Respectful Insolence

Yesterday, there was a press release announcing the “Vaccinate Your Baby” campaign being promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Every Child by Two. This morning in New York, there will be a press conference to unveil the initiative, described thusly:

Every Child By Two (ECBT) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are launching a new campaign with actor Amanda Peet to urge parents to immunize their babies from vaccine-preventable diseases. This new initiative will address misinformation about vaccines that causes confusion among parents and puts children at risk. These myths are resulting in real life consequences – the United States is currently facing the largest measles outbreak since 1997. At this press conference, broadcast Public Service Announcements featuring Amanda Peet will be unveiled as well as a new comprehensive web site for parents who want to get the facts about childhood immunization.

Amanda Peet, Rosalyn Carter (yes, that Rosalyn Carter), and Betty Bumpers will be there, along with the Dark Lord of Vaccines himself (to antivaccinationists, that is), Dr. Paul Offit. All I can say is: It’s about time that advocates of science-based medicine and opponents of anti-vaccination fearmongering got off their tails and did something like this.

Last night, when checking my e-mail, I noticed an e-mail forwarded to me from Jenny McCarthy’s original e-mail notification list for the “Green Our Vaccines” madness at SafeVaccines.org. After reading this e-mail, can someone tell me with a straight face how Jenny McCarthy and her whole idiotic, twisted campaign is not antivaccine? Here’s the text (real e-mail address to which it was sent redacted):

From: safevaccines@yahoo.com
Subject: URGENT! – From Jenny McCarthy
Date: August 4, 2008 8:50:19 PM GMT-04:00
To: oracknows@gmail.com
Reply-To: safevaccines@yahoo.com
Delivered-To: oracknows@gmail.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We need your help right now!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Orac,

We need your help right away!

You won’t believe this!  AAP is kicking off a “Vaccinate Your Baby” campaign.  Speaking to the press tomorrow is Amanda Peet, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Bumpers, the President of AAP, Paul Offit (holder of several vaccine patents), and a mom of a child with autism!  They say, “This initiative will address misinformation about vaccines that causes confusion among parents and puts children at risk.”

The press conference is tomorrow (Tuesday, August 5th, 2008) at the Peninsula Hotel, 3rd Floor Gramercy Room from 10:30 to 11:30.  We need every family we can to go and tell the press the truth about this idiocy.

There will also Public Service Announcements following the event.  We need to mobilize right now!

IF YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK

Get your Green Our Vaccines sign, or make a new one and grab a picture of your child.  Either get into the press conference or rally in front of the event.  

IF YOU ARE NOT IN NEW YORK

call everyone you know there and get them to go.  

For more information, READ THE RELEASE:

http://tinyurl.com/aapreleae

We need your help now.

Jenny

Later, apparently someone informed this rocket scientist that attendees needed an RSVP to be admitted:

From: safevaccines@yahoo.com
Subject: Corrected Address – From Jenny McCarthy
Date: August 5, 2008 12:55:06 AM GMT-04:00
To: oracknows@gmail.com
Reply-To: safevaccines@yahoo.com
Delivered-To: oracknows@gmail.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We need your help right now!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Orac, 

My earlier note is below.  The correct address for the hotel is:

Peninsula Hotel
700 5th Ave (55th and 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 956-2888

The call to action:

1.) If you are near New York City, get your Green our Vaccines poster or make one and go to the Peninsula Hotel.  Families are saying they will be there as early as 9:30am and they are staying until 12:00 noon or whatever it takes to make sure they have a chance to speak to the press before and after the press conference.

You can also try to RSVP to get into the press room itself.  (from the press release) “RSVP: Please e-mail Jennifer Zavolinsky (Jennifer@ecbt.org) if you will be attending or participating by phone. Due to hotel security, RSVPs are required.”

If they do not let you attend, be strong and proud outside and tell your stories.  It’s critical for peope to see us in force and for our stories to make it to press tomorrow.

2.) Tell everyone you know and spread the word!

Let’s see. Jenny gets wind of a kickoff press conference to announce an initiative to promote vaccination and to counter the misinformation of the anti-vaccine movement. She immediately sends out an e-mail urging people to show up and protest–exactly what? It seems to me that these protesters will be protesting an effort to promote vaccination. They don’t want an effort to get more children vaccinated. That’s because they are anti-vaccine, not “pro-safe vaccine.” I hope Amanda Peet is ready for some serious smearing; because that’s what McCarthy and crew are planning. (Indeed, judging by the vitriol of the comments after this post, I’d say it’s already begun. Any tactical air support against the anti-vaccine contingent would be appreciated.) I bet even the high esteem and affection with which the American public in general holds Rosalyn Carter won’t completely immunize her from such smears, but at least it will make it harder for the “Green Our Vaccines” zealots.

