Today is author, actor, TV and movie star, and Anti-Vaccination campaigner Jenny McCarthy's birthday. In 2007, she announced that her son had been diagnosed as autistic 2 years before. She wrote that he was also gifted, a "crystal child", and she was an "indigo mom" (see fact of 24/06/2019). Some medical experts have claimed that the description of her son's symptoms are more akin to Landau–Kleffner syndrome which is often misdiagnosed as autism. She campaigned for autism awareness and wrote 'Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism'. She claimed she tried numerous alt-med and conventional therapies to 'cure' her son of autism including gluten-free diets, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, chelation, aromatherapies, electromagnetics, spoons rubbed on his body, multivitamin therapy, B-12 shots, and numerous prescription drugs. "Try everything", she advised parents.
McCarthy claimed it was chelation therapy (see fact of 10/08/2019) that removed the "mercury from the vaccines" that had caused her son's autism and he was now "cured". Over the coming years she wrote and campaigned against vaccines and publicly supported disgraced not-Dr Andrew Wakefield (see fact of 23/01/2019) in his 'vaccines-cause-autism' bullshit. Along with her then partner (actor Jim Carrey) she appeared on many TV and radio shows using their celebrity to promote her views and her parenting books, gave countless press interviews and they appeared and spoke at anti-Vax events. She has been called "the nation's [USA] most prominent purveyor of anti-vaxxer ideology". The now no longer active websites "Jenny McCarthy Body Count" and "Stop Jenny McCarthy" were started by campaigners to try and counter her misinformation.
She denies being anti-vaccine and said "I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, 'pro-vaccine' and for years I have been wrongly branded as 'anti-vaccine.'" However in an interview in 2014 she said that she she opposes too many vaccines in one sitting because that causes "immune dysregulation" [a completely pseudoscientific term], which she said can cause autism. As the face of anti-vax few people have done as much to promote the vaccine-autism link as Jenny McCarthy. Her celebrity gave prominence to her campaigns and her books such as "Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds" and "Healing and Preventing Autism" did more to spread misinformation, and as a result, preventable diseases in vulnerable children than not-Dr Wakefield every could have done on his own. So have a good Birthday Jenny, let's hope the number of children suffering and dying from measles and similar diseases eventually stops rising.