Once again The Huffington Post, the 1 publication that makes The National Inquirer look like The Washington Post by comparison, hosts an article by an anti-vaccinationist. But this time it’s not David Kirby or Dan Olmstead. No, this time it’s by comedian and movie actor Jim Carrey.
Recently, I was amazed to hear a commentary by CNN’s Campbell Brown on the controversial vaccine issue. After a ruling by the ‘special vaccine court’ saying the Measles, Mumps, Rubella shot wasn’t found to be responsible for the plaintiffs’ autism, she and others in the media began making assertions that the judgment was in, and vaccines had been proven safe. No one would be more relieved than Jenny and I if that were true.
Second, all 3 test cases Carrey alludes to concerned MMR vaccines, thimerosal-containing vaccines, and the combination. The hearings also gave information on whether MMR or thimerosal separately caused autism. And these were the 3 cases chosen by the lawyers representing the parents for the very reason that they represented the strongest cases they had against the vaccines. And they still lost.
Third, the vaccines HAVE been proven safe, so according to you, you and Jenny should be ecstatic. But your not. And that’s because Jenny is a D-list actor whose fame, fortune, and self-worth almost entirely relies now on her role as advocate for autistic children who have been “injured” by vaccines. She also loses her scapegoat and is left with no one to blame for the senseless tragedy of having a child who struggles to connect to the rest of the world. You take that away from Jenny and what has she got left? What’s her legacy? A DVD copy of “Witless Protection?” And you, Jim, would lose the activist girlfriend you love and have to accept that you’re just dating a crazy person.
But with all due respect to Ms. Brown, a ruling against causation in three cases out of more than 5000 hardly proves that other children won’t be adversely affected by the MMR, let alone that all vaccines are safe. This is a huge leap of logic by anyone’s standards. Not everyone gets cancer from smoking, but cigarettes do cause cancer. After 100 years and many rulings in favor of the tobacco companies, we finally figured that out.
Next we have this straw man. Of course Ms. Brown’s position isn’t solely based on 3 small court cases, but additionally numerous clinically controlled studies each analyzing the data of thousands of people as well as the overwhelming number of expert opinions. The data is so strongly against the vaccine-autism hypothesis and so much in favor of genetic causes that you could say it fits “like a glove!”
Compare that to the number of reputable studies that supports Carrey’s view (Total number = zero). How about this, Jim. When you can present numerous reputable studies that support your position, by all means present the results to the scientific community. Sound good? Allllrighty then!
In actually, applying Carrey’s own analogy, his position more closely resembles those who would claim that not enough evidence supports a link between tobacco and cancer as the same quality scientific research that support such a link between tobacco and cancer suggest no link between vaccines and autism.
The truth is that no one without a vested interest in the profitability of vaccines has studied all 36 of them in depth. There are more than 100 vaccines in development, and no tests for cumulative effect or vaccine interaction of all 36 vaccines in the current schedule have ever been done. If I’m mistaken, I challenge those who are making such grand pronouncements about vaccine safety to produce those studies.
Actually Jim, every vaccine as well as ever drug is required to go through years of clinical testing before being put on the market, so literally hundreds of long-term and short-term studies have been conducted on each vaccine. Further, scientists have compared the rate of autism between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in multiple countries and found no meaningful difference. Further, as I pointed out in a blog post yesterday, the U.S. vaccine schedule includes 13 more vaccines than the UK does by the age of 2, and yet the UK has a larger autism population. But of course your position doesn’t appear so doomed if we just throw out all the facts and wipe our memories. Oh, the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
If we are to believe that the ruling of the ‘vaccine court’ in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. Clearly both are irresponsible assumptions, and neither option is prudent.
A. The Hannah Poling case was not tried in the same special courts as the first 3 Autism Omnibus cases.
B. The Hannah Poling case wasn’t won but rather ended in a settlement and was specifically not included as a test case in the Autism Omnibus cases because of her pre-existing condition, a mitochondrial disorder that made her a unique case. And the Bailey Banks case also didn’t rule that vaccines cause autism but because of the complexity of the science, it’s easy for propagandists to fool people into thinking that was the finding so I recommend reading the link above for more detail about that case.
