• New Yorkers Reject Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccine
On October 22, New York Governor David Patterson and his Health Commissioner were forced to suspend the order for mandatory flu vaccines for New York’s healthcare workers. The decision came after demonstrations in Albany, massive letter-writing campaigns, two separate lawsuits, and blistering testimonies by vaccination critics before the state’s health committee in New York City. (Dr. Gary Null testified before the New York State Health Oversight Legislative Committee. See his article below.) Across the state there has been broad rejection of making the vaccines mandatory and many have spoken to the fact that they have not been proven safe or effective.
Schools in the Buffalo area, as one example, have seen large numbers of absences (20 percent of students in Iroquois, 35 percent in a Tonawanda school, meaning hundreds of students out sick). However, since most parents are keeping children with flu-like symptoms home, it is not clear if the illnesses are from swine flu or any other of a number of possible viruses. Many are also concerned that far from getting the healthcare they need, whatever the source of the illness, the government is instead focusing on requiring vaccines. And concerned about the vaccines themselves, which were fast-tracked, bypassing the usual FDA approval process. They are being rushed to hospitals and schools nationwide on the basis of very limited testing. Many researchers examining the safety and effectiveness of the H1N1 vaccine have documented that the vaccines themselves are more dangerous than the flu.
In addition, many places nationwide are already peaking in terms of the number of children out sick. This indicates that more generally the swine flu threat may peak much earlier than being predicted by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. health officials. It also means that while the government pushes the vaccines as the answer, in fact “high risk” groups, particularly children, will remain unprotected as they will be at risk before vaccinations they have been given take effect.
A Purdue University study published on October 15 in the journal Euro Surveillance assessed the efficacy of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) vaccination program. The study concluded that swine flu infection “will peak so early that the planned CDC vaccination campaign will likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.” The study also found that the vaccination program will likely achieve only a 6 percent reduction in the number of infected people. More important, in children being targeted as “high risk,” vaccine immunity will not be achieved until “at least four weeks after vaccination and would occur too late in the pandemic to make a significant difference in the number of infected in that age group.”
In addition the Cochrane Database Collaboration’s meta-analysis of all available influenza studies conducted over several decades revealed that there is “no convincing evidence that [flu] vaccines can reduce mortality, [hospital] admissions, serious complications and community transmission of influenza. In young children below the age of 2, we could find no evidence that the vaccine was different from a placebo.”
Dangers to pregnant women and their developing babies from the vaccination also remain. Every inactivated H1N1 vaccine package insert claims: no animal reproduction studies to observe potential fetal injury have been conducted for H1N1 vaccines. It is unknown whether the vaccine is excreted in human milk, and no studies have been completed to determine whether or not the vaccines and their ingredients are carcinogenic or impair fertility.”
Given this reality, statements by Governor Paterson that he wants vaccines available for “high risk groups,” which means small children, pregnant mothers, and the elderly, are of serious concern. These are the groups most likely to suffer negative effects from the vaccines themselves. Will schools now be used for mass vaccinations without parents’ consent? Will elderly and pregnant women be encouraged, or forced, to get vaccinations without regard to their negative impact? Keep in mind that the emergency measures in place mean the government and pharmaceuticals are protected against any liability claims from those injured by the vaccinations.
In addition, the emphasis on vaccinations instead of guaranteeing the right to healthcare indicates that the health and well-being of the people nationwide is not the concern of government. Indeed, with both federal and state governments putting emergency measures into effect — measures which permit mandatory vaccinations, quarantine, taking over public facilities and more — it would appear that the aim of the flu-scare is to justify such police state measures against the public. This includes the use of public resources, like schools, to implement them. People who recently participated in the actions against the G-20 directly experienced such police-state measures, justified there in the name of “dangerous protesters.” Federal, state and local police forces were used to repress dissent when no crime had been committed, in the name of “public safety.” Now we are experiencing the possibility of forced vaccinations and potentially quarantines of whole communities, also in the name of “public safety.” The reality is that the public and its health and safety are not at all on the government’s agenda.
