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.
But this isn’t the first time Bachmann has shot her mouth off without thinking about what/how she was saying what was on her mind. Patterns make a difference...
Since when has the anti-vaccination crowd been concerned with facts?
I don't see why it has to be given routinely to newborns unless there is an immediate risk of exposure. The immune system isn't very developed at that time. I agree that it should be required before attending school.
Agreed, the charge of cronyism with respect to gardisil is extrememly weak, and certainly insufficient to nix Perry as a candidate. There are far better reasons to nix the other candidates, i.e. lunacy (Paul), no exec experience and her own cronyism via ethanol subsidies (bachmann), never held office (cain), and then of course Romney needs no explanation.
I opted out of the vaccine for my daughters but I do have a story that is somewhat in support of the vaccine. We have a history of urinary reflux in my family and 2 of my daughters had it. When I took one of my daughters for a nuclear cystogram the nurse asked me a few health questions. One of them was “was she sexually active?” When I looked at her, horrified, she said, “I know but I have to ask. You’d be surprised how many girls say yes.”
My daughter was 10 years old.
“Hellbenders are one of the largest salamanders in the world, growing to over 2 feet long.” — www.hellbender.com
LOL. I don't care who you are, THAT was funny! My mental picture involved "Bender" of Futurama.
If Bachmann has some facts or other information to back up her allegation, she should come forth with it. It’s a very serious charge.
If it was nothing but gossip and innuendo, she just killed her (already descending) candidacy.
Bachman is spreading pure fabrication about the vaccine though. It does not cause retardation. It does not kill little girls. It does not automatically create little sluts out of girls.
My point is that I agree with her on the vilification of Perry’s mandate. But she loses all credibility when she spouts pure crap.
She senses that she got some points, and she goes over the top to reinforce how “correct” she is.
And when she does that, she loses.
From your article:
done some research
even less data for boys
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Hardly matches your claim of well known.
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So you are claiming it was wrong not to require it for boys before it was approved for boys?
It was not approved for boys for use in the US until October 2009.
It's just gotten to the point that I have finally had enough of all the people with their "good ideas" that they want to force on me, and it doesn't matter which letter comes after their name.
“Scientologists are nuts, IMO, but they don’t have anything against vaccinations. “
they are against modern medicine in general and Bachmann made a psychiatric claim, that it causes mental retardation.
If this is the best Bachmann can come up with then she's done.
Well, it DOES seem to cause mental retardation among the other GOP candidates.
Maybe her constituent was lying to her, or was a Rat plant, but if the vaccine truly had an unfortunate side effect in the constituent’s daughter of causing brain damage, leading to what would be colloquially called “mental retardation,” that’s something that needs to be faced. I don’t know about killing “little girls,” can you clarify? It could in some circumstances form part of a temptation to a young girl to be a slut. Giving it to boys would be even more controversial in that department because they might fancy themselves to be disease-proof little studs.
All those risks might be chosen by a parent, but to have the weight of the state on them is over the top, and if Bachmann made that point and no other point she did well.
“I was reading that a study didn’t recommend it for mass vaccinations, because the cost of the vaccinations would be greater than the cost of treating the diseases it is supposed to prevent.”
This is the mentality of Obamacare. REALITY, is that a woman who gets this apparently safe vaccination, BEFORE she becomes sexually active, will avoid the most common provable cause of cervical cancer. Even if she waits till her wedding day to become active, there is nothing to argue against getting the vaccinations. Refusal to get this vaccine for a daughter, simply because it is a tacit admission that SOMEDAY, they will become a sexually active person is no better than a Jehovahs Witness refusing to get basic lifesaving treatments.
But i guess it makes better financial sense to wait till she gets cancer, then do a hysterectomy. Great for the collective,,kinda sucks for the INDIVIDUAL that our society is ordered around.
Refusing to recommend the vaccine because it’s cheaper to treat the women who get the cancer is PURE OBAMA. It’s *exactly* the same mentality of Obama saying “Maybe you should take the blue pain pill, instead of the expensive treatment.
Bachmann has truly jumped the shark.
There is no way on earth a teenager gets ‘retarded’ from a vaccine. If she bought that nonsense, she’s not POTUS qualified.
This anti-vaccine BS is nutter territory.
Put ‘em in the crazy aunt attic with Ron Paul and the 911 truthers.
Surprise! Brain infections have psychiatric side effects!
Kaye Bailey tried this on Perry when she ran against him for governor.
It doesn’t fly. It may crawl a few paces but that’s it.
And there are so many lies involved about donations and about the effects of the vaccine that it weakens any argument.
Plus Michele showed herself to be hysterical and ridiculous.
Ties to dog owners??
I did not know that. Bubba (overlarge black lab) and I will have to rethink our position on Perry.
Maybe Bachmann is playing up the risk more than it deserves, but darn tootin’ that brain infections can impact brain function.
I think we disagree on that point, perhaps because we define "cronyism" differently. I think the evidence of cronyism between the TX exec office and Merck is pretty strong, given that Perry's ex chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was Merck's lobbyist in Texas, advocating for the vaccine to be mandatory.
-- certainly insufficient to nix Perry as a candidate. --
I agree with that. Still, after being burned by George Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and other warning signs, I think it is prudent to gaze at political candidates without granting the benefit of the doubt.
I don’t think it’s any secret that Merck fanned out its salesmen to all the states. Perry should have seen this in his big picture.
Did you fail to read post No. 1. The facts are there.
But some people come off as sanctimonious and smug about how they've raised their children, so they are insulted, offended and won't be inconvenienced by having to opt out, so have decided this should not be available as other vaccines have been.
The "shocking" comment from the doctor illustrates the problem. Thank you for sharing that story.
“The parents were not informed about the method to opt out. “
Not true. You are not a Texas parent, apparently, and are not well informed on this.
I have never been to a doctor’s office and failed to see a drug rep from some drug company or another hawking their wares.
Merck does this. All of them do.
But I love the pharmaceutical companies anyway. They have done more good for our health than doctors have.
I should have guessed.
Piddlesquat. It's on the market and can be had by anyone who chooses it. What it does not have is the weight of the state of Texas behond it, even if that weight is "er, ma'am, only a SUGGESTION, fill this here form to get out, and by the way pray your school does not 'loose' [sic] it."
In this case, Merck managed to corner a former crony of the Guv’nor, who was now on their staff. A little too cozy for comfort.
Michele Bachmann: "However, as President of the United States there are no mulligans; there are no do-overs!!"
“I missed a good many of the vaccines that most kids were getting in the 60s and 70s. The reason I missed them is because I had a spleen issue as a child that the docs really couldnt decipher. As a result they told my parents that they could opt out of most vaccinations and I was given some kind of waiver for school.
48 years later and Im still pestilence free.”
You can thank all the other kids getting vaccinated then, because by doing so they stopped contagious diseases from becoming epidemics and spreading to you.
Again I say, I think you are confusing Scientologists (the church founded by L. Ron Hubbard) with the Christian Science Church founded by Mary Baker Eddy.
The claim/anecdote that Bachmann repeated was of a side effect to a vaccine. AFAIK, Scientologists are no more and no less infested with those who believe thimeresol or other aspect of vaccination practice causes autism, than is any other group of people.
Scientologists are NOT against modern medicine in general, and are generally eager to obtain medical care that will extend their lives.
OTOH, Christian Science bylaws state opposition to vaccination, and members will refuse treatment for many illnesses.
Now you're purposely being disingenuous. This was to make it affordable to all families who wanted it and so payment would be helped through their health insurance.
“So, your stand is that all vaccinations are bad because a state government mandates it? If that is the position of the conservative movement, it is going to be a very small movement. ... There was no dark, sinister effort here to force parents to allow something they do not want for their kids. The opt out was the simplest of the various vaccination requirements.”
The Government is engaged in many actions that are wrong, tyrannical, overbearing, etc.
Getting kids vaccinated from childhood diseases aint one of them.
Perry admitted a mistake on this minor issue 4 years ago. Move on.
That sounds great from Rick Santorum & Ed Morrissey except opt-in isn't covered by insurance, medicaid or other programs meaning accessibility wouldn't be improved at all. It's symbolism over substance.
An empty debating society point fails in the real world where governors and presidents live.
Hepatitis B is an STD. Why do you believe it should be required based upon your previous post? It is not spread by air or water.
