Reality Check: Bachmann’s Comments On HPV Vaccine

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign has gone viral. Literally.

Bachmann is under fire for comments some are calling reckless, for instance: that the HPV vaccination may cause mental retardation.

Health care professionals say Bachmann’s comments about the HPV vaccine are not just untrue: They also could do serious damage to efforts to immunize millions of pre-teen girls.

Here’s what she said on Tuesday, after she said a supporter approached her “in tears”:’She told me her daughter took the vaccine and suffered from mental retardation, thereafter this is a very dangerous drug. There are very dangerous consequences.”

That’s FALSE.

According the Centers for Disease Control, the HPV vaccine is safe and almost 100 percent effective against cervical cancer.

It is administered to pre-teen girls, because it is most effective before sexual activity begins.

Thirty-five million doses have been given. Side effects are rare, with some 19,000 cases reported.

And there’s not a single case of what Bachmann calls “mental retardation.”


The CDC says 37.8 percent of Minnesota girls completed the 3-dose series of HPV vaccines in 2010.

That’s up from 27 percent in 2009.

But it’s still far below the 50 percent rate health professionals say is necessary to effectively immunize pre-teens against cervical cancer later in life.
Bachmann is refusing to retract her statements, or apologize. She told a CBS News reporter that she was “not going to answer that.”

But on her campaign website, Bachmann released a video attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for ordering that Texas girls receive the vaccine.

“As a mother of three daughters, I believe that parents are the ones who should decide whether or not their young daughters should receive injections for sexually transmitted diseases. These are decisions that are best left to parents, the children and their doctors should take into consideration the child’s health and the family’s values. ”

  • markH

    This woman is a fundamentalist of the worst stripe; a combination of ignorance and conspiracy thinking that actually harms us as a society. I hope American voters recognize her desire for a religious authoritarian state and drop her like a hot potato. Peace.

  • Angus

    She will get unelected then hit the radio/tv/speech circuit, make alot of money, and retire so she can continue to talk, talk, talk without making any sense but continue to spread lies, ignorance, fear, and hatred among the far right.

    The far right is far more dangerous than the far left as the far right wraps themselves in the American Flag, God, and Christianity.

    • Reality sucks

      Oh come on Angus. Far anything is bad. The far left wraps themselves in Utopian Socialism, Marxism and a crazy enthusiasm for spreading the wealth. The Bourgeois has become the proletariat serving the insatiable. I see it on these message boards all the time. The unfortunate actually wishing bad will upon the providers. Although, I will admit, I can handle patriots (the real sort) wrapping themselves in a flag, to a certain extent—I can’t handle the bible bangers. Anyway, the point of all this wasn’t MB’s crazy delivery. The woman stands no chance as much as CCO wants to keep her around! The point was—can government impose a vaccination at will? No. Not in America, no matter your party. You should have the choice of saying “no” to anything and everything—no matter how stupid the decision may be. I don’t agree, but I certainly don’t want to disagree. This is America. And, as a side, people shouldn’t be celebrated for throwing a beer on ANYONE. Jeeps! I don’t care who you are—a person doesn’t deserve that either. I take MLK over M. X any day.

      • A Voter

        Dear Reality Sucks,
        Now that the Republican Party doesn’t have Communism to blame anymore, they’re using Socialism as a scare tactic to sway voters their way. Meanwhile UnAmerican Capitalists hold the USA Hostage by sending jobs, and technology overseas.

        • Reality sucks

          UnAmerican—what does that mean? MB likes to use the word, but it really doesn’t mean anything. UnEuropean—–never hear that.

  • just8

    Before you slam her on this issue, do some research. This is an extremely dangerous vaccine. In addition, it’s effectiveness has yet to be proven. Don’t trust me, do your own research. Pharmacuticals are fabulous at marketing their products both to physicians, and politicians. . And by the way, I am no fan of Bachmans.;

    • Paul Solinger

      “Thirty-five million doses have been given. Side effects are rare, with some 19,000 cases reported.” If these statistics are accurate, and I have no reason to doubt that they are, that is a rate of .05%. Those are extremely low rates. Furthermore, nothing in this article is quoted by the drug companies. The CDC is quoted as saying it is perfectly safe. I’m sure you have some paranoid anti-vaccine web sites that claim this is “extremely dangerous”, but until someone in the main stream offers up valid proof, I won’t believe it.

