Teary-eyed mother to Michele Bachmann: Michele, my daughter took the HPV vaccine and spontaneously became mentally retarded.
Michele Bachmann to the world: We must stop the use of these dangerous government-mandated vaccines which infringe on our liberties as Americans and cause mental retardation.
Those aren’t direct quotes . . . but it was the gist of the exchange. I cringed when I read the news reports. It was more than a misstatement; it’s a potential death sentence for the untold number of girls and women who might be lead astray by this heinous misinformation put forth by GOP presidential hopeful, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). In her ignorant efforts to get political attention – and push her ultra-conservative, head-in-the-sand agenda – she stepped way over the line when commenting on an executive order issued by presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry in 2007, which requires that schoolgirls in Texas receive a vaccine that would protect them against sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, a known cause of cervical cancer.
Let’s put aside issues of personal liberty as they relate to vaccines in general (an endless debate), issues related to teen sex and political donations from Merck, the maker of anti-HPV vaccine Gardasil, to candidate Perry. Bachmann used her current position in the limelight to deliver a statement with potential catastrophic results. Not only did she create unnecessary doubt and fear among the millions of parents who want to protect their children from the ravages of cancer, she proved herself to be a complete idiot.
Is this who would potentially run the world’s most powerful nation? She who does not respect the facts of science and repeated clinical trials, or the fact that the FDA has deemed this vaccine and others to provide more benefit than harm? She would, instead, opt to promote the misinformation put forth by one teary-eyed, confused mother out of a crowd of fans. It’s just downright chilling.
Here’s a real, documented fact from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
In 2007 (the most recent year numbers are available), 12,280 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,021 women died from this disease. Cancer vaccines help to slow those death rates, as proven in the clinical trials required to gain drug approval.
Here’s my direct request to Bachmann: Read and research first. Then speak about what you’ve learned. Please. It’s a matter of life or death.
Years later, another teary-eyed mother: Michele, I took your advice and refused to allow my daughter to get the Gardasil vaccine. She acquired HPV as a young teen and now has cervical cancer and I don’t know if she’ll survive.
Michele Bachmann: We’ll pray for your daughter.
Mother: Gee, thanks.