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Megan McArdle and Byran Preston’s Definitive Defenses Of Rick Perry On Gardasil

Megan McArdle and Byran Preston’s Definitive Defenses Of Rick Perry On Gardasil

First McArdle on Gardisil:

As it happens, the arguments in favor of Gardasil are pretty strong:
HPV causes most of the cervical cancer in this country.  Gardasil and Cervarix, the two approved HPV vaccines, protect against the two most common strains, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer in this country, as well as the two strains most commonly found in genital warts.
HPV is not rare; the CDC estimates that at least half of all people who ever have sex will get it.  You cannot protect your children from it by ensuring that they have strong moral foundations–unless you plan to also guarantee that the person they marry has never had sexual contact with another person.  Even devout Christians who are home-schooled and go to an evangelical college can have a moment of weakness–and of course, Christianity is supposed to welcome people who have found Christ later in life.
HPV is no longer confined to cervical cancer.  Presumably thanks to a boom in the popularity of oral sex, which has gone from a minority taste in the 1950s to part of the standard repertoire of most couples, HPV is now popping up in an increasing number of head and neck cancers, as well as anal cancers (mostly among gay men).  Unlike cervical cancers, we don’t do routine screenings for throat cancer, so this may soon be a bigger problem than cervical cancer.
HPV may not even be a traditional STD much longer.  No one seems to know whether oral transmission is possible–I
know that with oral gonorrhea, it’s pretty rare, because the bacteria only infect the throat, not the lips and tongue.  But if the oral transmission route is possible–as it is with herpes–then your kid might get cancer through french kissing.
The primary purpose of vaccination is not necessarily to protect the vaccinated individual  …
The vaccine is extremely effective, and the reported side effects incredibly low.

Then Preston on the story of Heather Burcham, a 31 year old who died of cervical cancer, but not before being a key Perry ally in the fight to defend the mandate:

Fox aired this interview earlier today, with two friends of Heather Burcham. She died at the age of 31 due to cervical cancer, but in her last months she became an advocate for Gardasil, the 100% effective HPV vaccine. Gov. Rick Perry and Heather Burcham became friends in her dying months. Though he was governor at the time, Perry made time to check in on Burcham and visited her away from the glare of the press.

Watch the interview with Burcham’s friends, and decide for yourself if anything that Michele Bachmann has said about Perry, crony capitalism and Gardasil makes any sense.

And of course, read/watch the whole thing(s).

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Comments

I remember how the number of herpes simplex II (genital herpes) went from about 4M to 25M in a stunningly short time (5 years, I think), because it got into our college-age population. God only knows what the potential for a long-term quiet infection, like HPV, is.

After our experience with herpes and HIV, some people would think that failure by our government to make this vaccine available and routine would be negligence.

Are you sure that’s the right timeline? With all the controversy over the executive order, we haven’t heard anything about what Perry has done afterward to fight HPV. (Perry met Burcham because of the executive order, not before it.)

As I read and review this, it seems to me that Rick Perry may actually have a good case here and perhaps he should embrace it even more strongly, not run away from it. Yes, he can say that he made a mistake by enacting the policy via an EO and that in a democracy an executive must always obtain the consent of the governed (as expressed through the legislature) but here, the science is clear (nearly 100% effective), the harm potentially great (a horrible, preventable cancer), and that a leader must act when the public is at risk. This would, as I see it, have three benefits: 1) he can’t easily be labeled “anti-science” (whatever that means); 2) he shows that he is not afraid to admit when he makes a mistake and should have gone to the people for a full debate on the merits (take THAT Obama and your health-care fisaco); and 3) he demostrates the leadership qualities Obama lacks. And it could be his “Sister Souljah” moment that gives him some breathing room from “evangelicals” – who will likely support him in staggering numbers anyway.

Jerry – I’m reading both things, and you may well be correct, so I’ll edit the post to reflect that uncertainty.

I believe the issue with Perry not vaccine itself but that he a)made it mandatory even with opt out and b)pushed it through the executive order.

As I’ve said before, I’m a Perry guy, so take this for what its worth. I thought the restraint he showed in not using this as a debate retort showed an unusual amount of class. 95% of politicians in both parties would have waved this particular bloody shirt under the pummeling he got. That he didn’t speaks well of him, at least in my eyes.