President Obama and his top health officials are engaging in a major public relations effort to divert attention away from whether its swine flu vaccine is effective and safe – to whether there is enough of it to go around. And the media, as always, is cooperating fully. This echoes the way media debate was manipulated during the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. Instead of debating whether we should even be fighting those wars, the media debated only whether we were using the correct military strategy.
Increasing numbers of scientists and doctors are issuing harsh criticisms of the government’s plan to vaccinate (forcibly if necessary) virtually the entire U.S. population with a poorly tested vaccine that is not only ineffective against swine flu, but could cripple and even kill many more people than it helps.
The CDC’s public relations campaign has been running “scare” ads that portray swine flu as a full-blown “pandemic” responsible for snuffing out countless lives, and which, unless stopped by universal vaccination, could kill millions of American citizens. But scientists and health officials throughout the world have called the government’s claims unjustified and deliberately misleading.
For example, Dr. Anthony Morris, a distinguished virologist and former Chief Vaccine Officer at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), states that “There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza” and that “The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway.” […]
We hear the assumption being made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that the number of deaths from the H1N1 virus is at pandemic levels and now a “national emergency.” One would assume that with all of its resources, the New York Times’ October 26 front page story on the CDC’s statistics would be accurate: 20,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 deaths due to the swine flu. However, this is all fiction. And it is a fiction solely based upon the CDC’s own contradictory statements and actions.
Our independent investigations into the clinical trials and statistical studies of influenza vaccines reveal glaring discrepancies. Let us not forget that it is this same New York Times, with its “star” reporter Judith Miller, who led America into believing that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, tried to purchase yellow cake uranium from Niger, and had dealings with al-Qaeda. And let us also remember that it is the same CDC and health officials in Washington, including President Ford and his top health advisor Joseph Califano, who pushed through and propagandized an untested vaccine during the 1976 swine flu scare, which resulted in thousands of severely neurologically damaged Americans and about 500 reported deaths. Aside from permanent paralysis, many of these vaccine victims also underwent torturous processes for many years to get the government to recognize their illnesses and help cover their costs. Not only was the CDC’s prediction and vaccination campaign for the 1976 flu season a total disaster, it also turned into a deadly scandal, witnessed across the United States on 60 Minutes when Dr. David Sencer, then head of the CDC, confirmed that the vaccine was never field tested, that there were only several reported incidents of H1N1 infection and none of these had been officially confirmed, and then lied about the CDC having no prior evidence that the swine flu vaccine could cause severe and permanent neurological damage. The end result from the 1976 debacle cost the government $3.5 billion in damages, two-thirds were for severe neurological injury and death directly due to the CDC’s vaccination campaign.
Therefore, being anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine is not the most urgent issue. What is critical is whether or not there is legitimate, sound science to support either position; in this regard, the vaccine manufacturers and our federal health agencies have failed in the past, and continue to fail today. And they fail dismally. There is absolutely no evidence for sound-scientific protocol or anything resembling a gold-standard behind the swine flu infection statistics and vaccine efficacy and safety clinical trials to support Obama’s and his health advisors’ claims. Instead, the reports on hospitalizations and deaths due to the H1N1 virus are grossly distorted.
All flu vaccinations, including the swine flu, are useless for protecting people from the many prevalent infectious organisms causing flu-like symptoms.
There can between 150 and 200 different infectious pathogens — adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza, the very common coronavirus and, of course, pneumonia — that produce flu-like symptoms, and worse, during a “flu season.” For example, how many people have heard of bocavirus, which is responsible for bronchitis and pneumonia in young children, or metapneumovirus, responsible for more than 5 percent of all flu-related illnesses? This is true during every flu season and this year is no different.
