The Jenny McCarthy Body Count Video & Desiree Jennings is not vaccine-injured

And in other news, the alleged vaccine-injured cheerleader whose story the anti-vaccination movement has been promoting like crazy on the internet and whom Generation Rescue promised to help–yeah, not really vaccine injured. Also, it seems the anti-vaxxers at Generation Rescue have now have discarded her like a used condom.

Neurologist and Skeptic Steven Novella reports:

For example, on Friday I discussed the case of Desiree Jennings, the 25 year old woman who claims to have developed dystonia 10 days after receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. I reported that all of the neurological experts who viewed the videos of Jennings that were made public (including me) are of the opinion that she does not have dystonia. Rather, the signs she displays are more typical of a psychogenic movement disorder, and therefore not due to the vaccine.

There is another angle to this story, however, that I was not aware of. I was mostly interested in the vaccine angle, as the Jennings story has been exploited by the anti-vaccine movement to further scare-monger about the flu vaccine. There is also a dystonia community, and they were not happy about the Jennings affair either. In particular, a woman by the name of Rogers Hartmann, who suffers from dystonia, and who has been one of the main faces of dystonia activism to the media, contacted me.

The dystonia community is concerned that the fact that neurology experts are forced to go on public record that Desiree Jennings’ symptoms are more consistent with a psychogenic disorder rather than a true neurological disorder may generate confusion in the public about the nature of dystonia itself.

. . .

But there is more still. Generation Rescue, the anti-vaccine group started by J.B. Handley and now fronted by Jenny McCarthy, was quick to jump on this case as a legitimate vaccine injury. But they then quickly distanced themselves from the case, removing the web page they had set up for Jennings.

Wonderful folks, no?

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4 Responses to The Jenny McCarthy Body Count Video & Desiree Jennings is not vaccine-injured

  1. […] The Jenny McCarthy Body Count Video & Desiree Jennings is not … […]

  2. […] speculations the time of day. It’s over. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Jenny McCarthy Body Count Video & Desiree Jennings is not vaccine-injuredDoctors Confirm Flu Vaccination Disables Young WomanDystonia (Rare Neurological Condition) After Flu […]

  3. C Fen says:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/desiree_jennings.html

    isn’t this the webpage that you said was removed? Maybe you missed it.

    • mjr256 says:

      Yes, as Dr. Novella wrote in an addendum to his November 2nd article (http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1163), they put the site back up a few days after taking it down:

      “Addendum

      “Generation Rescue has put back their page about Desiree Jennings. Apparently they decided that the propaganda value outweighed the risk. They are attacking those of us who felt obliged to say that the public videos of Jennings do not support a diagnosis of dystonia.

      “They again attack the concept of psychogenic, minimizing in the process all mental illness, and comparing it to outdated notions that autism was due to cold mothers. This is an absurd comparison. The only point being made is that Jennings symptoms, those that are in the public domain, are not compatible with the diagnosis of dystonia. It can further be added that there is no evidence or plausible reason to conclude that her symptoms are due to the flu vaccine.

      “They also repeat the anti-vax canard of using the vaccine injury compensation program as scientific evidence for specific types of injury caused by vaccines. This is not legitimate – the vaccine compensation program has a very low threshold of evidence for accepting claims. They only conclude that “compensation is appropriate” – not that it has been established that the alleged injury is in fact caused by vaccines.

      “As usual, Generation Rescue if being very intellectually sloppy in their presentation of this case, the public discussion of this case, and the nature of the evidence for vaccine safety.”

      He also added another addendum soon after:

      “The examiner.com is reporting that a review of the vaccine adverse events reporting database reveals a report that fits Desiree Jennings’ case. The report includes a review of hospital records, and contains this summary:

      ‘The admitting neurologist felt that there was a strong psychogenic component to the symptomology, and made a final diagnosis of weakness.’ ”

      This led to his Nov. 6 follow-up article (http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1195), which discusses that VAERS report, which if it’s referring to Desiree Jennings (and it almost certainly is), clearly indicates her condition has a strong psychogenic component.

      Unfortunately, so many other news stories took my attention away from this case, so I never got around to writing about all its later developments as I probably should have.

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