Saturday, September 17, 2011

Michele Bachmann takes herself out with irresponsible statement.

Michele Bachmann in the debate on CNN recently said she was offended by Rick Perry's executive order saying that thirteen year old girls should get the vaccine [Gardasil] for the sexually transmitted HPV virus [with an opt out].  If she would have just stopped there, that was okay.  But then, as Rush Limbaugh said, she "jumped the shark".  In an after the debate interview she said: "I have just talked with a woman who was crying, and told me I was right to bring this up because my daughter took Gardasil and it caused her to become mentally retarded."

Michele Bachmann, that was totally irresponsible to cite some lady, who you first of all had no knowledge if what she said was true, and you sure did not know if the conclusion that lady came to [about the vaccine causing mental retardation] was true.  This was irresponsible because millions of mothers heard that remark and that had to frighten many of them to wonder about any vaccine they give their child.  Hugh Hewitt on his radio show the other night spent a whole hour on taking calls from doctors and mothers on the irresponsibility of that statement and how it could lead to renewal of anti virus nuts [not on Gardasil, but on all of the anti viral vaccines] coming out of the woodwork.  There were actually some callers [very few thank God] who said it should be up to the parents to not give their children the normal vaccines [against Mumps, Measles, polio, etc.] before sending their children to school.  Hugh correctly called them out and told them they were being totally irresponsible.

Yesterday my skin doc brother Brad sent me this article:
September 15, 2011 (UPDATED September 16, 2011) — A pair of bioethicists have challenged US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to provide proof that vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV) causes mental retardation. And both are offering money for the evidence.

Earlier this week on the Today Show, Ms. Bachmann said that after the recent Republican presidential candidate debate in Tampa, Florida, a crying woman approached her and said that her daughter received the HPV vaccine and developed "mental retardation" thereafter.

Steven Miles, PhD, a professor of bioethics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said that he will pay $1000 to have the medical records related to Bachmann’s story released for review by a medical professional, according to a report in the Star Tribune newspaper.

In addition, Arthur Caplan, PhD, a professor of bioethics at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Medscape advisor and video blogger, has upped the stakes.

In an email sent to USA Today, Dr. Caplan confirmed that he is offering $10,000 for the same proof.

"If she can produce a case…of a woman who became 'retarded' (her words) due to HPV vaccine, I will donate that [$10,000] to a charity of her choice. She must donate $10k to a charity I pick if she fails to do so," he wrote. The case must be verified by medical professionals and be revealed in the next week, Dr. Caplan said.

What has been Michele Bachmann's response: Well, I'm not a doctor or a scientist so I can't prove anything... EXACTLY.  Then why did you say it in the first place. Or at least, once you said it, when called on it, you could have said it was just in the heat of the after debate interview and you shouldn't have said it.  Everyone makes mistakes and you would have acknowledged that and the criticism wouldn't be so heavy on you.  You won't even do that.

My wife who was a supporter of Michele Bachmann in her quest for the GOP nomination for president said it best: She saw Michele Bacmann in a new light. She saw someone who wanted to be president so bad, they would say anything, no matter how irresponsible or untrue it was. This irresponsibility by Michele Bachmann has even turned my wife against her.   Mrs. Bachmann, who was a long shot at best for the nomination, is a no shot now.  I hope she realizes this, say she made a mistake and should have never just blurted out that anecdote without any knowledge and then goes back to her role of being a spokesman for conservative values in the congress and on talk radio.

I am a strong conservative Republican and will not just sweep irresponsibility under the rug, even if it is said from someone on our side of the aisle.   I'll leave that for the liberal Democrats.


bradley said...

the efficacy and safety of gardasil in preventing HPV and subsequent cervical ca is not debatable by scientific data--- to not offer this to a young child BEFORE they are exposed borders on child abuse by neglect... see ..
the vaccine is over 95% effective against the cancer producing strains AND over 70% of all cervical cancer is caused by this virus AND over 40% of college age girls already have HPV--- i pray that bachman's girls do not become the victims of their mom's ignorance!!!
bradley beckman, md, FAAD

Big Mike said...

Thanks doc Brad for injecting your proffesional knowledge!