The recent CBS Investigative Report, published on October 21, is provides important facts. After the CDC refused to honor CBS’s Freedom of Information request to receive flu infection data for each individual state, the network performed independent outreach to all fifty states to get their statistics. Their report contradicts dramatically the CDC’s public relations blitz. For example, in California, among the approximate 13,000 flu-like cases, 86 percent tested negative for any flu strain. In Florida, out of 8,853 cases, 83 percent were negative. In Georgia and Alaska, only 2.4 percent and 1 percent respectively tested positive for flu virus among all reported flu-like cases. If the infectious-rate ratios obtained by CBS are accurate, the CDC’s figures are significantly reduced and agree with earlier predictions that the H1N1 virus will be simply an unwelcome annoyance. So we are in the midst of an enormous medical hoax, a design and purpose that has yet to unfold completely, that will nevertheless reap huge revenues for the vaccine industrial complex. […]
Another example is a recent alarmist report issuing from Georgetown University, also usurped by federal health officials and the monopoly media to fuel a campaign of fear and panic. The report announced that over 250 students were infected by swine flu when in fact none of these students were tested for H1N1 infection. The university’s figure was based solely on a count of student visits to the health clinic and calls into an H1N1 hotline.
This is not the first time the CDC’s predictions for influenza strains have been overstated and miscalculated. In an interview on Swedish television, Dr. Tom Jefferson, head of vaccine studies at the prestigious international Cochrane Database Collaboration, after reviewing hundreds of influenza studies and statistical analyses, has said the UN’s World Health Organization, and the CDC’s “performance is not very good.” And in an ITN News interview last month, Jefferson called the swine flu pandemic a “juggernaut they [the WHO, government agencies and vaccine makers] created.” For the 1992-1993 season, the prediction was off by 84 percent. For the 1994-1995 season, it was off 43 percent for the primary strain and off 87 percent and 76 percent for two other strains. The Laboratory Center for Disease Control’s study comparing vaccine strains with the strains appearing during the 1997-1998 season found the match was off by 84 percent. Again Dr. Jefferson in a Der Spiegel interview remarked, “there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? ...An influenza vaccine does not work for the majority of influenza-like illnesses because it is only designed to combat specific influenza viruses. For that reason, the vaccine changes nothing when it comes to the heightened mortality rate during the winter months.”
No Scientific Studies by Pharmaceuticals
Our review of all clinical trial studies conducted by the H1N1 vaccine makers for pre-licensing in the American market — CSL, Novartis, Sanofi-Pasteur, Medimmune and now GlaxoSmithKline — reveals they were poorly designed and feebly executed. Any professor in molecular biology or virology would fail a graduate student who presented a paper relying on research conducted in the manner of the studies the vaccine corporations submit to the FDA. Nevertheless, it is this lack of sound randomized, double-blind controlled placebo studies, particularly for inactivated virus vaccines, that our government is declaring definitive and is using to justify mass vaccination of our population.
Last week, Switzerland’s health authorities rejected Novartis’ new swine flu vaccine, Celtura, being targeted for women and children, because the company’s studies were insufficient to guarantee its safety. In addition, the new Novartis vaccine, which uses a cell base from dogs, was found to be contaminated with canine-specific bacteria. The Swiss newspaper, Tagesanzeiger, also noted there remains some suspicion that Novartis’ new vaccine may be a repackaging of an earlier 2008 vaccine responsible for killing almost two dozen homeless people during an illegal clinical trial in Poland. This is the same Novartis whose Fluvirin H1N1 vaccine being distributed in the U.S. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant has reported a $6.1 billion profit so far this year and expects to boost sales for the final quarter with is swine flu vaccine.
In July, the CDC announced it would cease testing and counting H1N1 virus infections. Their public reason was simply that they are convinced there is a pandemic and, therefore, accurate monitoring was unnecessary. On August 30, the CDC declared the states should report influenza and pneumonia-associated hospitalizations and deaths together, not singling out actual cases of H1N1 infection if there happen to be any actually confirmed from a laboratory. This has always been the CDC’s policy, and the 36,000 figure of annual flu deaths repeated ad nausea on their website and spewed from the media’s health pulpits for several years straight, does not distinguish between pneumonia, influenza and other flu-like pathogenic deaths.
Elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe, civilians are increasingly rejecting the H1N1 vaccine. Recent polls in Germany and Austria show only 13 and 18 percent respectively willing to take the shot. In Sweden, four vaccine related deaths have been announced and almost 200 healthcare workers have reported becoming more seriously ill from the vaccination than they might have from a flu infection. In the US, anywhere from 90-99 percent of adverse events go unreported.