      • just8

        Do a search. The CDC quotes drug company statistics. They do not have the funds to run their own research on drugs. I remember around 15 years ago, the “conservatives” were getting slammed by the same press when they stated cervical cancer was a result of hov. Please do a search. Blind trust can mislead you.

    • Ellen

      totally agree! See the comments by Ellen below!

  • The Crux of the Buscuit

    She knows better than any of us if this is what she had happen to her. This is the result…..

  • Not a doctor but play one up North

    There are side affects to Cancer drugs, insulin, thyroid replacement… does that mean you won’t take it because it might make you throw up, or injection site pain? Good Gawd! If you believe what Bozo Bachmann says you need more help. Psychiatric care. Thorazine available in the Republican Drug Aisle.

  • Joe from Mn

    The drug company is telling us this vaccine is safe.
    The tobaco company said smoking was good for you.
    The maker of baby formula said there product was better than Mother’s milk.
    Companies are there to make money. How many products have been recalled because they were doing more harm than good, products that the FDA approved.
    They were honest mistakes I’m sure. If you don’t beleave me, just asked them.

  • Swamp Rat

    Well folks, enough is enough! For Americans, an ersatz T-Bag Republican, is Bachmann who you want as President? Doesn’t anyone realize, after reading political modern history, Bachmann’s candidacy borders on the ludicrous? She is not a true Republican in any sense of the word or in any sense of true historical Republican precepts. Just read any American political science history text and you will see what I mean. She is scary.

    Bachmann is who you want as President? How can anyone get elected for President who distorts the facts she espouses into factoids that border on outright misleading lies? If Bachmann commented that little green man; from the 1947 Roswell Incident[?]; live on the moon and were put there during supposed secret NASA/DOD Apollo moon missions in the early 1970’s then why would such commentary be front page news and given any credence without irrefutable facts?

    The same holds true for her B.S.and fear-mongering regarding vaccines and especially the HPV vaccine. She has pronounced the HPV vaccine is dangerous and unsafe for human use. Then where is her proof for such? Where are the numbers and research to refute a medical community that has the ‘solid’ fairly exhaustive proof to the contrary? Another Bachmannism has surfaced and a horde of ignorant people believe such drivel!

    If one only looks at history and in the political contexts regarding global political ne’er-do-wells who rose to short lived prominences in their nations or society, Michelle Bachmann should be raising political alarm bells and eyebrows. Is this the political leadership we as Americans are noted for? If so, then remember what Adolf Schicklegruber’s theme was…”Sieg Heil!! Think about it. This is scary politics here.

    Is Bachmann the person you want to be President as well as Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s defenses with her access to the national nuclear arsenal? What has she done to inspire a disenfranchised and disillusioned electorate to correct this country’s political problems and economy? Disrespectfully bad mouthing the President, rabble-rousing against or distorting any vestige the true political Republican ideology only adds to the national discontent.

    Denigrating the HPV Vaccine without concrete irrefutable proof is another Bachmann step toward her 2012 conquest to gain the White House. Is this what America wants? If so, remember Adolf’s theme!!!

  • Anne

    The award-winning book on the HPV Vaccine Controversy:Sex, Cancer, God and Politics is very relevant to this story- would recommend it highly

  • nhokkanen

    100+ people dead because of a vaccine that won’t prove itself for decades? Adverse events that equal the population of a small city? Worse, VAERS is estimated to record only 10% of actual vaccine injuries. If the vaccine doesn’t work, people who were vaccinated but got HPV or cancer have no recourse.Crony capitalism brought us this questionable vaccine, and crony journalism prevents consumers from getting honest information about it, such as the aluminum used as placebo in testing instead of saline.

  • nhokkanen
  • More to the Point...

    …where is this this supporter and her afflicted daughter? If this incident really occurred, then why isn’t she being interviewed by every news agency and talk show?

  • Roots ‘Welcome’ Bachmann With Pointed Song Choice « CBS Minnesota

    […] Reality Check: Bachmann’s Comments On HPV Vaccine // // Share this 30 comments […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live