At Commentary, Bethany Murphy writes:
Last night, Michele Bachmann appeared on Fox News after the debate and continued her tirade against the Texas mandate for the Gardasil HPV vaccine. While many on the Right object to Perry mandating the vaccine from a parental rights or big government perspective, Bachmann took the issue a step farther, claiming the vaccine caused “mental retardation” to an audience member’s daughter.
As Dave Weigel notes over at Slate, “The CDC has recommended Gardasil, warning that the only verified side-effect has been rare cases of blood clots and an immune system disorder.” Despite some who claim the drug is dangerous, like all other drugs in the United States, it underwent rigorous drug trials before it was put on the open market.
With Bachmann’s comments on the dangers of the HPV vaccine, she joins the ranks of celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who has famously linked her son’s autism to vaccinations. Even though the movement’s scientific research has been debunked, McCarthy has continued to use her position to encourage parents not to vaccinate their children. Prior to McCarthy’s crusade against vaccines, she was best known for being a Playboy bunny and MTV host and personality.
The anti-vaccination crusade that McCarthy, and now Bachmann, have undertaken have serious implications for public safety. Last year, ten infants in California died from whooping cough, a disease that was made near extinct 60 years ago with the development of a vaccine. In ten months in 2010, California saw almost 6,000 cases of the disease.
Rush Limbaugh declares that Bachmann has now officially jumped the proverbial shark, as Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:
After my earlier post strongly objecting to Michele Bachmann’s attempt to link the Gardasil vaccination to “mental retardation,” the response has been nearly unanimous among commenters — and as it turns out, pundits too. The Boss Emeritus, whose rational objections to Perry’s Gardasil mandate threaten to be overwhelmed by Bachmann’s demagoguery, tries offering Bachmann some advice on how to deal with the issue in the future. Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, concludes that while Bachmann had an otherwise strong showing in last night’s debate, she “jumped the shark” last night and today by repeatedly using an attack that Rush says deserves “shame.”
Click over for audio from Rush. And then read Ace for the Bachmann/Sterling Hayden connection.