NOTE: On Jan. 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the Final Rule amending the --- regarding Control of Comunicable Diseases. It can be read here. The following commentary was published during the public comment period before the law was amended.
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I remember the day in 2007, when I was standing in front of a Maryland country courthouse videotaping interviews with mothers and fathers lined up with children, who had been thrown out of school for failing to show proof they had gotten chickenpox and hepatitis B shots. 12 State public health officials were threatening the parents with fines and jail time and suddenly, as we were talking, men in uniforms with guns and dogs emerged from the courthouse and headed toward us. In the pit of my stomach was the sickening feeling that people in countries throughout history have felt when the exercise of freedom of thought, speech and conscience is met with a demonstration of police power wielded by agents of the State.
Today, the American people are challenged, as they have never been before, to confront the expansion of government authority over our bodies and the bodies of our children, specifically the exercise of police power to take us into custody and isolate us without our consent whenever public health officials believe we are sick or could become sick. At stake is the preservation of human rights and cultural values that have been part of America since the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights defined civil liberties two centuries ago.
Are public health officials getting ready to apprehend and quarantine you or your child if they believe you are, or could become, infected with measles or any other communicable disease they decide is a threat to the public health?
Are they enlisting airline and other public transportation personnel to help them conduct a dragnet that will be easy for you to get caught up in when you travel?
Once you are detained, can they hold you for 72 hours against your will until you agree to be vaccinated or they declare you are no longer a threat?
Is this for real or not? You be the judge.
CDC Moves to Amend Public Health Service Act
During the last days of summer, while we were vacationing, shopping for school supplies or, in the case of Virginia families, while we were busy pleading with legislators to protect the medical and religious vaccine exemptions in state vaccine law, 34 public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were quietly publishing a very long Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the August 15, 2016 Federal Register to amend federal public health law. 5 The part of the Public Health Service Act they want to strengthen is the part that gives them power under the US Constitution 67 to restrict the freedom of a person entering the U.S. or traveling between states if they believe the person is infected or could become infected with certain kinds of communicable diseases. 8
You only have until Oct. 14, 2016 to make a public comment to the CDC and contact your legislators in Congress, so please take this seriously because what the CDC is proposing applies to all Americans who travel outside the country or between states, especially on commercial airlines. In the future, it could extend to any form of transportation when you cross state lines, including by bus, train or car.
Involves States With Police Powers
This Notice of Proposed Rule Making – or NPRM - involves the participation of federally funded state health departments and state facilities, too, because the majority of police power to detain, isolate and quarantine citizens belongs to the states. 910 Many state legislatures, which have legal authority to pass laws controlling communicable diseases within state borders, voted to give public health officials expanded police powers after Sept. 11, 2001 by adopting the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) 111213 and The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act 14 created at Georgetown University’s Center for Law and the Public’s Health and the CDC Collaborating Center Promoting Health through Law.
If this NPRM is implemented and the states follow suit, you and your children could be vulnerable to detention and quarantine if health officials decide you are, or could become, a transmitter of measles or other infections because, for example, your electronic medical records reveal you have not gotten every dose of every CDC recommended vaccine. Let’s not forget that no government agency, corporation or person, who creates, produces, sells, licenses, recommends, mandates or administers a federally recommended vaccine to you or your child, has accountability or liability in a court of law in front of a jury of your peers if you become brain injured or die from vaccination.151617
The Quarantine List Was Short But Not Anymore
In a nutshell, the federal government is consolidating and strengthening power that was originally used to prevent persons with yellow fever and cholera from disembarking from ships entering US ports in the 19th century and causing epidemics on land.18 For most of our country’s history, the list of contagious diseases that allowed government health officials to detain and quarantine people without their informed consent was appropriately very short, confined to a few very serious contagious diseases, including yellow fever, smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, and the plague.
It is worth noting that polio was never put on that list.
In the past 15 years, CDC officials persuaded two Presidents to issue Executive Orders in 2003, 2005 and 2014 to expand the “isolate and quarantine” list. In 2003, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, such as Ebola, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS were added. 19 In 2005, pandemic influenza was added. 20 But in 2014, the Presidential Executive Order did not name a specific disease that would warrant detention and quarantine, it simply described “diseases associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness” that have “the potential to cause a pandemic” or are “highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.” 21
Now, the word, “morbidity,” means the incidence or how often a disease occurs in a population, 22 and is very different from mortality, which means death. There are many viral and bacterial infections that occur quite often in our country, like bronchitis and the stomach flu. Almost every infection has the potential to cause serious complications, injury or death for some people, but that doesn’t mean government health officials should have the power to take you into custody and isolate you if you look sick or have been around someone who is sick.