[We encourage] people to simply shut off the CDC’s supported propaganda noise being blasted across the airwaves and newspapers — the spectacle of newscasters being inoculated, interviews with government health officials or private doctors and academics receiving consultation fees from drug makers, and the drivel of the New York and recognize the hoax behind the swine flu pandemic.
Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries.
Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health, a documentary filmmaker and the plaintiff on a law suit against the FDA to prevent the launch of the swine flu vaccine until safety studies have been thoroughly conducted.
We reprint below a letter from New York healthcare workers, opposing forced vaccination of all healthcare workers, mandated by an executive order by New York State Health Commissioner Richard Daines. While New York Governor David Paterson temporarily halted the plan for forced vaccinations, saying there were insufficient vaccines available, the potential for the policy to be implemented, as well as for a law regarding mandating vaccines to be passed, remains.
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This letter is from healthcare workers. You see us every day. We are your neighbors. We are your friends. You say peace to us in church. Our children play soccer together. We minister to you. We minister to your family. We coach you through grueling labors as you struggle to have your children. We help you believe in your personal strength as you gain the confidence needed for parenting. We kneel on the hard floor next to you, working relentlessly to help your baby learn to breast feed. We work 12-hour shifts, and sometimes we never even stop for a bathroom break, because you need us.
We are there for you in surgery, listening to your anxieties patiently and offering soothing reassurances. We hold your hand when you are scared, offering a quiet assurance that you are not alone. We care for your mothers and fathers with a sense of respect and compassionate effort to help them maintain their dignity. We listen to you about their idiosyncrasies, and manage to individualize their plans of care. We set goals with you in rehabilitation, and work by your side to help you achieve these goals. We are right next door to you. We do not live on some commune eating alfalfa leaves with our “crazy ideas.” We are everyday people — you have seen us, you have trusted us, and you know we have been passionate about the care we have provided to you. We love our professions and the opportunity they give us to minister to you.
Now, we need your help. As a group of healthcare workers, we are being mandated by New York State to receive the seasonal flu vaccine and H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines. If we do not receive these vaccines by November 30th, that inaction is to be considered our resignation. We must sign a consent for the vaccines prior to their administration. The manufacturers have been granted immunity by the government; they cannot be sued for untoward effects.
We do not want to receive these vaccines. Our educated studies of risks versus benefits conclude that the risks of the vaccine are greater than the possible benefits. You know us — you know we live by, “First, do no harm.” We have many times extended ourselves to you, but our research concludes these vaccinations are not a safe choice for us.
For many of us, being forced to receive the vaccine would be being forced to compromise our religious principles. All health care workers with direct patient care are mandated to receive the vaccine, so the coercion is real — we cannot just go find a job “somewhere else.” And the job market of 2009 does not offer opportunity in a different arena where we could still feed our families.
We understand the fear that swine flu and influenza has generated. While our sources of information indicate that swine flu is not a pandemic, we know that the slanted research fed by the media offers results intended to frighten the public. We do not have the power to stop the fear that mass hype is able to generate. However, we will wear masks and continue to practice our aggressive hand washing during peak flu seasons if that is what assures you. We hear the hype you are fed. We do not want to bring you harm, but we should not be forced into harm’s way ourselves.
The seasonal flu vaccine is a guess as to what epidemiologists think will present the coming year as flu. Many times, the guess is wrong. And each year the vaccine is loaded with toxins and preservatives injected into muscle tissue which is not meant to filter toxins. It has clear risks. We have healthy immune systems to fight disease. The seasonal flu vaccine is new every year — so can you tell us how well it is tested?
In that respect, the H1N1 vaccine has been rushed out with minimal testing. Testing was to occur over a three-week period, and in the rush to be the fastest providers of the vaccine, manufacturers were funded for production before that brief period was even concluded. The results — ask the dead squirrels — did not matter. They will be using an adjuvant (additive) in the H1N1 vaccine that had been pulled off the market because of its association with Gulf War Syndrome but is now being allowed to quickly get this vaccine out to the public. In the 1970’s, they released a vaccine for H1N1 that was pulled off the market because it resulted in a significantly high incidence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Healthcare workers will be the clinical test. We will be enrolled in a clinical trial without consenting to be research subjects.