At the time it happened, I was really upset about the vaccine mandate. Over the last year, as I’ve learned more about what was actually going on, and just how prevalent HPV has become, I’ve changed my mind. Particularly in light of the fact that by making it a mandate with an opt-out, it created a situation where insurance would cover the $360 cost. The vaccine appears to be effective, and potentially will get rid of a particularly nasty std that is surprisingly widespread, potentially very dangerous, and uncomfortably asymptomatic. Most people spread it without ever knowing they even had it. I guess I’m not seeing why we wouldn’t want to do that so long as parents were given a sufficient and proper chance to opt out.

I’m not wild about how the executive order was handled, but they guy has already apologized for it and admitted he was wrong. What else to people want him to do?

Personally, I thought Bachmann’s scaremongering on this was disgraceful and embarrassing. To the extent that she’s a spokesman for conservatism, she made us look stupid, and that she’s doubled down on it just convinces me that a woman whom I’d hoped would become a force in the House is now probably better off remaining a backbencher. For both her own sake and that of conservatives.

    The vaccines has only been around a couple of years.

    How do you know it is effective?

    And given the fact that males are exempt from the mandate what makes you believe the spread of HPV is not occurring?

      Aarradin in reply to syn. | September 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      It went through the same rigorous testing any new drug must go through to get FDA approval.

      The results were: 100% effectiveness vs 3 types of virus with no serious side effects. None. The minor side effect was soreness at the injection site for a few days.

      It has one of the best risk/reward ratios of any pharmaceutical on the market.

      Also, considering that there was an opt out, doesn’t that preclude the notion that this was a ‘mandate’? Anyone that didn’t want their child to receive the vaccination could simply sign a piece of paper saying so.

      The only mistake Perry made here was in doing this through executive order rather than going through the regular legislative process.

      If this is all his opponents can find to attack him with, I’m pretty certain he’ll be President for the next 8 years.

        It’s well known that FDA testing doesn’t catch everything– that would be a ridiculous expectation to have for a process applied to all drugs. Bunch of links to medical officials in that story– including the head of the Texas Medical Association.

        Also, considering that there was an opt out, doesn’t that preclude the notion that this was a ‘mandate’? Anyone that didn’t want their child to receive the vaccination could simply sign a piece of paper saying so.

        1) that is standard for mandated vaccinations in Texas
        2) it is NOT that simple– you have to get the correct state-provided form to request the proper paperwork (you can file the request for the form online), fill out the paperwork, get it notarized, then turn it in and get permission to skip that vaccine for two years. (Assuming that everything goes correctly.)

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | September 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    From what I’ve read, Perry showed no such “restraint” when he was forced to rescind the EO. Instead, he surrounded himself with cervical cancer victims as political props and demonized those who opposed the mandate as unconcerned with women’s health. As classy as his sneer that anyone who raises a question about in-state tuition for illegal immigrants wants to deny benefits based on race or ethnicity.

This HPV issue has been the lowest point for me in the Republican debates. Actually, there were two outstanding low points. The demagoguery displayed by Michele Bachmann (concerning vaccines, which she never objected to before in her state –and she added to it by then claiming indirectly that this vaccine to be the probable cause of brain damage) and Mitt Romney (concerning SS that he himself proclaimed to be a fraud) have been quite disappointing and disillusioning. I think Michele Bachmann is now toast since she has refused to step away from her earlier idiotic comments. IMHO, she hurt herself politically in more ways that just the presidential campaign (credibility). And Romney attacked Perry just as a Dem would. Not good if you are trying to show your conservative bona fides. He should know better.

Perry actually comes out looking better, especially when you hear the backgrounder, which never would have come out if not for the attacks on him. He’s looks to be a genuine, decent person who is also a hard nosed politician. Thanks, Michele.

    If Perry is so good why then did the Texas legislature stop Perry’s Gardasil mandate?

    And since Texas legislature successfully stopped Perry’s mandate does this mean all Texas legislature and constituients are bad people who want women to DIE OF CANCER!

    Good grief, did Perry create a Texas-sized MESS or what.

I agree with the sentiment of your post and I have no problem with Perry. I would just like to point out that I do believe that this particular vaccine should be voluntary though perhaps encouraged. I do believe there is a case for mandated vaccines amongst school age children, for example the MMR, because these children are vulnerable to acquiring and spreading theses diseases at that particular age and mass vaccinations creates a sort of collective immunity, however in the case of Guardisil it is not necessarily a school acquired disease so should not be a prerequisite for school enrollment and should be left to families to decide. Therefore, I can understand Perry’s original sentiment having concern for the children’s future, yet I understand his withdrawl of the mandate due to individual rights.