Displaying symptoms of respiratory illness is wide-open territory, and those symptoms can be due to everything from severe allergies, asthma and COPD to sinus infections, pertussis, measles, chickenpox, and pneumonia. Other symptoms that could get you detained under the NPRM are vomiting and diarrhea or a fever over 100 degrees, which are common to everything from allergic reactions, inflammatory bowel disease, salmonella and norovirus infections to hangovers and the common cold. How about a headache with stiff neck that could be nothing more than a bad migraine?
CDC Puts Measles in Same Basket with Ebola
So people took notice when the CDC announced on Aug. 15 that there was an urgent need to amend federal public health law to “reduce and mitigate the risk of outbreaks of Ebola, MERS, measles and other communicable diseases in the U.S.”
Let’s see, Ebola is a lethal, highly contagious virus that can quickly overwhelm and damage the human immune system and cause uncontrollable bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and every orifice, killing 25 to 90 percent of people who get it. 2324 And then there is measles, which I remember having as a child for a week while I took naps, wore sunglasses and read books with my Mom, ate chicken noodle soup and sipped fruit juice until the spots went away. That was my experience with measles in the 1950’s and it was the commonplace experience of 99.99 percent of baby boomers in America, who got measles or chickenpox.
In 1960, three years before the measles vaccine was licensed, the death rate for that childhood infection was 0.2 cases per 100,000 persons.25 Before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, there were about 100 deaths per year in a U.S. population of 260 million people. 26 A case of measles or chickenpox does not come close to qualifying as a public health emergency that requires a person to being taken into custody by a government official.
Have a Rash? You Could Be Detained
And, yet, the CDC is arguing that, “The ongoing persistence of measles in the United States provides a good example of the need for this NPRM,”27 and “Although not a quarantinable communicable disease, every case of measles in the United States is considered a public health emergency because of its extremely high transmissablity.”28
So in the NPRM, the CDC defines a potentially “ill” person deserving of special government scrutiny to be someone with “areas of the skin with multiple red bumps, red, flat spots or blister like bumps filled with fluid or pus that are intact or partially crusted over,” warning ominously that “the presence of skin rash, along with fever, may indicate that the traveler has measles, rubella (German measles), varicella (chickenpox) meningococcal disease or smallpox.” 29
Smallpox? As in the infectious disease that the smallpox vaccine is supposed to have eradicated from the earth? Or is the CDC talking about weaponized smallpox, as in the weapons of mass destruction that have never been found and prompted the U.S. Congress to create a lucrative public-private partnership with the pharmaceutical industry after Sept. 11, 2001 to create lots of new liability free vaccines under the umbrella of “bioterrorism?” 3031
OK, let’s accept that there is an extremely small possibility that the traveler could be infected with weaponized smallpox, but let’s also admit that it is far more likely that the traveler with a skin rash is suffering from a bad sunburn, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, the hives, or severe allergies and that a mild fever could be due to an old fashioned cold. The specter of babies with eczema, teenagers with acne and families who spent too much time in the sun being pulled off airplanes and detained in CDC quarantine centers32 at airports around the country is comical, if it were not such an obvious warning that Americans are in clear and present danger from federal government overreach.
CDC officials appear to be obsessed with measles in the NPRM. They point out that, “different diseases may elicit different levels of responses at the public health department level, with a more rapid response for highly infectious diseases like measles that can be prevented with timely post-exposure prophylaxis, and a more measured response for less infectious diseases like TB.” 33 The term “post-exposure prophylaxis” means they want to inject you with MMR vaccine.
Tuberculosis has been on the “isolation and quarantine” list for decades. Now the CDC is implying that measles is more dangerous than tuberculosis. Come to think of it, the NPRM looks like it was written with Merck - the sole source supplier of MMR vaccine in the U.S. - at the drawing table.