[New York State’s forced vaccination] violates the Bill of Rights. It declines our freedom to practice our religion and expects us to compromise our moral code by penalizing us with loss of employment. It obtains us as human research subjects in a clinical trial that we do not consent to. It denies us our right to refusal of a medication by putting us under duress. It also mandates consent under duress, which makes the consent itself invalid. We are being put in a situation of coercion and assault. We fear loss of employment by exercising our freedom of speech and speaking out against this injustice.
Do not let New York State proceed with this [forced vaccination]. It will only become a precedent for further violations of our freedoms. We are everyday people and we do not have the monetary means to fight this individually, it is a huge battle. The New York State Nurses’ Association had already spoken out against mandated vaccines when the law was just a bill, but their voice was not considered. We do not have time to wait for “someone else” to fight this battle, we need every individual’s help to make a large public voice [against this government policy.]
Nurses Win Settlement for Swine Flu Hospital Safety Measures
While governments at the federal and state level have been emphasizing use of unsafe vaccines with no proven effectiveness as the way to contend with swine flu, nurses across the country have been organizing to demand that hospitals meet basic safety standards. These standards are often waived as part of “emergency measures.” They include providing masks, proper isolation of those infected, and uniform enforcement of all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Nurses in Seattle, Tennessee and elsewhere have been taking action to require hospitals meet these standards, while also opposing forced vaccinations. In California, nurses organized, protested and threatened to strike in order to force California to release millions of safety masks to use to help stem spread of the flu. As a result of their concerted struggle, the California Nurses won a settlement that provides increased safety for patients and healthcare workers and an example for hospitals and governments nationwide. We reprint the report from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, www.calnurses.org.
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In a dramatic settlement seen as a novel pattern for the nation, the nation’s largest nurses union and professional association, and one of the country’s biggest hospital systems, today announced a landmark agreement that sets a national standard on containing the spread of pandemics such as H1N1 “swine flu.”
“With this agreement, we are charting a new course for limiting the spread of not only swine flu but all other dangerous pandemics that are yet to come,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, CNA/NNOC executive director. “We are pleased that Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) is joining with us to set the highest possible hospital safeguards for patients and nurses and creating an innovative model that every hospital in America should follow.”
The settlement involves 13,000 registered nurses in 32 CHW facilities in California and Nevada who are represented by CNA/NNOC.
Emergency Pandemic Task Force to Protect Patients and Public
A centerpiece of the agreement is the creation of a new system-wide emergency task force, comprised of CNA/NNOC Registered Nurses (RNs) and hospital representatives following the declaration of pandemic emergencies. The task force will monitor system-wide preparedness and set uniform standards on full implementation of federal, state and local guidelines, availability of the property safety protective equipment, communication and training policies for all hospital personnel, and other needed steps, such as consideration of off-site emergency triage and treatment.
At each facility, CNA/NNOC nurse committees, in cooperation with facility infection control teams, will implement the system-wide policies and procedures.
In addition, the new CNA/NNOC contract covering CHW facilities will include:
• Employer agreement at each facility to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, such as those set by the Centers for Disease Control and California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to limit the spread of communicable diseases, like proper isolation of patients with H1N1 symptoms. Including the guidelines in the CNA/NNOC contracts gives them the added force of contract law.
• Assurance that RNs “shall be provided” appropriate equipment and attire to stem contagion, such as single-use, N95 respirator masks when available.
• Guarantee that the employer will provide information and training for nurses on communicable diseases to which they may have been exposed.
Important Step in Hospital Safety
Nurses from CHW praised the settlement, which also averted a strike that had been called for Oct. 30, as an important step in securing better safety measures in their hospitals. “This is a breakthrough that should go a long way to making our hospitals safer and better prepared for containing the spread of H1N1 and stop the unnecessary exposure of fragile patients, their family members, or nurses and other staff to the virus,” said Carol Koelle, RN at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino.