Remember: Whenever Jenny McCarthy or anyone else associated with “Green Our Vaccines” claims she is “not anti-vaccine,” she’s either lying or so deluded that she actually believes her spouting pseudoscience about how “dangerous” vaccines are does not constitute being “anti-vaccine.” As I said before, if measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases make a comeback, Jenny McCarthy, J. B. Handley, Kim Stagliano, Jim Carrey, and the rest of the anti-vaccination crew will have a lot to answer for.

A whole lot. Dead and suffering children.

Comments

  1. #1 ehoffman
    August 5, 2008

    Amanda Peet is supposed to be on “Good Morning America” in a few minutes (I’m in Central time zone).
    And it’s definitely long past time for this kind of effort. Every Child By Two isn’t the catchiest title ever, but hopefully the campaign itself catches on.

  2. #2 Sullivan
    August 5, 2008

    It may be “long pas time for this kind of effort”, but in an ideal world, this sort of effort shouldn’t be necessary.

    Jay Gordon had a doosy of a comment on the JennyDC group, in reference to this meeting as well.

  3. #3 TexDoc
    August 5, 2008

    I just saw Amanda Peet on GMA. A very nice job, despite the idiot who was interviewing her. She said not to listen to actors or celebrities on the issue, but listen to the experts. Imagine that. But I guess you can still be an expert with a degree from Google U, right? She also emphasized that the poison is in the dose. Amen. Look at Jenny McCarthy. The stupid is ultra pure and concentrated. New ad compaign: Green Your IQ.

  4. #4 Niobe
    August 5, 2008

    As I mentioned in the science based medicine post on HPV, she’s changing her story more times than you can count. Lots of little changes amounted in a very different story she told from her appearance on Oprah.

    According to Jenny, she “witnessed first hand” side effects from certain vaccines, and developed a “devastating” frustration when she says she “knows what caused” many symptoms of autism yet “having no one believe you.” Over the years, as more research is being done, Jenny says there is a “nation of scared parents” who have put their full trust in the medical community, only to be “hurt like that.”
    Taking her time to learn about the studies and research done on the subject, Jenny “saw kids recovering” and trusted that she would find help for her son. With nothing to lose, Jenny says she “undid vaccine damage” by detoxing “the toxins that were in his body” due to the list of vaccines Evan had received as a baby. The results so far have Jenny incredibly grateful as are many other parents since her son is among “thousands” who have made major developmental improvements. In Evan’s case, detoxing the toxins proved successful, but Jenny is not naive and knows that “it’s not going to work all the time,” however urges parents to “damn right…try it!”

    http://www.celebrity-babies.com/2008/08/jenny-mccarthy.html

  5. #5 Orac
    August 5, 2008

    Jay Gordon had a doosy of a comment on the JennyDC group, in reference to this meeting as well.

    Yes, it was forwarded to me. I tried to e-mail Dr. Jay about it using an e-mail address with which I had corresponded before, but my e-mail bounced. Maybe because it had a lot of links in it his e-mail service thought it was spam, although it’s possible that Dr. Jay has blocked me. I may post my e-mail as an open letter tomorrow if I can’t get a short e-mail with no links to go through.

  6. #6 rlbates
    August 5, 2008

    Amanda Peet did a really nice job on GMA!

  7. #7 Uncle Dave
    August 5, 2008

    I missed the interview.
    Tex Doc said;
    “She said not to listen to actors or celebrities on the issue, but listen to the experts.”

    Kinda of like the old pain reliever commercial where the guy proclaims; “I am not a doctor but I play one on television”

    I hope this is the part where the facts and rationale manages to sqeeze through the media door and get its 5 minutes of fame.

  8. #8 Patrick
    August 5, 2008

    I really hate it when politicians’ lips move, you know that telltale sign that they may be lying through their teeth?

    I wish this Green Vaccine crowd would also QUIT LYING. I agree that the tone of the posters presented at their June ‘march’ on DC were not suggestive on better vaccines, they were designed to present shock and awe reactions about some terrible deathly guarantee that usually works out to something like a one in a million risk for anything more than discomfort.

    They are Lying. Misrepresenting an Idea. Isn’t deceit looked down on in most ‘ethical’ circles, religions, philosophies, etc?