CDC Wants Airline Personnel to Report If You Are Sick
In the NPRM, the CDC uses their familiar refrain, “communicable diseases are just a flight away,” and this is a heads up that your airport experience is about to become an even bigger nightmare than it already is if their plan becomes law. Frequent flyers, you should know that the CDC wants to, in effect, deputize commercial airline personnel to step up surveillance on passengers, who have rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, low grade fevers, coughing or otherwise “appear obviously unwell” and report them to health officials.34 I wonder how much money it is going to cost the airlines to train their personnel to be infection control nurses and snitch on passengers who “appear unwell” like coughing too much or going to the bathroom too often?
And if you are suspected of being sick or likely to get sick with an infection that health officials consider serious enough to qualify for detention, here is what will happen:
After You Are Taken Into Custody
After you are taken into government custody, it appears you can be held for 72 hours without the right to contact an attorney or anyone else to appeal your detention. You will be asked to sign a contract with the CDC that you consent to the “public health measures” being applied to you or your minor child, which may include “quarantine, isolation, conditional release, medical examination, hospitalization, vaccination, and treatment.”35
But even if you don’t voluntarily agree to sign that contract, public health officials can still do whatever they want to do to you because “the individual’s consent shall not be considered a prerequisite to any exercise of any authority” by the CDC.36 And if government officials do release you from detention, you can be electronically tracked and monitored, including by electronic tracking devices you have to wear or by email, cell phone texts, video conferencing and voicemail. 37
It will be easy for the CDC to electronically track and monitor your movements after they release you. Since the early 1990’s, when Congress passed the phony HIPAA “privacy” legislation, federal health officials have been using your tax dollars to create and operate electronic medical records and vaccine tracking systems that use health care identifiers to keep tabs on how healthy or sick you are, what kind of drugs you take, and which vaccines you have gotten. 383940 HMOs are hooked in 41 so your medical information, including your vaccination status, can be shared with gernment researchers, pharmaceutical companies and law enforcement officials. 42
You Can Be Fined and Jailed for Disobeying CDC Orders
And if the CDC finds you guilty of disobeying their orders and they believe you transmitted an infection to someone else, you can be fined “$100,000 if the violation does not result in a death, or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death, or one year in jail or both.” 43 Plus they have added this curious language without explanation: “Violations by organizations are subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death, or $500,000 per event it the violation results in a death.”44
Right now, measles is not officially on the “detain and quarantine list.” But measles easily could be put on that “isolate and quarantine” list if CDC officials convince the President to issue an Executive Order if or when the NPRM becomes law after Oct. 14, 2016.
Eradicating Measles From the World
It is no mystery why the CDC gave measles a lot of attention in the NPRM. Measles is the next infection that the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control want to “eradicate” through global forced vaccination programs like they did with smallpox and polio.45464748 In underdeveloped countries, armed police with dogs join forces with doctors with syringes and hunt down every last citizen to get them vaccinated 495051 with, in this case, it would be an MMR shot or two, or three…or more.
Reportedly, the global measles eradication campaign 52 will kick into high gear after public health officials soon make the announcement that polio has been eradicated from the earth. 53 That declaration will be made, even though vaccine strain polio paralysis is crippling children, who have been given live oral polio vaccine over and over and over again in mass vaccination “pulse” campaigns. 54555657
The Long Arm of the Public Health Police
It looks like federal health officials are upping the ante in the high stakes chess game that industry, government and medical trade have been playing with the freedom of the American people for a long time. The long arm of the public health police is being felt already in states like Mississippi, West Virginia and California, which have eliminated vaccine exemptions, and forced vaccination lobbyists in dozens of other states are attacking exemptions protecting freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief. 5859 Pediatricians are being encouraged to become belligerent enforcers of vaccination and deny medical care to children, whose parents refuse to give them every one of the 69 doses of 16 vaccines CDC officials recommend. 60 6162 And nobody can forget the manufactured public health crisis in 2015, when a few cases of measles at Disneyland turned into a media feeding frenzy, with calls for doctors to be stripped of their medical licenses for criticizing vaccine safety and providing care to unvaccinated children, and for censorship of freedom of speech about vaccination, and for parents of unvaccinated children to be charged with medical child abuse, sued, fined and jailed.63
Most Americans support laws that prevent people infected with a highly contagious lethal virus like Ebola from entering or traveling in the country. That is why there was a justifiable public uproar in the summer of 2014, when public health officials failed to exercise the Constitutional authority they have always had to prevent persons infected with or exposed to Ebola from entering or traveling in the U.S.64
But measles is not Ebola and chickenpox is not smallpox.