“Catholic Healthcare West nurses have stood together to protect our communities and our patients. Our unity has been essential to achieving a novel agreement that we think will help patients, nurses and our communities now and in the future,” said Allen Fitzpatrick, RN at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco
“We have been increasingly alarmed at the spread of this virus and the difficulties we have faced in ensuring the highest standard of safety measures. Now we can proudly expect the best possible standards to limit contagion and protect our members as well,” said Kathy Dennis, RN at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento
“We are proud to have achieved an agreement that will strengthen our ability to provide safe care for our patients,” said Portia Fiesta, RN at St. Rose Dominican in Las Vegas.
In calling the terms a national model, CNA/NNOC repeated that it continues to hear from nurses at other hospitals across the nation of serious lags in hospital readiness in such major areas as isolating contagious patients, distribution of N-95 masks, re-use of the masks, informing staff when they have been potentially exposed, and training everyone on the best policies and procedures.
“Now that the President has declared a national emergency on swine flu, it is more important than ever that we have uniform, consistent safety policies in every hospital to protect the public,” said CNA/NNOC’s Catholic Facilities Division Director Jill Furillo, RN. “There should be no more excuses for any hospital to fail to follow this model.”
The article below was written in response to the first public health emergency based on swine flu, declared in April. President Barack Obama has again declared a national “swine flu” emergency.
On April 26, a national public health emergency was declared by officials in the U.S. Departments of Health and Homeland Security. We were told it was necessary to declare a national emergency because people were getting sick from a new swine flu virus that began in Mexico and might cause a deadly influenza pandemic. So far, the vast majority of people who get sick with swine flu have symptoms no worse than the regular flu and recover completely.
The declaration of a national public health emergency last spring set a chain of events in motion: some schools were closed, some people were quarantined and drug companies were given billions of tax dollars to create experimental swine flu vaccines. These new vaccines are being fast tracked by the FDA. We are being told they will only be tested for a few weeks on a few hundred children and adults before being given to children in schools in October.
Under federal legislation passed by Congress since 2001, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows drug companies, health officials and anyone who gives experimental vaccines to Americans during a declared public health emergency, to be protected from liability if people get hurt.
The National Vaccine Information Center has been a vaccine safety watchdog since 1982. We are questioning the need to turn schools into medical clinics this fall where swine flu vaccines being rushed to market will be given to children first. We are calling on the Barack Obama Administration and state Governors to provide solid evidence to parents that it is necessary to give children experimental swine flu vaccines in schools. [The government has not provided evidence concerning the safety of vaccines — VOR]. States are supposed to obey vaccine safety provisions in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which include:
1. Giving parents written information about vaccine benefits and risks before children are vaccinated;
2. Keeping a record of which vaccines the children get, including the manufacturer’s name and lot number;
3. Recording which vaccines were given in the child’s medical record;
4. Recording serious health problems that develop after vaccination in the child’s medical record and immediately making a report to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
And there are more questions that need to be answered: Are the states prepared to provide financial compensation to children harmed by swine flu vaccines given in schools? Are parents going to be given complete, truthful information about swine flu vaccine risks and have the right to say “YES” or “NO” before their children are lined up and vaccinated in the school setting?
Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury or death and those risks are greater for some than oth ers. 1 in 6 children in America is learning disabled, 1 in 9 has asthma, 1 in 150 develops autism, 1 in 450 has diabetes and millions more suffer with allergies and autoimmune disorders. Will the swine flu vaccine be safe for them?
...It is a bad idea to turn schools into medical clinics and basically test experimental swine flu vaccines on children first. Especially when nobody has any liability. That has the potential to hurt children instead of keeping them well.
The National Vaccine Information Center provides information on federal and state laws that come into effect during an emergency. .For more information concerning these laws and actions go to www.NVIC.org.
W ith all the promotion of a “swine flu epidemic” state governments are acting to promote emergency powers legislation. Pennsylvania is among the states where bills have been introduced. It will be remembered that during the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh, the federal government used that opportunity to attack the public as a whole, by closing schools, closing downtown, blocking use of the public parks and more. It was clear that the supposed “danger” from “protesters” used to justify these broad attacks did not exist, but nonetheless was promoted and spread by the government. The situation with the “national emergency” concerning the swine flu is similar – the “danger” does not exist but is being promoted and spread by governments. It would appear that it is for similar purposes – to increase the ability of federal and state governments to attack the public and use police forces for repression of those who resist. Here are a few excerpts from Pennsylvania House Bill 492, the Emergency Health Powers Act.
