In Who’s Afraid Of The Truth About Autism, Jenny McCarthy claims:

How do you say vaccines don’t cause autism when only a single vaccine — MMR — has ever been looked at for its relationship to autism? What about the other 10 vaccines our children receive through 36 doses? If Viagra is considered safe, is Vioxx then safe too, or do you need to test both?

They have. All vaccines—all drugs, as a matter of fact—must go through a rigorous process of testing before approval. They must go through 7 stages of clinical trials before being used on the general public.


It goes something like this: in McCarthy’s world, there is scientific truth and there is emotional truth. There is the fact of a mother looking into her son’s eyes and knowing something has gone very wrong and the fact of about two dozen studies showing no link between vaccines and autism. There is the truth of the parents and the truth of the doctors. And she believes that some truths are more equal than others. “She’s a mom,” says her boyfriend, actor Jim Carrey. “That’s what she is. That’s her truth.” It all sounds so reasonable, expressed by the charming, gamine Jenny McCarthy. And this is what makes her dangerous.

Update: Ah. Apparently the title is based on a previous article written by Jenny McCarthy: Who’s Afraid Of The Truth About Autism?.

Earlier today, the CDC released a report about the measles outbreaks that have been occurring across the country since the beginning of the year. (Hat tip to USA Today‘s Liz Szabo for this story.) I wrote a fair amount about measles in my book, and one reason measles outbreaks are so scary (and so difficult to contain) is that measles is the most infectious microbe known to man–it’s transmission rate is around 90 percent. It has also killed more children than any other disease in history.

What I’ve learned so far about the anti-vaccine movement is essentially that the study it rests on is what is basically an elaborate fraud. Andrew Wakefield was not only planning on marketing a competing product that also promised to prevent the same diseases. He also had financial relationships with the lawyers of the parents of the children he used to conduct his study who were planning on litigating against the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine.