(Note: Your front-pager today is McNorman – UW)
First, let’s define the issues on the Perry Gardasil Pinata Party: money and parental authority.
The exchange involves multiple claims.
Statement No. 1:
Bachmann: “We cannot forget that in the midst of this executive order, there was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate. We can’t deny that.”
Perry in February 2007 signed an executive order directing the state Health and Human Services commissioner to mandate human papillomavirus vaccination for all girls before admission to the sixth grade. Perry at the time released a statement saying that the vaccine “provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer,” which HPV can cause.
At the time, the only such vaccine that the Food and Drug Administration had approved was Gardasil, made by Merck & Co.
HPV vaccine considered safe
Texas’ rules were to take effect in September 2008. However, the Texas Legislature passed a bill overturning Perry’s order in April 2007. Perry declined to veto the bill, which went into effect in May 2007, killing his order.
False. The executive order didn’t last long enough to produce a mandate. Therefore, there was no mandate that would have caused Merck to make millions of dollars.
Statement No. 2:
Bachmann: “The governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company.”
Michael Toomey, a former three-term state representative from Houston, served as Perry’s chief of staff from December 2002 to September 2004.
Toomey was a lobbyist for a number of companies — including Merck — before and after he served in Perry’s office, according to the Texas Ethics Commission. He was registered in Texas to lobby for Merck from at least 1998 to 2002, and from 2004 to the present, according to the commission.
True. Toomey was as a lobbyist for Merck. However, CNN could not find evidence to confirm or dispute that he was the company’s “chief lobbyist.”
Statement No. 3:
Perry’s defense: “The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them.”
Merck’s political action committee did give Perry $5,000 in 2006, when he was seeking a second full term. But it also gave him nearly $25,000 more over the course of his career, including a $10,000 donation in 2004; $5,000 in 2002; $1,000 in 2005; $1,000 in 2000; $2,500 in 2008; and another $5,000 in his most recent run, in 2010.
Texas laws on money donations are some of the laxest in the country, so it comes as no surprise that Perry would be offended by Bachmann’s comments. You can’t buy anyone for $5000.00 in Texas. I can’t imagine that anyone actually believes a politician can be bought, can you? (Ahahahahaha, I had to try three times to type that one.)
As for the safety of the vaccine? Just my opinion, but in life you take a risk no matter what unless you stop breathing. Everything in life is a risk. so we must be vigilant and calculate whether to take that risk.
His recommendation for anyone who opposes the vaccine: “Visit one patient with cervical cancer in an advanced state.”
I have, and it’s incredibly sad. So much promise and hope only to be undermined by something that can be prevented. I do believe that the carriers (males) should be the ones vaccinated. The complications and risk factors are lower for them. Make no mistake, cancer is a possibility for both sexes when it comes to HPV.
Bottom line, many very young kids ARE sexually active. Are we going to protect children from themselves, or should we take a wait and see approach? I don’t know the answer. As a parent, this decision weighed heavily on me. I also thought about all those HPV infections that could happen through rape or other avenues that my child would not have a choice in. Life is not fair, is it?
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