Now that the argument has movedon.org to ‘HPV is killing everyone’ then should not Gardasil vaccine be mandatory for every being on the planet?

Further; to focus ‘the cure for HPV’ on girls-only seems discriminatory.

Why do McCardle and Preston want to deny males the right to mandatory government cure for cancer?

This one issue is Perry’s permanent albatross hanging around every American’s right to be free from a hyper-paranoid hyperchondriatic society.

It is not enough I gotta be responsible for others mortgages, entertainment and art, their abortions, their birth control, their food stamps, their public schooling…..I now gotta be responsible for every aspect of their sexual lives?

“Moreover, the story now making the rounds is clearly an attempt to shift the spotlight from Perry’s Merck ties.

Just as I criticized Michele Bachmann for unwisely using one mother’s unvetted anecdote to bolster her criticism of Perry, I will repeat the warning against such demagogic tactics as the “erring on the side of life” defense. It’s a path that leads to the kind of heart-tugging Obamacare fables I’ve blasted for the past two years.

While the personal back story now being disseminated by Team Perry supporters may help explain why he did what he did, it does not in any way excuse it.

Nor does it bolster confidence that Perry’s bedrock understanding of the proper role of government in health care decisions is much different than Mitt Romney’s or Barack Obama’s.

That sucks, too.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/09/15/yes-cancer-sucks-but/

    I have to agree with you. I am perplexed at how Conservatives and Libertarians are now using the same demagogic heart-tugging tactics employed by Progressives in both D and R parties.

    I suppose their theory is that if their guy does it it must be good. Bizarre.

*sigh* And just more emotional arguments (listen to her friends talk, that will prove that all other points are invalid!) and attempts to shift the debate away from the whole mandated vaccination for an STD. (It’s all about sex! Sex! Sex! Pay no attention to the nanny-state executive order for little girls to take a new, expensive vaccine! Don’t notice that doctors said it was a bad idea, it’s all the scary religious people getting hung up on sex!)

Again, the jump from “associated with” to “causes,” again the failure to recognize that there are many strains of HPV. Gardasil covers the two that have the highest association with cancer, at 70%– maybe, someday, we’ll be able to make a rock-solid case for HPV causing the cancers because the rate of cancer will drop from the removal of those vaccinated strains. It’s possible that those strains of HPV find the pre-cancerous areas to be a good place to “hide” because the immune system can’t destroy the infection in those spots.
Even those experts who believe that it directly causes the cancer are careful to point out that“in practice the issue is more complex” than the whole ‘get vaccine, stop cancer’ type formula.

Be nice if the first post quoted let on that “sexually active” is not the same group as all the people who “ever have sex.” (Being a married woman who doesn’t sleep around, for example, caused my doctor to classify me as “not sexually active”…while caring for my pregnancy….)
Of course, she doesn’t seem to realize that they have to make estimates on infection rates– not because HPV can’t be detected, but because some of the infections go away on their own; just shocking how she doesn’t quote the following stat where they estimate one in a hundred sexually active people have it right now, eh? Guess that’s not as scary as the 50% claim.
(For bonus fun, the cancer-associated HPV isn’t the genital warts HPV which isn’t the normal warts HPV, and the CDC link that she offers doesn’t say which group of HPV they’re figuring; I’d guess from the rest of the page that it’s the STD HPV, which would be both cancer associated and genital warts.)

workingclass artist | September 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

@syn

“If Perry is so good why then did the Texas legislature stop Perry’s Gardasil mandate?”

Because the anti-vaccine folks,evangelicals & liberals raised hell about it…The legislature didn’t like the EO.

Checks & Balances.

Interesting that 2 issues used or expected to be used as attacks against Perry were never put into effect. Gardisil & TTC.

The one issue that Romney is attacking Perry on the Instate Tuition was enacted to avoid lawsuits in Texas. This was in reaction to Federal Law and replaced an older law. Education costs have gone down as a result. In Texas Texans see a difficult situation& try to come up with commonense solutions….Turn em’ into taxpayers….and illegals in Texas pay almost $1 Billion in state taxes. Texas isn’t California. Perry’s comment about a wall from Brownsville to El Paso is true as the Rio Grande River is the border between Texas and Mexico…Boots on the ground and consistent enforcement is the answer.

Anything any voter wants to know about immigration in Texas related to economy & state costs are here at this link.
http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/undocumented/

    Foxfier offered an excellent comment linking to doctor’s concerns disputing your “Because the anti-vaccine folks,evangelicals & liberals raised hell about it” accusations.

workingclass artist | September 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Meanwhile Romney gets another pass on Romneycare in Mass.

