Toronto Public Health is adding its voice to a growing chorus of health agencies and advocates protesting the appointment of anti-vaccine crusader Jenny McCarthy as one of the hosts on the television show The View.
The View announced last week that McCarthy would replace right-wing host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the daytime talk show. McCarthy is an actress and former Playboy bunny, but is perhaps best-known for her views that a vaccine triggered her son’s autism. There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism. (She also claims that a gluten-free, casein-free diet cured her son. There is no proven cure for autism.)
Toronto Public Health expressed its displeasure over McCarthy’s appointment in a tweet Monday morning, which included a link to an information graphic showing how potentially deadly diseases — including measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis and polio — have been nearly eradicated due to vaccines.
— Toronto PublicHealth (@TOPublicHealth) July 22, 2013
Toronto Public Health isn’t the only one crying foul over McCarthy’s new gig. The New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter posted a blog on July 16 saying that executives at ABC “should be ashamed of themselves” for this decision. “By preaching her message of scientific illiteracy from one end of this country to the other, she [McCarthy] has helped make it possible for people to turn away from rational thought. And that is deadly,” Specter wrote.
And Salon.com political contributor Alex Pareene wrote: “It’s incredibly irresponsible for a broadcast television network to think Jenny McCarthy should be on television — in a position where her job is to share her opinions — every day. It should seriously be a major scandal.”
While there is no indication that ABC plans to give McCarthy the boot before she even begins her new job, public pressure against McCarthy has worked in the past. In February of this year, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation dropped McCarthy from a fundraising event after a public outcry over using the star, and her anti-vaccine beliefs, to raise money for a a health-care organization.