I’m afraid it sounds to me like the one person afflicted with mental retardation as a result of Gov. Perry’s unfortunate Gardasil mandate is Congresswoman Bachmann.
She just jumped the shark. A mandate that young girls be given a vaccine against a disease for which the main (though not only*) means of transmission is sexual activity was a boneheaded move on Perry’s part given the likely interpretation among young people as state support for sexual activity, but attacks on it should be based on the moral impact or actual, solidly-supported scientific evidence, not bogus-sounding anecdotal “evidence”.
*5% of cases of HPV of the strains causing cervical cancer are provably by non-sexual transmission, even under the classification protocol that assumes any case in a sexually active patient was sexually trasmitted, and there is at least one documented case of transmission by sharing clothing.
The gardisal thing has been tried, lately by Kaye Bailey.
It doesn’t fly. It may crawl a few steps.
This argument against Perry is so pathetic it makes one realize how little they can dig up against him.
No list is kept. However, parents do have to request a form, that the legislature mandated in 2005, with a “security seal” that prevents copying. The opt out form is not sent back to the state, it’s given to the school. By statute, no one keeps a list of those who take advantage of the opt out.
Before Governor Perry’s EO RP, the only way to request the form was in person or by writing. Now, because of that EO, parents may request the form on the internet, cutting time and trouble.
I’ve always been half certain that the reason the Texas Medial Association and the other medical associations did not back the EO, was primarily because it made opting out easier and side tracked plans in 2007 to make the opt out yearly. (There’s also the fact that the Governor is pro-life, and a lot of those in power hate that.)
“While it is sexually transmitted, getting the vaccine was not a license to have sex. Any good parent can deal with that issue.”
Well put. And not to mention that everyone keeps talking about “sexually transmitted”. It can also be spread with even kissing. And even more fun,,,it’s extremely widespread in the general population. About 75% prevalence in the general population.
Being against mandatory vaccine,,ok. But acting like the vaccine is somehow immoral and unneeded if you will just be a good Christian is pure ignorance.
I guess the National Cancer Institute is ignorant of the facts. /s
How safe are the HPV vaccines?
Before any vaccine is licensed, the FDA must determine that it is both safe and effective. Both Gardasil and Cervarix have been tested in tens of thousands of people in the United States and many other countries. Thus far, no serious side effects have been shown to be caused by the vaccines. The most common problems have been brief soreness and other local symptoms at the injection site. These problems are similar to ones commonly experienced with other vaccines. The vaccines have not been sufficiently tested during pregnancy and, therefore, should not be used by pregnant women.
A recent safety review by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered adverse side effects related to Gardasil immunization that have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System since the vaccine was licensed (14). The rates of adverse side effects in the safety review were consistent with what was seen in safety studies carried out before the vaccine was approved and were similar to those seen with other vaccines.
and emotional noise, too.
“I know I would not want a kid who was un-vaccinated for the major diseases sitting next to my kid in school.”
But this is why MY kid got immunized. If the one beside them gets sick with a disease we are immune to, we can watch with detached curiosity.
Interesting observations. Thanks for posting.
“The parents were not informed about the method to opt out.”
“ROTFLMAO Were you actually serious when you said that?”
People who are not from Texas need to stop spreading their own ignorance and making cr*p up. Yes, this includes Bachmann and Santorum, who both mis-stated Texas law last night.
Totally agree. It also creates hysteria and a willingness to ignore facts.
I wish people who are for other candidates (and I am one of them ... I’m praying that Palin gets in and wins) would let up on Perry.
There are currently TWO candidates who have a real chance. Do you anti-Perry people really want Romney? I don’t. I don’t think he would be passionate about getting rid of Obama care (after all it was his idea).
If Palin decides not to run, I am very glad we have a decent alternative in Perry.
From your link:
Your risk of hepatitis B infection is increased if you:
Have unprotected sex with more than one partner
Have unprotected sex with someone who’s infected with HBV
Have a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
Are a man who has sexual contact with other men
Share needles during intravenous (IV) drug use
Share a household with someone who has a chronic HBV infection
Have a job that exposes you to human blood
Receive hemodialysis for end-stage kidney (renal) disease
Travel to regions with high infection rates of HBV, such as Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe
No approved school activities in that list.
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