Sheeesh!

“…your kid might get cancer through french kissing” –McCardle

This statement is factually incorrect. McCardle should have said: your kid might get HPV through french kissing.

I know this is not your quote, but that it is incorrect should be pointed out. The premise of oral transmission is yet unproven at this point, regardless. Of course, transmission of the virus is a serious problem, because of its link to some types of cervical cancer (and possibly others); it is frightening that cancer has been linked to this virus, but you can’t say that kissing causes cancer. Trying to assert this is a stretch at best, IMHO.

McCardle’s view, except for the above, I agree with overall.

I chose to have my daughter vaccinated because HPV could cause her to get a preventable cervical cancer. I have no idea who she will marry; why would I withhold from her a vaccine that could save her from getting cervical cancer – the kind linked to HPV? As long as it’s safe, I believe it is the right choice to vaccinate her.

Note the key word: CHOICE. I chose this. My state, Virginia, tried this mandate – and it failed. Thankfully. I do not need the state (or federal) government to dictate to me that I must give this shot to my daughter. When it was first released, there were several questions about its long-term effects, and if it was adequately tested for safety. Waiting, and making it optional, were both reasonable and logical alternatives, at the time Perry mandated it (with an opt-out clause) via TX EO.

A mandate at the state level is possible, depending on the state’s constitution; however, that does not make it the best thing, or the right thing, for government to do. It is not an epidemic/pandemic-related virus, like smallpox or polio; therefore, mandating it is not essential to the public, IMHO.

Perry has apologized, said he was wrong, and said what he would have done differently today. What more do you want? Blood? (that is a rhetorical question, leftists!)

Why continue to beat this dead horse? Hold him to his word. If this is the worst thing about him, he is still several orders of magnitude BETTER than Obama!

Give it a rest, people. Perspective.

workingclass artist | September 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

There are pro’s and con’s with regards to tort reform in Texas but mostly it was very popular to Texans especially small business owners. The loser pays law was a big deal down here. Doctors like it too. Trial lawyers like Palin adviser & Superpac funder John Coale hates it.

I expect the reason Perry is running is to curtail federal interference in states. Texas has had a lot of problems since Obama has been president…Big State with a Big Target on it’s back. The whole gulf region has suffered due to the EPA.

workingclass artist | September 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

@mbabbitt
“And Romney attacked Perry just as a Dem would”

Yeah…Romney fell for that hook line & sinker. He’s fallen for the latest Perry salvo of calling Obama a socialist. Mitt told CNN he wouldn’t ue that term but of course he did in his book.
By the time Perry is through with Mitt he’ll make Romney look like an Oama ally.

It’s classic Perry campaign tactics…and part of why it’s fun to watch his campaigns.

Cowboy politics, It’s what’s for breakfast.
Perry is about the best there is in this type of rodeo.

workingclass artist | September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Perry used the EO because the vaccine would’ve been covered by insurance because of the mandate. There was the easiest opt out in terms of paperwork and going online and in fact since this was overturned by the legislature the opt-outs are harder in Texas now.

It was over as an issue for Texans a long time ago.

Alaska used federal money to do the same thing while Palin was Governor…so I mean C’mon.

    The “easy opt-out” was simply to make it the same as every other required vaccination– and no, you could NOT do it on line. You can request the form from the state to be allowed to not get vaccinated.

    The defense of “he did it that way to force insurance companies to pay for it” is REALLY not reassuring. If he cared that much, he should’ve done the conservative thing and set up a group to help pay for those who couldn’t afford the vaccine on their own.

    Alaska did NOT order vaccination of any children as a prerequisite to go to school under Palin– the Alaska Health Department had a federal grant to help those who couldn’t afford the vaccine, who wanted it, to get it. (At least one other vaccine was also subsidized.)

      workingclass artist in reply to Foxfier. | September 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      From an anti-gardisil activist dated 2/8/2007

      “If you live in the State of Texas and are against this latest proclamation by Governor Perry, help spread the word through e-mail lists, at church or at work: parents can opt out and refuse to have their daughters used as guinea pigs for the FDA and the big pharma companies. You can do it on line or request the exemption form via snail mail:

      Mail Code 1946
      Texas Department of State Health Services
      Immunization Branch

      Parents in Texas knew they could opt out. Perry signed legislation passed in Texas before this to make it easier for parents to opt out on vaccinations in an earlier session (I dis agreed with that one but the legislature passed it) My daughter was 13 at the time and I’m a Texas resident so I think I remember this issue pretty well…It never went into effect.

