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Michele Bachmann Gaffe: Gardasil Causes “Mental Retardation”

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    Michele Bachmann Gaffe: Gardasil Causes “Mental Retardation”

    The Quote:

    There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    The Gaffe:

    The FDA has received no reports of brain damage as a result of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.  Among the reports that correlate seriously adverse reactions to either, the FDA lists blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and 68 deaths during the entire run of the drugs.  The FDA found no causal connection to any of these serious adverse events and found plenty of contributing factors to all — and all of the events are exceedingly rare.

    …..

    Two bioethics professors have offered to pay more than $10,000 for medical records that prove the anecdote Bachmann told after Monday night’s Republican presidential debate is true, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

    Steven Miles, a U of M bioethics professor, said that he’ll give $1,000 if the medical records of the woman from Bachmann’s story are released and can be viewed by a medical professional.

    His offer was upped by his former boss from the University of Minnesota, Art Caplan, who is now director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Caplan said he would match Miles’ challenge and offered $10,000 for proof of the HPV vaccine victim.

    “‘These types of messages in this climate have the capacity to do enormous public health harm,'” Miles said of why he made the offer. ‘The woman, assuming she exists, put this claim into the public domain and it’s an extremely serious claim and it deserves to be analyzed.'”