At issue is this: McCarthy is an advocate for the idea that childhood vaccinations are the root cause of Autism, an idea that has been thoroughly discredited by the medical community. Moreover, in communities where vaccination rates have slipped, diseases that have long vanished are springing up again, like measles and whooping cough.
As it happens, after the McCarthy announcement, ABC News chief medical editor Richard Besser took to Twitter to show his support for vaccinations:
Are you surprised? “@MeaslesRubella: 430 children die every day from #measles – that’s about 18 preventable child deaths every hr. #GetVax”
— Richard Besser (@DrRichardBesser) July 17, 2013
Besser has been an outspoken critic of those who propagate the vaccine/autism connection. The debate even made it to other channels, with Howard Kurtz talking about the issue on Fox News, noting that McCarthy’s claims are unfounded, but also wondering if ABC hung her out to dry.