Clinical Medicine · Design · Social Media

The Jenny McCarthy Body Count

Once in a while you discover small little gems on the web that are not existant only because of making money with them but with more sophisticated aims. One of them is called The Jenny McCarthy Body Count (by Derek Bartholomeus) and although some you might know this site already I didn’t. If you are with me then you  might ask yourself what’s up with this awkward domain name. Here’s the story:

Jenny McCarthy is a celebrity from the United States. She is most well known for posing nude as aPlayboy Playmate, for picking her nose on the MTV show Singled Out, and for being the former girlfriend of actor/comedian Jim Carrey.

In 2002 she gave birth to a son named Evan. In 2006 she started promoting Evan as being a “Crystal Child” and herself as being an “Indigo Mom”.

In May 2007 Jenny McCarthy announced that Evan was not a “Crystal Child” after all, but had been diagnosed with autism (some people have said that there is a possibility that he may have been misdiagnosed and he actually has Landau-Kleffner syndrome). She holds on to the mistaken belief that Evan’s alleged autism was caused by his receiving childhood vaccines. […] Jenny McCarthy’s child, Evan, was not born until 2002, well after thimerosal had been removed from most childhood vaccines. This has led Jenny McCarthy, and others, to claim that it was the MMR vaccine itself that caused autism or that it was vaccines in general that caused autism. All of these ideas have been disproven in multiple scientific and legal examinations of the evidence.

In June 2007 Jenny McCarthy began promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric. Because of her celebrity status she has appeared on several television shows and has published multiple books advising parents not to vaccinate their children. This has led to an increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths.

Jenny McCarthy has a body count attached to her name. This website will publish the total number of vaccine preventable illnesses and vaccine preventable deaths that have happened in the United States since June 2007 when she began publicly speaking out against vaccines.

 

This is remarkable. It is far more than a simple visualization of data. It is yet another proove that we must use the internet to create transparency and that being informed is the onset of health.

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  • The body count is an interesting idea, though I doubt it will serve to persuade families who currently reject vaccines. I suspect the anti-vaccine adherents will see it as simply more dubious data from a camp they already distrust.

    I wonder if stories would be more convincing than data. An interview with a mom who didn’t vaccinate and lost a child might hold some sway.

  • On the other hand, there may be any number of families considering the merits of the anti-vaccine movement, in which case Jenny McCarthy Body Count might prove to be most persuasive.