She breezes into the room, long loping strides, arms waving a wide hello. “Don’t mind them, they’re my documentary crew.” Jenny McCarthy makes a celebrity-worthy entrance for the interview with 11Alive reporter Jaye Watson and photojournalist Kenny Hamilton.
She seems agitated, excited.
“I’m going to the CDC today, I’m going to the CDC today,” she says, sing song. Sitting down, she’s still bouncing.
It’s almost incongruous, this Hollywood comedian-turned Autism spokeswoman. But that is what happened when Jenny’s son Evan was diagnosed at the age of 2.
For the past few months, she has been on a whirlwind book junket across the country, sitting across from Larry King, sitting next to Oprah, sitting between the women on “The View.” Now, she’s in Atlanta to speak to parents attending the National Autism Association conference.
But from the beginning of the interview her message was constant. “Take the crap out. Get rid of the ether, the antifreeze, the mercury, the aluminum,” McCarthy said. “They’re just cheap preservatives. I’d pay four times as much for a clean vaccine!”
McCarthy believes these ingredients, along with many others actually “trigger” autism in susceptible children.
McCarthy said she doesn’t know the definition of “susceptible” in this world. It could be a child born with a compromised immune system. It could be a child simply overwhelmed by too many vaccines at once. These theories of McCarthy’s are shared by thousands of other parents who believe vaccines may in some way contribute to autism.
Twenty years ago, four in 10,000 children was diagnosed. Today the number is one in 150.
“In 1983, children received ten shots. Today they get 36. Thirty-six! Is no one looking at this and thinking, what?” McCarthy asked.
But researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said ingredients in vaccines have never been proven to cause autism, that a connection has not been found. Researchers have said that even after mercury was removed from most vaccines, the rate of autism has not declined.
But McCarthy said that the reason is that there are still neurotoxins in vaccines given to children.
While the CDC confirmed these ingredients are in vaccines, they said each ingredient is in each vaccine for a reason. Dr. Melinda Wharton, Deputy Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said the only way to truly protect children from diseases is to vaccinate them on time.
Some medical experts have suggested that stretching out the vaccine schedule might help some children who are overwhelmed by too many shots. But Dr. Wharton says that is something they cannot recommend, because the schedule is such so that a child can receive maximum protection at the earliest age possible.
McCarthy said she’s not anti-vaccine, she’s anti-toxin.
While the proof may only be anecdotal, or mother-instinct, thousands of parents share her belief that vaccines in some way harmed their child.
On her book tour, and in this interview McCarthy talked about “Mommy Instinct.”
She urges parents of affected children to follow their instinct in treating for, and even fighting for care for their children.
To the CDC she said, “Stop poisoning our children. Remove the toxins from vaccines. It’s time. Remove them, and then, maybe, we’ll shut up.”
After the interview, it’s off to a packed auditorium. From the podium, she whipped out her cell phone, calls the CDC, and left a voice mail demanding toxins be taken out of vaccines. Then she had the crowd of hundreds shout hello. She giggled, tossing her head back.
“Okay, call me back.”
At the end of her talk, she told the crowd, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep goin’ out there.”
While her views may not be shared by everyone, a long overlooked community feels they have someone fighting for them. The fact that that someone is a blond Hollywood celebrity makes it even better. She is getting the airtime and the recognition they’ve been fighting for, for years. And maybe, they’ll finally get some answers that will help their children.