Skip to comments.Bachmann: Gardasil causes “mental retardation”
Posted on 09/13/2011 8:09:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Earlier today, I noted that Michele Bachmann finally scored points on Rick Perry by hitting him on his ties to Merck and linking that to the Gardasil mandate Perry imposed through executive order in Texas. This is a fair point on Perrys record, even given his apology for pursuing the mandate through EO instead of through the legislature, and its not surprising that Bachmann was the candidate to first take advantage of the opening. (Mitt Romney passed a mandate on health insurance for all citizens of Massachusetts, which pretty much puts this issue out of reach for him.) However, Bachmann took a winning argument about the method and the wisdom of mandating a vaccination for a limited-spread virus and turned it into an anti-vaccination argument, especially in this post-debate argument on Fox with Greta van Susteren.
>>>"Theres a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine."<<<
Huh? Mental retardation typically takes place in a pre- or neo-natal event. Autism becomes apparent in the first couple of years of life and primarily affects boys. Gardasil vaccinations take place among girls between 9-12 years of age. Even assuming that this anecdote is arguably true, it wouldnt be either mental retardation or autism, but brain damage.
The FDA has received no reports of brain damage as a result of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. Among the reports that correlate seriously adverse reactions to either, the FDA lists blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and 68 deaths during the entire run of the drugs. The FDA found no causal connection to any of these serious adverse events and found plenty of contributing factors to all and all of the events are exceedingly rare.
The mental retardation argument is a rehash of the thoroughly discredited notion that vaccines containing thimerasol caused a rapid increase in diagnosed autism cases. That started with a badly-botched report in Lancet that allowed one researcher to manipulate a ridiculously small sample of twelve cases in order to reach far-sweeping conclusions about thimerasol. That preservative hasnt been included in vaccines for years, at least not in the US, and the rate of autism diagnoses remain unchanged.
The most charitable analysis that can be offered in this case for Bachmann is that she got duped into repeating a vaccine-scare urban legend on national television. It looks more like Bachmann sensed that she had won a point and wanted to go in for the kill, didnt bother to check the facts, and didnt care that she was stoking an anti-vaccination paranoid conspiracy theory, either. Neither shines a particularly favorable light on Bachmann.
Rick Santorum took the correct position on the Gardasil issue. We mandate certain vaccines in children because we mandate children be gathered for educational purposes for many years (in private or public schools), and certain diseases are easily communicable in those settings. By mandating vaccinations against whooping cough, measles, and mumps, we are protecting children who would otherwise get exposed without any action on their part except compliance with the law. Thats not true with HPV, and parents should decide for themselves whether to inoculate their sons and daughters with Gardasil or Cervarix. If Perry wanted to make those inoculations more accessible, he could have crafted an opt-in system rather than forcing parents to opt out.
"When first approved in late 2009, Gardasil appeared to offer little to boys aside from a selfless opportunity to curb the sexual transmission of HPV to future partners."
So I ask again, if the purpose of the legislation was to halt the spread of HPV, why didn't he require it for boys?
She blew it!
Um, yeah, but the brain damage could result is what is commonly called "mental retardation". If this is the term the mother used (which could be very likely), then why get all twisted up about Bachmann using the term.
Good grief, just plain silly the things people get their panties in a wad over.
The answer is obvious to any honest person, that Gov. Perry did it to help fight cancer and hold down future medical costs
Government needs to keep their noses out of personal decisions. You wouldn't want Michelle Obama to push dietary laws through that you had to "opt out" of, would you?
Then I had it right, there was an opt out clause. Stupid doesn’t win me over, Code.
Why didn’t he? Maybe it would have been too obvious an invitation to the little would-be studs???
Exactly right. I personally have known two people with polio. Both were in wheel chairs, one could not communicate with anyone but his parents who had learned how to understand his distorted speech. Polio leaves broken bodies with intact minds...absolutely devastating and finally became preventable, and was virtually wiped out...I say virtually because one of the cases I know of was acquired well after the vaccine was distributed nationwide, but the affected person was NOT vaccinated.
I've noticed this.
And it happened again today.
And it was a twofer!
In order to show crony capitalism by Perry one would have to show a clear case of an action that was done by Perry in favor of the “crony” that would not have been done for any other reason. I don’t agree with the mandate but there were many pressures on Perry to do it and the charge that the main reason Perry did the mandate was to help Merck is extrememly weak. If this is all they got regarding Perry and crony capitalism, then they might as well give up on that issue.
Repeating an anecdotal account as fact was irresponsible. The mother may very well believe Gardisil caused her daughter's mental retardation. Her belief does not make it so.
“Innocent young girls” does not convey an issue of safety and efficacy. It conveys an image of 11 year old girls held down, violated sexually with an injection which will somehow force them to become sexually active with multiple partners before the age of 18.
These debates allow the cream to rise to the top (and the rocks to sink to the bottom). Blitzer did a pretty good job compared to the previous debates. I hope the future debates continue the trend.
And for anyone else reading, I am speaking specifically of voting for president.
You'd have to shoot me to keep me from voting against local spending referendums. Of course, I always lose because even in "conservative" N GA, people love their govt money.
I got turned off politics as a young adult going to several GA Young Republican events.
I agree with you. I was luke warm for Perry, but these constant attacks are disgusting to me. For example, SS is a ponzi scheme and “our side” is using the talking points of the left to attack him for saying it. Perhaps if his support goes up these other candidates will stop attacking him like democrats on SS. Sorry, but the vaccine issue is just not that big of a deal to me.
“That vaccination has done a lot of damage, anybody that says it hasnt is ignorant of the facts.”
LOL, every medicine out there, including antibiotics have or could cause even death.
Lets just toss Pennicillin, Insulin, vaccines...maybe even bandages into the waste bin....
Then she goes on Greta and can't back up her charge that Perry made his decision on Gardasil for a $5,000 campaign contribution. Desperate people say and do unfortunate things. I'm done with Bachmann and I think her 15 minutes are up.
I invite you to examine my entire eleven year posting history and find one post in support of Rick Perry. Unless you contracted some mental retardation somewhere you can re-read my post and readily see that the subject matter was the Texas Gardasil law not Rick Perry.
Many people think Perry “blew it” with his harping on “Ponzi scheme.” But future developments have put this into question. Bachmann’s concerns are likewise nothing new and they have a deeper grip in the underground parent society than you might think.
Darn it, Michelle Bachmann is acting like a mother. We can’t let her get away with that! /s
Making policy based on anecdote is always a bad idea.
Yes. You should be allowed to make your opinion known; I don't question that.
But I do find it is pathetic and even more so on a political forum.
I’m not going to get all over palin for her comments because
1) she actually has a good record on dealing with crony capitalism that should be brought up
2) she actually was a governor and dealt with this issue in a better way
3) had a teenage daughter who became pregnant and kept her baby
But Michele is just a wannabe who desperately needed to find an opening.
Did she say it (that she could not make that call) or not?