Doubling Down: Michele Bachmann Claims HPV Vaccine Causes ‘Mental Retardation’

Michele Bachmann spoke out against the HPV vaccine this morning on The Today Show, telling Matt Lauer that following last night’s debate, a mother told her that it caused “mental retardation”.

“I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Fla., after the debate,” Bachmann explained. “She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. The mother was crying when she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.”

Beyond the anecdote from the mother, Bachmann did not offer any scientific evidence to back up her claims. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for young girls and says the shot is “safe and effective.” According to the CDC, HPV vaccines were “studied in thousands of people around the world” and “studies have found no serious side effects.”

Traditionally a staunch defender of Bachmann, the conservative blogosphere was largely appalled by the Congresswoman’s HPV allegations.

“What, she’s going for the Jenny McCarthy vote? Good luck with that,” said Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air was also bewildered by Bachmann’s statement, saying she “got duped into repeating a vaccine-scare urban legend on national television” and was “stoking an anti-vaccination paranoid conspiracy theory.”

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