Millions of Americans Want Vaccine Freedom of Choice
Public surveys show that 87 percent of parents have declined one or more federally recommended vaccines for their children 65 and one-third of all U.S. adults 66 and 42 percent of Americans under age 30 67 don’t think parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. That is a lot of Americans wanting to exercise freedom of thought, speech and conscience when it comes to vaccination. But even supporters of mandatory vaccination laws need to pause and reflect upon a federal government plan to take into custody and quarantine people who have a rash or cough a lot.
Just read the hundreds of public comments already posted on the CDC’s website by outraged citizens. 68 After you do that, please post your own comment, too, before Oct. 14 and contact your members of Congress, 69 who may not be aware of what the CDC is trying to do. Signing an online petition or “liking” an article on Facebook is not enough. You need to make direct contact by phone, email or in person with the people who represent you in Congress and express your sincere concerns.
The CDC’s proposed change to the Public Health Service Act is not about health. It is about taking away civil liberties that keep Americans safe from tyranny. It is about getting permission to tag, track and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of known and unknown toxicity today, so there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.
The question is: Will be American people let them get away with it?
Will you let them get away with it?
Or will you stand with the growing citizen army of enlightened Americans who are defending the human right to freedom of thought, speech, conscience, religion and informed consent in this great country of ours. You know what needs to be done. Stand up and protect your civil liberties now, so you will never have to wish you had when you still had the freedom to do it.
Before it is too late, browse our site and go to NVICAdvocacy.org to learn how to become a vaccine freedom advocate in your state.
It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.
3 Richmond-Times Dispatch. Child Vaccination Debate Surges During Va.'s Legislature's Joint Commission Meeting. August 3, 2016.
4 Austin A. VA Lawmakers accept public comments on school vaccine law. NBC29.com Sept. 7, 2016.
5 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM): Control of Communicable Diseases. Federal Register Aug. 15, 2016. Make a Public Comment to CDC here by Oct. 14, 2016.
8 United States Code 2014 Edition. Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare; Chapter 6A – Public Health Service; Subchapter II – General Powers and Duties; Part G – Quarantine and Inspection; Sec. 264 – Regulations to control of communicable diseases. Government Printing Office 2015. States Code 2014 Edition.
9 Mariner WK, Annas GJ, Glantz LH. Jacobsen v Massachusetts: It’s Not Your Great Great Grandfather’s Public Health Law. Am J Pub Health 2005; 95(4): 58-590.
10 Cole JP, Swendiman JS. Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws. Congressional Research Service May 21, 2014.
11 Gostin LO. The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) Dec. 21, 2001 Draft for Discussion Prepared for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to Assist the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) and the National Association of County and City Health Officers (NACCHO). The Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities. Dec. 21, 2001.
12 Fisher BL. Smallpox and Forced Vaccination: What Every American Needs to Know. An NVIC Special Report. The Vaccine Reaction Winter 2002.
13 Center for Law & the Public’s Health at Georgetown & John’s Hopkins Universities, CDC Collaborating Center Promoting Health Through Law. The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) Legislative Surveillance Table as of July 15, 2006.
14 The Center for Law & The Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities, CDC Collaborating Center Promoting Health Through Law, WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights. The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act State Legislative Matrix Table as of August 15, 2007.
16 NVIC. National Vaccine Information Center Cites ‘Betrayal’ of Consumers by U.S. Supreme Court Giving Total Liability Protection to Big Pharma. NVIC Press Release Feb. 23, 2011.
17 Fisher BL. Vaccine Injury Compensation: Government’s Broken Social Contract with Parents. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 2, 2015.
Federal Register Apr. 5, 2005.
25 U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1960. Volume II – Morality Part A, Section 5. General Mortality Table 5-8: Deaths from 255 Selected Cases (Measles). 1963.
27 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. VII Required Regulatory Analysis, A. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Pg 54257
28 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. IV Rationale for Proposed Rulemaking. Pg 54326
29 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. VII Required Regulatory Analysis, A. Ill Person. No 2. Pg 54240
32 CDC. Quarantine Stations in U.S.: Contact List, Map and Fact Sheets. CDC Dec. 22, 2014.
33 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. VII Alternative Considered, A. Estimating the Number of Ill People. No 10. Pg 54271.
