Let me get this straight. Republican Presidential front-runner Rick Perry is catching heat for mandating that girls get vaccinated against the human papilloma virus — not because he awarded the contract to a
crony political ally, but rather because it encourages premarital sex? And faced with that kind of heat, he’s backpedalling?
HPV causes cervical cancer, and those girls were going to have sex, or not, regardless of whether they got the vaccination. The only possible objection to the vaccination I can think of would be the cost, and the cost of vaccinations today is dramatically less than the cost of cancer treatments tomorrow. Vaccinations are good public policy and even for the most libertarian amongst us, this has to be at least eligible for consideration under the “E.D. Kain’s campfire category” of situations when government activity makes sense:
… campfire bans may seem like a terrible affront to personal liberty, but in a bad drought with high winds, lighting a campfire that soon turns into a wildfire that burns homes and cattle and wilderness lands strikes me as much worse.
As for the cronyism, at the time that the contract was awarded, the company to whom the contract was awarded had the only approved vaccine. Maybe there was competition coming down the pipe* soon; the question, though, is whether it’s a good idea or not to immunize your children from a disease. The answer to that question is so blindingly obvious it ought not to warrant sober consideration.
Of all the things that Rick Perry could be criticized for, this is one of the most insane yet.
* That’s for you, Tim.