Section 2523-D. Effect of declaration
(b) Emergency powers of Governor – During a state of public health emergency, the Governor may:
(4) Mobilize all or any part of the Pennsylvania National Guard into service of the Commonwealth. An order directing the Pennsylvania National Guard to report for active duty shall state the purpose for which it is mobilized and the objectives to be accomplished.
Section 2532-D. Access to and control
The public health authority may exercise, for such period as the state of public health emergency exists, the following powers concerning facilities, materials, roads or public areas:
(3) To control, restrict and regulate by rationing and using quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale, dispensing, distribution or transportation of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles, as may be reasonable and necessary for emergency response.
Why does H1N1 (swine flu) call for a Presidential designation as a national emergency, while the preventable deaths of 45,000 Americans every year — 122 every day — is not? Swine flu leads the news. […] But the swine flu is no match for the killing going on at the hands of the for-profit healthcare system in these United States. We bury kids, pregnant moms, babies, teens, young fathers, mid-lifers and older folks too without even batting an eye in the chambers of power in this nation.
Some have termed it the spine flu as they say it is the failure of our leadership to stand up to the money interests promoting and protecting this system. But it is worse than simply failing to stand up to the for-profit insurance industry, the big pharmaceutical companies, the large hospital conglomerates, the medical equipment profiteers and the financial service industry salivating at the prospects of more suffering and more want for healthcare in this nation.
There is no lack of spinal fortitude in this lot of legislators or in the Oval Office. They stand up to the American people just fine. We voted for a man who told us he knows healthcare is a basic human right yet we have a President who is not willing to issue a cease fire in this profit-driven healthcare war against his own citizens.
We swept in with him large numbers of Congressional members who said they got it — they would stop the carnage at the hands of the broken system. But we are told to wait. It is hard — they say — to get their bipartisan reform done. Blue Dogs might be upset. The Republicans want to protect the free market of death-care, and the Democrats want to stay in office. So they all stand up all right, they stand up for their own self-interests and the death count rises ever higher each day.
Yet, they dribble and dawdle and bumble and act as though it is just too damned difficult to immediately stop the losses. Extend Medicare like coverage to all, right now, and then haggle about the details later boys and girls.
Issue an executive order, President Obama. Declare a national emergency. No one denied care when it is available. Save the lives of as many as you can right now. It could be that simple. Really.
It is a national health emergency in this nation when pregnant 24-year-olds like Jenny Fritts of Indiana are turned away from appropriate care because she does not have a way to pay for it and she dies along with her baby. It is a national emergency when teenagers like Nataline Sarkisyan are denied lifesaving treatments until protests grow loud enough to pressure the insurance industry and she dies due to that delay and the need to protest.
So, if the hospital that killed Jenny Fritts had treated her (and her unborn child) and was then worried about the money to cover her care, is that something we can fix? That is an issue we have time to haggle over. But the time to save Jenny came and went. We allowed her to be killed. And because we all know these deaths are happening every single day in every single state in this nation, we are all to be held to account.
The media does not help either. They are leading the news with the swine flu fears but completely ignoring the kids and moms and dads and neighbors dying underfoot for a lack of healthcare of any kind when they need it. Shameful excuse for journalism in most cases, I am afraid.
A public health emergency is defined as “an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition, caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents of permanent or long-term disability. Such illness or health condition includes, but is not limited to, an illness or health condition resulting from a national disaster.”
What do we not understand about the appropriate role of our elected and democratic government to protect us from such a threat, killing 122 of us every day? As far as I am concerned, the whole lot of them are not fulfilling their legal duties to me or to the rest of the citizens of this nation. They are failing in the most fundamental way to protect for the common welfare and common good of this nation.
Declare the emergency, Mr. President. Back him up, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid. Treat the sick. There is time to fight the payment battle. Healthcare is a basic human right in America!
Donna Smith is a community organizer for the California Nurses Association.