Rodney Roe's Blog

Still Trying to Make Sense of It All

Rodney Roe

Rodney Roe
Clayton, Georgia, USA
November 22
I currently place myself among the curmudgeons of the world. Always thinking about why things are, and how they may be better, I tend to rant at times, but mostly I just look for a reasoned discourse. I have previously worked as a cotton scout, grocery bag boy, cannery worker, and am a physician. I am married, have two daughters and four granddaughters. I retired due to vision loss in 2005 after a 30 year career as a hospital pathologist. Fortunate to have a wide range of interests, life following retirement has been good.

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AUGUST 6, 2013 4:10PM

Jenny McCarthy, The View, Immunization and Public Health

Rate: 7 Flag

Jenny McCarthy, frequent guest on The View, will become a co-host Friday, August 9, 2013 filling half the vacancy being left by the departures of Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck.  Ms. Hasselbeck will be going to Fox News where she will be in her element and where those who want to hear Ms. Hasselbeck’s peculiar views on everything can go.

I don’t watch Fox News or The View so all of this should have a net effect on me of zero.  Except, it isn’t zero because of the selection of Ms. McCarthy and the potential damage she may do to children.

Jenny McCarthy has created some controversy around her frequent assertions that immunizations are linked to autism.  This theory has been abandoned by Autism support groups because it has been debunked and because failing to immunize may expose children to serious and even fatal childhood infections.

Every Child by Two which encourages having every child vaccinated by age two has been very vocal about Ms. McCarthy’s choice by ABC to be a regular on The View.




If you don’t get your child immunized you may do them no harm, but you do society harm.  Vaccination only works if all or almost all of the population is vaccinated.  It’s the jar full of jelly beans scenario.  If all of the jelly beans but two are white (immunized kids) and there is one black jelly bean (the sick kid) and one green jelly bean (the non-immunized kid), the one black bean will probably never meet the green bean when the jar is shaken.  The larger the number of white jelly beans the less likely the meeting will be.  But, if the percentage of green jelly beans keeps increasing the chances are that a green jelly bean will meet the black jelly bean.  And then there will be two black beans and the risk of meeting a green bean doubles.  Then it’s just a matter of time until nearly forgotten diseases like polio or diphtheria or smallpox make a comeback.  I’m sorry, not smallpox.  Smallpox has been eradicated unless Russia or the US unleashes it on the world

What would it look like if that were to happen; if smallpox reemerged?  It would be a catastrophic occurrence because no one under the age of 40 has been immunized against smallpox.  Fortunately, that has not been the case with diphtheria.

Most people have never seen a case of diphtheria.  Most doctors have never seen a case.  I was an intern in Phoenix in 1968-69 when an outbreak occurred.  The victims were all Native American (Yaqui, who were not eligible for healthcare through the BIA then) or Hispanic kids who had never had immunizations.  Diphtheria may cause no symptoms, mild symptoms of sore throat and fever or may be fatal. Aside from the lymph node enlargement, sore throat, malaise, fever and difficulty swallowing seen in most clinically apparent cases, there may be damage to heart muscle or nerves from a toxin produced by the bacteria.  Damage to the heart may be fatal and damage to the nerves associated with breathing may require being maintained on a respirator for a period of time.  About 1 in 10 cases has one of these severe complications.


Membrane associated with Diphtheria


One of the children I took care of died of heart failure.  He was a strong healthy looking kid when he came in. 


Case study
Except for the age, a case study much like the patient I helped care for


Ms. McCarthy, who says she has an autistic child, is misguided.  It is understandable, having a child with a life changing condition may blind a person to reason, but what is not understandable is the irresponsibility of ABC.  By hiring Jenny McCarthy the number of black jelly beans may reach a critical mass.


Photos and illustrations obtained from Google images.  Individuals are not identified by name or facial features maintaining confidentiallity.


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Ms. McCarthy appears to be under the influence of one of those weird religious sects that "doesn't believe in" proper immunization. How can it be that such ideas are openly proselytized on national media? Insanity rules!

I'm torn, but you're the Doc (and more importantly it's your post) but I agree that we depend sans judgment overly much on drugs, immunizations et al when we need a quantum change socio-politically to turbocharge health and welfare.

I would point out that Ms. McCarthy is now pimping e-cigs now that she doesn't lead with her (sigh) aging breasts.
Apparently useless addictions are fine with her though.
A neighbor is the immunization nurse at a local hospital. She was apalled when the View hired McCarthy. What I don't understand is why celebrities have so much influence. It is a poor commentary on us when people will take the advise of a talk show host over medical research and consensus.
As a pre-emptive disclaimer b4 some misguided Valkyrie skewers me, I was referring to Jenny's introduction to world notice as a Playmate, and sighing in commiseration over all lost youth!
I'm not sure, Doc, but I hope that most mothers in this country will take whatever medical advice that Jenny McCarthy might have to offer with the same grain of salt that we all take when Tom Cruise or John Travolta offer up their opinions about issues of mental health treatment. Like Forrest Gump's momma so acutely put it, "Stupid is as stupid does." R&L
I agree Rodney, although even though the man spearheaded the debunking is from Children's in Philadelphia where I work, I still hold my breath for a few after my grandkids get the multiple shots at once. Her unfounded theories feed into the fear base that we all have about our kids. But we are seeing a resurgence of these old diseases and it's not fair to the other children if you don't get your immunizations, they should not be allowed to be in public schools as it used to be we all had to show proof, not sure how they get away with it.
Maybe they relish the controversy. Stir the pot a bit and nevermind the damage her views can cause. I have watched the View relitiously for years now. I love Whoopi and I hope she can keep Jenny in line. Whoopi for President would be great. She could be Hilary's VP. I'd vote for that.
Excellent....It seems we always want a why to what happens and sometimes we reach for things to explain why even when it doesn't make sense.....really excellent perspective...
Zanelle, Hillary/Whoopi or Whoopi/Hillary. Either way we all win.

rita, my oldest granddaughter didn't get her immunizations for a long time because of fear on her mother's part. We're all a little irrational at times when it comes to caring for our kids.

Fred, interesting comment on the nicotine addiction. There is so much that could be done to help our healthcare system that politics and vested interests stand in the way of.

(sky, I fixed the images.)

JMac, celebrities are held up as gods. Gods have all the answers.
I don't know Ms. McCarthy's religious beliefs. The brother of one of my aunts by marriage was a Christian Scientist. He died a rather horrible death from laryngeal cancer. As I understand it, he believed that what is perceived as reality is an illusion and special prayer is required to correct the perception of health as illness. Something like that.