Ringing in the New Year, The View host Jenny McCarthy continues to be at the center of a debate on whether vaccinations are harmful. This time, rumors emerged that the talk show host’s son didn’t in fact have autism and that she was changing her stance on the effects of vaccines as a result. These rumors, she says, are “blatantly inaccurate and completely ridiculous,” according to CTV News.
On Friday, Radar Online published an article — which was taken down but can be seen here — about an interview McCarthy had with Time magazine, in which she spoke about her 11-year-old son no longer showing signs of autism — signs that usually persist with age in people with the disorder. Instead, the Time interview suggested that McCarthy’s son had Landau-Kleffner syndrome, another childhood neurological disorder that affects language and speech, Radar wrote. In addition to these claims, Radar also said that McCarthy had changed her stance on MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines, which she believes cause autism — despite continuous proof that they are safe. These claims, she says, are untrue.
“Stories circulating online, claiming that I said my son Evan may not have autism after all, are blatantly inaccurate and completely ridiculous,” she wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday. “Evan was diagnosed with autism by the Autism Evaluation Clinic at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital and was confirmed by the State of California. The implication that I have changed my position, that my child was not initially diagnosed with autism (and instead may suffer from Landau-Kleffner syndrome), is both irresponsible and inaccurate.” The Time magazine article, she continues, “was actually published in 2010,” and it “never contained any such statements by me. … Please know that I am taking every legal measure necessary to set this straight.”
McCarthy has been in and out of the public spotlight ever since she was cast as The View’s newest host. She believes that her son’s development of autism spectrum disorder was spawned by the onslaught of vaccines that he received when he was an infant. “Children are given so many shots from the moment they’re born,” she said in a 2009 interview with Time. “They get multiple injections all at once, and if they fall behind, doctors put them on a catch-up schedule.” While some people blamed the mercury in vaccines — which is no longer present — for the onset of autism, McCarthy also said that “other toxins play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it too.”
McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism in 2005 after experiencing “life-threatening seizures,” McCarthy wrote in a 2008 CNN piece. However, after practicing alternative treatments, she says that he was cured. The author of the 2010 Time article suggested that her son might have had Landau-Kleffner syndrome, which is sometimes misdiagnosed as autism, The Huffington Post reports.
The latest rumors stirred up more debate among Reddit users regarding the safety of vaccinations, according to The Huffington Post. Sara McGinnis of BabyCenter believed that the 2010 Time article reemerged because “people feel a wrong has occurred and are sharing the other side of the story as best they can to fight what they see as misinformation. If she’s not going to openly talk about the possibility she and the diagnosis experts were wrong, others are.”