      Like many Texans I saw this for what it was…Liberal Hysteria.
      1100 W. 49th Street
      Austin, Texas 78756
      512.458.7544

        Quote from the executive order:
        Parents’ Rights.The Department of State Health Services will, in order to protect the right of parents to be the final authority on their children’s health care, modify the current process in order to allow parents to submit a request for a conscientious objection affidavit form via the Internet while maintaining privacy safeguards under current law.
        http://governor.state.tx.us/news/executive-order/3455/

        As I said before, it’s the self-same opt out available for all other mandatory vaccinations in Texas, and you can not opt out on line. You can request the form online, at which point it will be mailed to you, you can fill it out, get it stamped by a notary, and then turn it in for permission to say “no” for two years. (If that isn’t a great example of clunky gov’t design….)

        We all know that the forced vaccinations didn’t happen– that he was over-ruled by the legislature isn’t relevant. What matters is that he was willing to abuse his power to do something bone headed at best and cynically, manipulatively corrupt at worst.

Let’s discuss the handling of Gov. Perry. This is to my mind the central issue at hand. Let’s first consider the executive order issue by Gov. Perry. Gov. Perry issued an executive order making it mandatory that children of a early-teen age have the vaccine. In addition, the governor provided an “opt-out” provision whereby certain parents could apply for an exemption to the order.

As to the “opt-out” provision, the Association for American Physicians and Surgeons issued the following statement:

“Opting-Out” of HPV Vaccine WILL NOT WORK for Many in Texas

Governor Perry is misleading legislators and families in Texas by claiming that they will be able to “opt-out” of having their 6th grade daughter vaccinated with the vaccine for the sexually transmitted virus HPV. For many families currently, the exemption isn’t worth the piece of paper it is printed on. Besides the simple fact that parents should not have to get permission from the state to make informed consent medical decisions for their own children, here are four reasons why “opting-out” of sate mandated vaccines doesn’t work for many families in Texas: (http://www.aapsonline.org/vacc… .

It was only after the Texas legislature intervened that the executive order was lifted. Today Gov. Perry says his decision was a mistake and that he said he should have had an “opt-in” instead. So, was Gov. Perry right then or now?

Then there is that “small donation” matter. Gov. Perry mentioned that he was not for sale at $5,000. One wonders what the price would need to be? As it turns out, it was more like $30,000 in Merck direct donations. Moreover, the Washington Post revealed this week that the Republican Governors Association was a top donor to Gov. Perry. Point being that Merck stepped up its donations to the RGA when Gov. Perry was named to head it. In fact, Merck donated $380,000 to the RGA since Gov. Perry was named its head. The RGA has contributed $4M to the governor over the past 5 years.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/

et’s discuss the handling of Gov. Perry. This is to my mind the central issue at hand. Let’s first consider the executive order issue by Gov. Perry. Gov. Perry issued an executive order making it mandatory that children of a early-teen age have the vaccine. In addition, the governor provided an “opt-out” provision whereby certain parents could apply for an exemption to the order.

As to the “opt-out” provision, the Association for American Physicians and Surgeons issued the following statement:

“Opting-Out” of HPV Vaccine WILL NOT WORK for Many in Texas

Governor Perry is misleading legislators and families in Texas by claiming that they will be able to “opt-out” of having their 6th grade daughter vaccinated with the vaccine for the sexually transmitted virus HPV. For many families currently, the exemption isn’t worth the piece of paper it is printed on. Besides the simple fact that parents should not have to get permission from the state to make informed consent medical decisions for their own children, here are four reasons why “opting-out” of sate mandated vaccines doesn’t work for many families in Texas: (http://www.aapsonline.org/vacc… .

It was only after the Texas legislature intervened that the executive order was lifted. Today Gov. Perry says his decision was a mistake and that he said he should have had an “opt-in” instead. So, was Gov. Perry right then or now?

Then there is that “small donation” matter. Gov. Perry mentioned that he was not for sale at $5,000. One wonders what the price would need to be? As it turns out, it was more like $30,000 in Merck direct donations. Moreover, the Washington Post revealed this week that the Republican Governors Association was a top donor to Gov. Perry. Point being that Merck stepped up its donations to the RGA when Gov. Perry was named to head it. In fact, Merck donated $380,000 to the RGA since Gov. Perry was named its head. The RGA has contributed $4M to the governor over the past 5 years.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/

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