Bachmann’s vaccine bashing draws strong criticism

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s attack on Texas Gov. Rick Perry over vaccines designed to protect young women from cervical cancer may be a problem for her, says the International Business Times.

Bachmann went after Perry in Monday’s debate for requiring young girls in his state to get the vaccine, and she said afterward that the Gardisil used in the vaccine could cause mental retardation, the story said:

Bachmann did not offer any scientific evidence to suggest there is actually a viable link between Gardasil and mental retardation.

Of the 35 million doses of Gardasil distributed in the U.S., only about 0.05 percent of individuals who have been vaccinated have reported some kind of side effect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental retardation was not one of them.

Evan Siegfried, a spokesman for the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, told Politico that Bachmann’s decision to promote a fear of vaccines is “dangerous and irresponsible.”

“There is zero credible scientific evidence that vaccines cause mental retardation or autism. She should cease trying to foment fear in order to advance her political agenda,” he said.

Even Rush Limbaugh weighed in against Bachmann on this one, the story said:

“Michele Bachmann, she might have blown it today. Well, not blown it but she might have jumped the shark today — if she’d have just left it alone on this vaccination thing from last night,” he said on his radio show Tuesday.

After twice making the claim, Bachmann seemed to take a step back by the time she did the Sean Hannity radio show, saying: “I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. I am not a physician. All I was doing was reporting what a woman told me last night at the debate.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Kristin Neises on 09/14/2011 - 09:50 am.

    That’s the Michelle we know and love – say whatever you want whenever you want, with little to know research into what you are saying, and then make an extremely flimsy remark in an attempt to “explain” what you said. How she got even as far as she did in politics is beyond my comprehension.

  2. Submitted by Reggie McGurt on 09/14/2011 - 09:56 am.

    All I was doing was reporting what a mysterious unnamed woman who you will never be able to locate told me last night at the debate. Honestly.

  3. Submitted by Tim Walker on 09/14/2011 - 11:38 am.

    Did you mean a one-armed woman, Reggie?

    (Cue theme music to The Fugitive…)

  4. Submitted by Doug Gray on 09/14/2011 - 10:40 pm.

    It was a joke. No, a metaphor. No, what’s that one that’s spelled the same backwards as forwards? Anyway, she was pining for the fjords …

  5. Submitted by Nancy Hokkanen on 09/15/2011 - 10:20 am.

    According to the CDC, “As of June 22, 2011… VAERS received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination.”

    Dr. Scott Ratner, whose wife is also a physician, told CBS-TV in 2009 that a daughter of the Ratners became severely ill after a shot of Gardasil: “My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis.”

    To read personal reports of HPV vaccine injury, see

  6. Submitted by Doug Gray on 09/15/2011 - 08:53 pm.

    Er…let’s fill in the blanks there shall we?

    “…approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® were distributed in the U.S…Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious.

    “Any VAERS report that indicated hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, congenital anomaly or death is classified as serious. As with all VAERS reports, serious events may or may not have been caused by the vaccine.

    “Based on all of the information we have today, CDC recommends HPV vaccination for the prevention of most types of cervical cancer.”


    My back of the envelope is that there have been about half as many “serious” adverse events with this vaccine, proportionately, than there have been cases of fever-induced seizure in infants who got the MMR vaccine. So “forcing” young women to get this vaccine is less “dangerous” than “forcing” infants to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella.

    And that’s the Truth About Gardasil®.

    (Full disclosure: we own MRK stock, but have not received any campaign contributions from them…yet.)

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