Bioethicist Bets Michele Bachmann $10,000 She's Wrong About HPV

Michele Bachmann is continuing to all-out make up stuff about the HPV vaccine, but she never said she's a scientist. As it happens, one of them just bet her $10,000 to prove that there is a real person who developed "mental retardation" from Gardasil.

According to the marketing site ClickZ, the Bachmann campaign is buying up Google keywords for "Rick Perry HPV," upon which ads tell you to "Get The Facts on Rick Perry's Mandated Vaccines for Texas Girls," and "Get The Truth on Perry's Support of HPV Vaccines. Get Facts."


Also, today Bachmann released a video in which she questioned "whether our daughters should receive injections for sexually transmitted diseases." When you put it that way! Unclear whether one of her vaccine-free daughters made this video on her cell phone, or just an intern.

It's funny that Bachmann's campaign promises "facts," given how few of them she's been deploying.

For her part, Bachmann told reporters yesterday, "I didn't make any statements that would indicate that I'm a doctor, I'm a scientist or that I'm making any conclusions about the drug one way or another." Really? How about, in the debate, "Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan. They don't get a do-over," or her subsequent, repeated comments about the unnamed woman whose daughter allegedly developed "mental retardation" after being vaccinated?

In fact, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist is so irritated by what she's been saying that he proposed a little bet:

Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania challenged Bachmann on Thursday over her comments regarding the human papillomavirus vaccine...Caplan says if Bachmann can identify a verified vaccine victim in one week, he will donate $10,000 to a charity of her choice. If not, Caplan says Bachmann should donate $10,000 to a pro-vaccine group.

This was also an occasion for former Bachmann aides, which are unusually numerous, to talk to Politico about how she just makes shit up all the time:

"She says stuff without thinking there's going to be any repercussions," one aide said. "I think she can get away with that in Congress. I don't think that you can as president."

Good to have it confirmed that you can make shit up in Congress.

But Bachmann also still horrifying potential allies, including former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson — himself an evangelical Christian, who protested,

Try to imagine a parent-daughter conversation about sexual restraint and maturity that includes the words: "Honey, I'm going to deny you a vaccine that prevents a horrible, bleeding cancer, just as a little reminder of the religious values I've been trying to teach you." This would be morally monstrous. Such ethical electroshock therapy has nothing to do with cultivation of character in children. It certainly has nothing to do with Christianity, which teaches that moral rules are created for the benefit of the individual, not to punish them with preventable death.


Bioethicist Challenges Bachmann On Vaccine Claim [AP]
Michele Bachmann's Misstatements: A Constant Staff Worry [Politico]
A Dose Of Reality For The HPV Debate [WP]