34 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. V. Summary of Notice of Rulemaking. A. Ill Person. No 10. Pg 54239
35 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. V. Summary of Notice of Rulemaking. 11. Agreements. Pg 54253.
36 Ibid. Footnote 35.
37 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. V. Ongoing Efforts With U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP) To Improve Passenger Data Collection. 6. Persons: Isolation and Surveillance. Pg 54253.
38 Fisher BL. The National Electronic Vaccine Tracking Registry: How the Plan to Force Vaccination Gave Birth to the National ID, A Government Health Records Database and the End to Medical Privacy. July 1999.
39 Fisher BL. Tracking Systems and Privacy: Public Comment opposing DHHS proposed medical privacy regulations. Feb. 15, 2000.
40 CDC. Vaccine Tracking System (VTrcks): ExIS (External Information System) Functionality. Dec. 22, 2015.
41 Managed Care Organization/Immunization Registry Data Exchange Advisory Committee, Every Child by Two (ECBT) and the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA). Partnering with Health Plans: A Practical Guide, Resource for Immunization Registry Staff. 2004.
42 Daniel D. Immunization Information Systems Help Track Vaccinations. HealthITBuzz Aug. 27, 2014.
43 CDC. Aug. 15, 2016 NPRM: Control of Communicable Diseases. V. Summary of Notice of Rulemaking. 13. Penalties. Pg 54249.
44 Ibid, Footnote 43.
45 U.S. Congress. Global Eradication of Polio and Measles. U.S. Senate Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Sept. 23, 1998.
47 World Health Organization. Measles deaths decline, but elimination progress stalls in some regions. Jan. 17, 2013.
49 Polioeradication.org. Global Polio Eradication Initiative - Every Last Child: Strategy to eradicate polio in Angola. 2012 National Emergency Action Plan strategic approach #5: Use support from helicopters of the armed forces and national police in difficult-to-access areas.
50 Safti S. Over 500 Pakistani parents arrested for children’s failure to get polio vaccine. CNN Mar. 4, 2015.
51 Global Press News Service. Anti-vaccine parents in Uganda face jail time under new law. The Seattle Globalist Aug. 23, 2016.
52 Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Emerging Infections. Considerations for Viral Disease Eradication: Lessons Learned and Future Strategies: Workshop Summary. National Academies Press (US): 2002.
53 Cochi S. A no-brainer: How to transition from polio eradication to measles eradication. Devex.com Oct. 13, 2015.
54 Shahzad A. Time for a Worldwide Shift from Oral Polio Vaccine to Inactivated Polio Vaccine. Clin Infect Dis 2009; 49(8): 1289-1288.
55 Sharma L, Rajput M. The threat of vaccine associated poliomyelitis in India: methodological issues involved. Human Vaccines 2010; 6(12): 1071-1075.
57 Fisher BL. The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Virus Vectored Vaccines: Vaccine Strain Virus Infection, Shedding and Transmission. Polio Virus and Live Attentuated Polioviruses. Pages 22-28. NVIC November 2014.
59 Greenson T. A new vaccination law has school administrators caught between a needle and a hard place. Northcoast Journal Aug. 25, 2016.
61 Haelle T. As More Parents Refuse Vaccines, More Doctors Dismiss Them -- With AAP's Blessing. Forbes Aug. 29, 2016.
62 Hamilton M. Dr. Bob Sears, critic of vaccine laws, could lose license after exempting toddler. Los Angeles Times Sept.8, 2016.
63 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready? NVIC Newsletter Mar. 8, 2016.
65 Hough-Telford C, Kimberlin D, O’Connor KG. Vaccine Refusals and Requests for Alternate Vaccine Schedules (AVS): National Surveys of Pediatricians. Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) May 2014.
66 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Opinion Differences Between Public and Scientists. 2014 Survey of US Adults and AAAS Members. Pew Research Center Jan. 28, 2015.
67 YouGov.com.Younger Americans are much more skeptical of vaccination than their elders. Jan. 30, 2015.
68 CDC. Read public comments posted to date about Aug. 15, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rule Making on Control of Communicable Diseases. Make a public comment here by Oct. 14, 2016 and include this information: Docket ID: CDC-2016-0068.
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