By Jenny Thompson on 09/24/2011
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. So I must be insane because I keep being surprised to see how the media reports on Gardasil.
And what surprised me this time was how wrong they got it when it wasn’t even really the point.
Missed it by a mile
I haven’t been paying too much attention to the presidential race. I mean, come on — we don’t cast our votes for more than a YEAR. So the “excitement” about Texas governor Rick Perry entering the race was only a tiny blip on my radar.
But then during the NPR “truth squad” report on the Republican debate, I realized I better start paying attention. After all, Rick Perry is THAT Texas governor — the one who tried to make the HPV vaccine mandatory for every female sixth-grader in Texas.
As you may recall, Gov. Perry tried to sneak that one through as an executive order, but the Texas legislature shot it down.
Now, four years later, the question of how big a role the government should play in our lives is a hot political topic. So Gov. Perry’s attempted intrusion into the lives of every young girl in Texas and her parents looms as a potential liability.
During the debate, candidate Ron Paul (who also happens to be an M.D.) jumped right on it. Dr. Paul said, “Just take the HPV, forcing 12-year-old girls to take an inoculation to prevent this sexually transmitted disease. This is not good medicine, I do not believe.”
This is NOT good medicine — you can be absolutely CERTAIN, Dr. Paul! (And, it turns out, it may be even worse politics.)
But then, Julie Rovner (an NPR health policy correspondent) piped up and…just completely blew it.
She noted that Dr. Paul is in “disagreement with the vast majority of the medical community.” And she followed that statement with a list of mainstream medical organizations that recommend HPV vaccines for children and adults.
Julie! You missed that one by a MILE! In this case, Dr. Paul’s point was not about the value of Gardasil, it was about “forcing” girls to take the vaccine.
All those organizations Julie listed “RECOMMEND” the vaccine. Not one of them has ever suggested that we follow Gov. Perry’s attempt to make the vaccine mandatory.
Big difference! HUGE difference!
And then, making it seem like Dr. Paul knew little about good medicine, Julie went completely off the rails, stating: “It’s a vaccine that prevents cancer…”
Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG!