While COVID-19 has divided people over vaccinations, opposition to vaccines has existed since vaccines were first invented. As of this writing, the anti-vaxxer belief is that vaccinations can lead to autism in children, despite no concrete evidence of this being true (per the CDC). Jenny McCarthy is leading the anti-vaxxer charge, and has been an outspoken critic of vaccines ever since her son was diagnosed with autism in 2005.
Per Insider, McCarthy believes that her son Evan has since overcome his autism diagnosis “through a regiment including diet change, vitamins, and supplements,” while rumors spread that he may have been misdiagnosed in the first place. Meanwhile, the former Playboy Playmate has authored three books about autism and continues to repeatedly claim that her son’s autism was caused by vaccines.
It’s especially problematic, as McCarthy is far from an expert on the subject and even told Oprah Winfrey that she’d learned all about autism from “the University of Google.” In May 2018, the actor told CNBC that she believes it’s her purpose in life to advocate for children with autism, despite her lack of medical knowledge. “My reason for being famous was to deliver this message,” she added. Along with writing books on the subject, McCarthy is also living out her purpose as the president and face of Generation Rescue, a non-profit “that links autism with immunization,” according to Time.