  9. #9 DLC
    August 6, 2008

    The “Greenest” vaccine would be what, Homeopathic ?
    Oh right… they aren’t interested in “green” vaccines but in measles parties and chicken pox spreading. Aping natural processes does not necessarily result in a better or more efficient mechanism, whether you are talking of medicine or engineering.

  10. #10 Ricahrd Eis
    August 6, 2008

    -Dear Orac,

    We need your help right away!-

    That cracks me up. It’s like Commissioner Gordon putting up the bat-signal and getting the joker. She can’t be too bright if she hasn’t cottoned on yet about your name.

  11. #11 Brian
    August 6, 2008

    I figured you’d be on this by now, but then again, had I not been in the right place at the right time, I, too, would have missed it.

    On Saturday night, immediately after a rerun of The Office, WWE wrestling came on, which normally would have caused me to change the channel, or turn it off altogether, except just before I was about to, I heard that Jenny McCarthy was to make a special announcement on behalf of Generation Rescue (whose motto “Autism is Reversible” was prominently displayed on the jumbo screens throughout the auditorium).

    Throughout the program, a slew of celebrities asked for support for Jenny and GR in a series of TV spots. There was Jeff Foxworthy, Carmen Electra, and Ben Stiller. And then Jenny herself came out and did her little spiel. And that was pretty much as you’d expect: Light on the science, heavy on the emotion.

  12. #12 Brian
    August 6, 2008

    Oops.

  13. #13 Dawn
    August 7, 2008

    There is no such thing as a vaccine-preventable disease.

  14. #14 HCN
    August 8, 2008

    Numbers from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/appdx-full-g.pdf

    This is for pertussis:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_____7867______ 12___1950___120718____1118
    2001_____7580______ 17___1951____68687_____951
    2002_____9771______ 18___1952____45030_____402
    2003____11647______ 11___1953____37129_____270
    2004____25827______ 27___1954____60886_____373
    2005____25616______ 39___1955____62786_____467
    2006____15632______ 16___1956____31732_____266
    Total__103940______140__________426968____3847

    The death figures for 2004 through 2006 are from this slide set:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/Slides/Pertussis10.ppt#9 … Slide 9. Of the 82 deaths from pertussis during 2004 through 2006, 69 were of infants under the age of three months, while the remaining 13 were older than three months.

    Now for tetanus:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_______35______ 5____1950_____486_____336
    2001_______37______ 5____1951_____506_____394
    2002_______25______ 5____1952_____484_____360
    2003_______20______ 4____1953_____506_____337
    2004_______34______ NA___1954_____524_____332
    2005_______27______ NA___1955_____462_____265
    2006_______41______ NA___1956_____468_____246
    Total_____219______19 or more____3436____2270

    Now for measles:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_______86______ 1____1950___319124____468
    2001______116______ 1____1951___530118____683
    2002_______44______ 0____1952___683077____618
    2003_______56______ 1____1953___449146____462
    2004_______37______ NA___1954___682720____518
    2005_______66______ NA___1955___555156____345
    2006_______55______ NA___1956___611936____530
    Total_____460______3 or more___3831277___3624

    Now for mumps (no data before 1960):
    Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000______338______ 2
    2001______266______ 0
    2002______270______ 1
    2003______231______ 0
    2004______258______ NA
    2005______314______ NA
    2006_____6584______ NA
    Total____8261______3 or more

    Total of cases of those four disease over the seven year period of 2000 though 2006 is 112880, with at least 165 deaths. This does not include the 16 cases of Congenital Rubella Syndrome listed in the table for the years 2000 through 2006.

    Now if we went your way and eliminated the DTaP and the MMR then we will go back to the numbers that are listed for the 1950s (the return of pertussis is already happening, and measles and mumps have returned to Japan and the UK, the USA is not far behind). The number of measles cases were in the millions for the seven year period fifty years ago, with deaths of over 3500. During the years 1950 to 1956 for the three diseases that there is data, the total cases were 4261681 with at least 9741 deaths. And I left out polio.

    So do we really want to go back to the “good ol’ days” of no DTaP or MMR vaccines?

  15. #15 Dawn
    August 8, 2008

    Well, HCN I will ask again. How many of those deaths were among the vaccinated? If you cannot answer that question, then don’t give me these bogus statistics! Enough already! By the way – you are WAY OFF on your claims about the 1950′s. SHOW ME THE PROOF!!

  16. #16 HCN
    August 8, 2008

    Dawn, are you claiming there was a vaccine for measles before 1956?

    Oh, and this is for you:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/dr_jay_gordon_pediatrician_to_the_stars.php#c1040924

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