Something really, really cool happened to 12-year-old Marco Arturo this week: Ashton Kutcher shared the video Marco made about childhood vaccines.
Marco caught the world’s attention with the video he posted to his own Facebook page on May 24.
“We’ve all been lied to by doctors and pharmaceutical companies about vaccines,” Marco says at the beginning of the video. “After a lot of research, I realized that vaccines do and will cause autism.”
He then holds up a folder that reads, “Evidence That Vaccines Cause Autism” and says it contains “every single bit of evidence in the universe that vaccines do cause autism. And I’ll go page by page reading and explaining everything I’ve got in here.”
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The pages, though, are blank.
“I think it might be because there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that vaccines are linked to autism in any way whatsoever,” Marco says.
“On the other hand, it’s almost an axiom that vaccines prevent millions of children from dying from diseases like polio and measles and meningitis and hepatitis, just to mention a few, even smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated thanks to vaccines.
“And you might think, well it’s my child, it’s my choice. OK, I agree ... but, you know, it’s not just your child. It’s basically everyone else’s child. It’s also everyone else’s child you’re putting in danger because you read some forwarded email.”
“So please, vaccinate your children.”
The more than 8,000 comments about the video on Marco’s Facebook page are largely positive, and even his detractors have tweaked him kindly.
“Wonder who put this kids (sic) up to this lol,” wrote one woman.
“First of all, this is the cutest kid I have ever seen,” wrote another. “He is also a very clever little boy and I have so much respect for him in that he uses his voice in a constructive way. I strongly believe this boy will have a significant impact on our society now and as he grows older.”
So who is this new viral star?
He lives in Mexico, he writes on his Facebook page where people have asked him about his accent.
“Some people think I’m Swedish, others think I’m French, British, Spaniard, Irish, Belgian, Brazilian, Argentinian and French Canadian,” Marco wrote.
“But I’m surprised that absolutely no one has gotten it right yet. Absolutely no single person. Turns out, I’m actually Mexican.
“Yes, I know, it doesn’t make sense to you, but I really am. I was born in Mexico and I’ve ALWAYS lived in Mexico.”
According to the Today Show, the seventh-grader has been passionate about science ever since he was 2 and his grandma read him books about it.
When he heard about the anti-vaccine movement he did his own research on a topic that’s been hotly debated for the last two decades.
“I wanted to make my position on the issue clear while making people smile by doing so,” he told Today.
He doesn’t have any relatives with autism but “a lot of people I know personally are (on) the spectrum,” he said.
Marco wants to dedicate his life to science, “but I don’t want to stop there,” he told Today. “I want to do something that could change the world as we know it and to always be remembered in history. I want to live off my research and books.”
For now he’s going to keep making videos and no doubt his millions of new fans will be watching.
His next topic: Genetically modified organisms.