1997. At this press conference, broadcast Public Service Announcements featuring Amanda Peet will be unveiled as well as a new comprehensive web site for parents who want to get the facts about childhood immunization.

Amanda Peet, Rosalyn Carter (yes, that Rosalyn Carter), and Betty Bumpers will be there, along with the Dark Lord of Vaccines himself (to antivaccinationists, that is), Dr. Paul Offit. All I can say is: It’s about time that advocates of science-based medicine and opponents of anti-vaccination fearmongering got off their tails and did something like this.

Last night, when checking my e-mail, I noticed an e-mail forwarded to me from Jenny McCarthy’s original e-mail notification list for the “Green Our Vaccines” madness at After reading this e-mail, can someone tell me with a straight face how Jenny McCarthy and her whole idiotic, twisted campaign is not antivaccine? Here’s the text (real e-mail address to which it was sent redacted):

From: [email protected]
Subject: URGENT! – From Jenny McCarthy
Date: August 4, 2008 8:50:19 PM GMT-04:00
To: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
Delivered-To: [email protected]

We need your help right now!

Dear Orac,

We need your help right away!

You won’t believe this!  AAP is kicking off a “Vaccinate Your Baby” campaign.  Speaking to the press tomorrow is Amanda Peet, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Bumpers, the President of AAP, Paul Offit (holder of several vaccine patents), and a mom of a child with autism!  They say, “This initiative will address misinformation about vaccines that causes confusion among parents and puts children at risk.”

The press conference is tomorrow (Tuesday, August 5th, 2008) at the Peninsula Hotel, 3rd Floor Gramercy Room from 10:30 to 11:30.  We need every family we can to go and tell the press the truth about this idiocy.

There will also Public Service Announcements following the event.  We need to mobilize right now!


Get your Green Our Vaccines sign, or make a new one and grab a picture of your child.  Either get into the press conference or rally in front of the event.  


call everyone you know there and get them to go.  

For more information, READ THE RELEASE:

We need your help now.


Later, apparently someone informed this rocket scientist that attendees needed an RSVP to be admitted:

From: [email protected]
Subject: Corrected Address – From Jenny McCarthy
Date: August 5, 2008 12:55:06 AM GMT-04:00
To: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
Delivered-To: [email protected]

We need your help right now!

Dear Orac, 

My earlier note is below.  The correct address for the hotel is:

Peninsula Hotel
700 5th Ave (55th and 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 956-2888

The call to action:

1.) If you are near New York City, get your Green our Vaccines poster or make one and go to the Peninsula Hotel.  Families are saying they will be there as early as 9:30am and they are staying until 12:00 noon or whatever it takes to make sure they have a chance to speak to the press before and after the press conference.

You can also try to RSVP to get into the press room itself.  (from the press release) “RSVP: Please e-mail Jennifer Zavolinsky ([email protected]) if you will be attending or participating by phone. Due to hotel security, RSVPs are required.”

If they do not let you attend, be strong and proud outside and tell your stories.  It’s critical for peope to see us in force and for our stories to make it to press tomorrow.

2.) Tell everyone you know and spread the word!

Let’s see. Jenny gets wind of a kickoff press conference to announce an initiative to promote vaccination and to counter the misinformation of the anti-vaccine movement. She immediately sends out an e-mail urging people to show up and protest–exactly what? It seems to me that these protesters will be protesting an effort to promote vaccination. They don’t want an effort to get more children vaccinated. That’s because they are anti-vaccine, not “pro-safe vaccine.” I hope Amanda Peet is ready for some serious smearing; because that’s what McCarthy and crew are planning. (Indeed, judging by the vitriol of the comments after this post, I’d say it’s already begun. Any tactical air support against the anti-vaccine contingent would be appreciated.) I bet even the high esteem and affection with which the American public in general holds Rosalyn Carter won’t completely immunize her from such smears, but at least it will make it harder for the “Green Our Vaccines” zealots.

Remember: Whenever Jenny McCarthy or anyone else associated with “Green Our Vaccines” claims she is “not anti-vaccine,” she’s either lying or so deluded that she actually believes her spouting pseudoscience about how “dangerous” vaccines are does not constitute being “anti-vaccine.” As I said before, if measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases make a comeback, Jenny McCarthy, J. B. Handley, Kim Stagliano, Jim Carrey, and the rest of the anti-vaccination crew will have a lot to answer for.

A whole lot. Dead and suffering children.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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