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.
The answer is obvious to any honest person, that Gov. Perry did it to help fight cancer and hold down future medical costs (not make money, reward a company (Merck contributes $Millions to political groups yearly) - encourage girls to become sexually active or even suggest that they do). The best time to administer the HPV vaccine is when girls are young (they can contract this cancer from their husbands get oral cancer thank you Bill Clinton for your part in making America's youth think oral sex isn't sex).
About deaths from vaccines over 400 people die yearly in the U.S. alone from penicillin allergies. All medicine carries risks -- have you watched an Rx commercial disclaimer lately?
And it was opt out. The governors EO allowed easier payment due to insurance restrictions. And it was not opposed by Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association.
A dumb tactic by Bachmann, IMO.
I’m afraid she lost it for me with that remark. It’s amazing to me that - as stupid as politicians of both sides are on most matters of importance - they are even more vapid when it comes to anything concerning science.
Perry also has ties to big oil, big tobacco, big cattle, the tea party, Christians, the Republicans, dog owners, & the industrial cotten complex.
What kind of monster is this man?
If I hear any more about Gardasil, I may lose 5 IQ points...
I suppose that's the price we pay for having vaccines. We sacrifice a small number of lives so that a large number of people might live. Now back to my Sir James Fraser.
I guessed a while back the hpv issue was being propped by the anti vaccine crowd. Just surprised Bachmann is one of them.
She should go back to tax law and stop hanging out with scientologists.
She’s wandering into the weeds on this one. Hit Perry for the mandate and move on to immigration and other issues. Not the corral to make your stand unless you’re going to approach the issue from the right direction.
Better to hit Perry for the Guardasil mandate, Romney for the RomneyCare mandate, and tie both back to the Obamacare mandate.
sometimes politicians are just actors and actresses without the looks. just think how stupid hollyweird is.
That vaccination has done a lot of damage, anybody that says it hasn’t is ignorant of the facts.
He’s an Aggie.
Next week she will tell us what makes 13 year old boys go blind.
Thanks for the information.
It is also the easiest opt out in Texas. When registering kids for school, you get a list of vaccine requirements. With most you need a doctor or judge signature to opt out. With this you just need to sign an opt out form.
Perry himself said it was a mistake. So it was a mistake to force the mandate.
Good enough for me.
The parents were not informed about the method to opt out. The procedure existed but they were pushed by the Perry admin to get the shot.
>>>”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.”<<<
Completely irresponsible on Bachmann’s part. HPV caused cervical cancer kills women. If there was a vaccine against all cancer, would Bachmann not support it? This attack makes it sound as if she is against all vaccines.
Some educated folks beg to disagree with the idea that this is not, at the least, morally ambiguous. Like learning how to put condoms on bananas. One could try to make a case for recommending it as a safeguard against the still thankfully unlikely possibility of a rape by a rapist carrying HPV as an STD.
Anyhow, Perry bollixed up the ballyhooed opt-out which was supposed to defuse the controversy. Public school, no problem. But he forgot, or didn't care, that a lot of private schools in Texas reference the "mandatory" vaccination list of Texas rather than bothering to spell out what vaccinations they want. And they might not have had time to revise their policy in light of this special case, the first special case of its kind. That's why the Texas legislature was moved to shoot this turkey down.