You don’t need a crystal ball to see how this was going to end. On Thursday, The View co-host Jenny McCarthy asked her 1.13 million Twitter followers a question: “What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks.” Twitter had one overwhelming response in mind: Someone who isn’t anti-vaccination like you, Jenny.
McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism in 2005, is famous for arguing that vaccines are linked to autism in children. Though she has clarified that she “and the autism community” are not anti-vaccine per se, they are “anti-toxin and anti-schedule.” That is, she believes the standard vaccination schedule for kids is “too many too soon” and the “toxins” in vaccines (mercury, especially) cause children harm. “Isn’t it ironic, in 1983 there were 10 shots and now there’s 36 and the rise of autism happened at the same time?” she once asked Larry King. McCarthy only had anecdotal evidence from other parents to back her up but, according to her, “parents’ anecdotal information is science-based information.”
The ensuing hysteria persuaded some parents not to inoculate their kids for fear of triggering autism. And some pediatricians believe the current measles outbreak in New York City is the result of anti-vaccination activists’ fear-mongering. So, when McCarthy asked for “the most important” quality of a person you’d spend the rest of your life with, Twitter had a lot to say:
People who know autism firsthand also gave McCarthy a piece of their minds:
And of course, there were a few randos who had their own reasons for being anti-McCarthy.
McCarthy herself hasn’t responded to the criticism, instead tweeting on Friday night, “Tune into #bluebloods on #cbs at 10pm EST to see the reason why I jog on a treadmill everyday. #hotdetective Danny… of course.”