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Romney Mailer in Northern Virginia Targets Lyme Disease

Northern Virginia residents received a mailer from the GOP candidate vowing to rid the state of "massive epidemic."

In a ploy that pundits see as a way to pander to voters in a battleground state, the campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has sent out mailers to Northern Virginians vowing to stamp out lyme disease.

Romney campaigned in Fairfax County last week in an invitation-only appearance before veterans in Springfield.

The mailer, paid for by Romney for President, Inc., calls the disease a "massive epidemic threatening Virginia" and says that the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will do more to fight the spread of the disease by "improving synergy" between agencies and "increasing awareness" among the public.

Virginia had 756 confirmed cases in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. In 2010, more than 22,500 confirmed and 7,500 probable cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States. Lyme disease is passed to humans by the bite of black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks in the eastern United States) and western black-legged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The Lyme disease bacterium normally lives in mice, squirrels and other small mammals.

The campaign mailers began arriving in mailboxes in Northern Virginia last week, according to a news report by Mother Jones magazine on Friday, headlined "Romney's Plan to Win Virginia? Lyme Disease."

The campaign ploy immediately caught the attention of the Twitterverse. Broadcaster Brit Hume tweeted: "Romney/Ryan have pledged to fight Va. Lyme disease, will their next big idea be a campaign to wipe out stink bugs?"

Political consultant Paul Begala tweeted: "Next: heartbreak of psoriasis. Romney vows to take on Virginia’s Lyme disease ‘epidemic’ in mailer"

A photo of the mailer can be seen here on the Huffington Post, reprinted from the Weekly Standard.

Here's what the campaign mailer said:

It's a disease that begins with small bug...

But Lyme Disease has quickly become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, devastating our families and our pets.

It's a serious problem - that demands immediate attention.

As president, Mitt Romney will ensure that real action is taken to get control of this epidemic that is wreaking havoc on Northern Virginians.

IMPROVE SYNERGY
Ensure that government agencies have an open line of communication and work with patients, researchers, doctors, and businesses in an objective, comprehensive manner.

INCREASE AWARENESS
Work with federal and state health agencies to support Lyme Disease awareness efforts to help prevent further spread of the disease.

Romney meets President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate on Wednesday.

What do you think about the mailer? Tell us in the comments box below.

knotta follower October 03, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Rid the creeks, rivers from pollution which pollute our bay maybe? Change the time we have to sit at stop lights may be? Create green jobs right here in NVA may be or even suggest moving jobs back from overseas to right here in VA. Tell people how to find help when they are faced with foreclosures. Lyme disease, really. Not saying it should be overlooked and I am sure there are families whose lives have been affected by this disease would contest.
Mac October 03, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Lyme disease is very serious , both me and my daughter have it. I gave it to her congenitally and I never had a bullseye or saw a tick. I live in NJ and I know more people with Lyme disease than I know without and I know a lot of people! They are linking this disease to MS, Alzheimer's , autism, fibromyalgia and other disease. The testing is horrible and most doctors don't take you seriously . This disease has cost me so much money and pain the government needs to do something and fast
Mac October 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Lyme disease In my opinion is one of the biggest problems and controversies facing this nation! I have Lyme disease and I also passed it along to my daughter yes that's right the doctors don't want you to know its congenital (the lyme bacteria is similar to syphillus which is congenital) I have spent the last 3 years trying to put myself into remission and care for my daughter. It had cost me a lot of money and pain and almost my family. I live in NJ and I know more people with this awful disease than I know without it and I know a lot of people. This disease is being linked to MS, fibromyalgia , autism , Alzheimer's and many other diseases. This is a huge fast growing epidemic and the government knows more than they would like to share on the subject . I don't know who I am voting for yet but thank you mitt Romney for publicizing this issue
Alexander Davis October 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
The Lyme epidemic is unnecessary. The wise residents of Monhegan Island Maine and Mumford Cove CT ended their Lyme epidemics by removing the deer. This was successful because Lyme is spread by deer ticks, and 95% of deer tick eggs come from ticks which feed on deer. It is estimated that ticks from just one deer produce 450,000 to 1,000,000 tick eggs per season. The adult egg-laying tick requires a sizeable mammal to feed on and cannot feed on a mouse, for instance. Removing the deer disrupts the tick life cycle. There is no place known where the tick life cycle has been generally sustained in the absence of deer. The deer tick infects us not only with Lyme disease but also with babesiosis and anaplasmosis, both of which can be fatal. These diseases are increasing in incidence and also are spreading. We have a choice: deer or disease.
Patience is virtuous October 03, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Looking forward to the debate tonight!
Patience is virtuous October 04, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Why Mitt Romney would make a claim to save people from Lyme disease is beyond me, if what he wants to do is leave it up to the states to take care of it (according to last night's debate). I agree with what Alexander Davis has to say about it, but it is unfortunate that killing deer would be the only cure.

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