In this growing crisis, we cannot afford to blindly trumpet the agenda of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or vaccine makers. Now more than ever, we must resist the urge to close this book before it’s been written. The anecdotal evidence of millions of parents who’ve seen their totally normal kids regress into sickness and mental isolation after a trip to the pediatrician’s office must be seriously considered. The legitimate concern they and many in the scientific community have that environmental toxins, including those found in vaccines, may be causing autism and other disorders (Aspergers, ADD, ADHD), cannot be dissuaded by a show of sympathy and a friendly invitation to look for the ‘real’ cause of autism anywhere but within the lucrative vaccine program.
Ah, now we get at the meat of Carrey’s argument. Don’t listen to the experts and their evil science. Listen to me, an actor with no medical knowledge whatsoever because I have anecdotal evidence. This isn’t merely about blindly following the CDC or the AAP (incidentally 2 of the most reputable medical institutions in the world). First of all, virtually every medical expert in the world agrees with them on this issue. But more importantly, the evidence is so overwhelmingly supporting them. And the scientific method is specifically designed to weed out fraud over time, as in the case of Jim and Jenny’s hero Mr. Wakefield. But this whole dishonest and inconsistent elitism gambit of first criticizing the experts that disagree with them and then trumpeting their cherry-picked “experts” is quite common among anti-vaccinationists, as is evidenced here.
Further anecdotal evidence alone is among the weakest forms of evidence possible, and no matter how high you build a pile of shit, it will never turn into gold. Indeed, if anecdotal evidence alone was worth anything, we’d all have to accept that millions of people have been adbucted by aliens.
With vaccines being the fastest growing division of the pharmaceutical industry, isn’t it possible that profits may play a part in the decision-making? That the vaccine program is becoming more of a profit engine than a means of prevention? In a world left reeling from the catastrophic effects of greed, mismanagement and corporate insensitivity, is it so absurd for us to wonder why American children are being given twice as many vaccines on average, compared to the top 30 first world countries?
Yup, now it’s all about building a conspiracy. If drug companies wanted to make money off of autism and had the power to put unproven drugs out on the market, don’t you think they would have put out some kind of drug product that allegedly treats autism that might actually make them money as opposed to just continuing to sell many unprofitable vaccines. And yes, most vaccines are not very profitable at all. And what is Jim getting at here anyway? Is he suggesting that vaccines are a sham medical product? And since vaccines have proven to save millions of lives every year and haven’t proven to seriously harm many people at all, how can any sane person suggest the risk is greater than the reward? If Jim’s going to flat-out say that medical professionals are letting children be poisoned for their own monitary benefit he’s going to have to back that up with facts. So far, he’s presented none, only paranoid suspicions. And we receive more vaccines because they’re effective in preventing disease. It’s unfortunate that most countries don’t have as strong a vaccine program as we do. Maybe that’s why the mortality rate in most countries is greater than in the U.S.
Paul Offit, the vaccine advocate and profiteer, who helped invent a Rotavirus vaccine is said to have paved the way for his own multi-million dollar windfall while serving on the very council that eventually voted his Rotavirus vaccine onto our children’s schedule.
Yup, Offit’s a “profiteer” because he’s such an expert in his field that he invented a life-saving vaccine that helps millions of people. How dare anyone ever profit off of saving lives. I guess firefighters are profiteers too as are police officers and surgeons. This is nothing but shamelss ad hominem. You know what, Jim? Someone has profited off of every medicine you’ve ever purchased. That’s how capitalism works! Maybe you shouldn’t buy groceries either because your grocer is a “profiteer.”
Okay, I think I’m done with this nonsense. Jim makes a fine actor and comedian, and a lousy thinker.