Editor’s note: The first part of this series ran in the Aug. 5-11, 2009, issue.
By Susan Johnson
The U.S. government has plans to deal with an expected swine flu (H1N1) pandemic predicted for this fall.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a “Level 6” status for this health threat, several pieces of legislation are prepared to give the federal government new powers superseding those of states and localities to protect their citizens. But not everyone agrees this level of government control is justified and may, in fact, be unconstitutional.
The WHO Web site says: “The grouping and description of pandemic phases have been revised to make them easier to understand, more precise, and based upon observable phenomena. Phases 1-3 correlate with preparedness, including capacity development and response planning activities, while Phases 4-6 clearly signal the need for response and mitigation efforts. Furthermore, periods after the first pandemic wave are elaborated to facilitate post-pandemic recovery activities.” For detailed explanations of each phase, see http://www.who.int/crs/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html.
Part 1 of this series explained the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act and its possible requirements. Now we come to BARDA.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, BARDA is “the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [It] provides an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.
“BARDA manages Project BioShield, which includes the procurement and advanced development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, as well as the advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures for pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases that fall outside the auspices of Project BioShield. In addition, BARDA manages the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE).”
Jail time for refusing H1N1 flu and regular flu vaccinations?
Under MSEHPA and BARDA regulations, no exemptions (religious or otherwise) are allowed. Those who refuse will be classified as felons at the state level, subject to immediate incarceration and quarantine of indefinite length in jails or other facilities reserved for such “vaccine refusers.”
Deborah Dupré, MA, Sci, Ved. QMHP, an activist with more than 30 years experience in human rights, peace, social justice and the environment, writes for Examiner.com, a Web site of Clarity Media Group, a newspaper publishing company and parent company to the Washington, D.C. Examiner, The San Francisco Examiner, and the Independent newspapers. The group is wholly owned by The Anschutz Company. Philip Anschutz, a Republican donor and supporter of George W. Bush’s administration, has been an active patron of several religious and conservative causes.
In “Part. 3: H1N1 vaccine for profit and the U.S. martial law factor,” Dupré says: “At the state level, those who refuse the vaccine are subject to immediate incarceration and quarantine of indefinite length, classified as felons, ‘Vaccine Resisters,’ equated to a new form of ‘terrorism,’ at the State. At the Federal level, those who refuse will be subject to immediate incarceration and quarantine. FEMA camps are established across the U.S.”
April 28, 2009, Declan McCullagh, an American journalist and columnist for CBSNews.com, posted a blog on www.cbsnews.com/blogs, stating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had sent a memo to some health care providers listing procedures to be followed in case the swine flu outbreak made quarantines necessary. DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, obtained by CBSNews.com. It says: “The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines.” McGaw was apparently referring to the section of federal law that allows the Surgeon General to detain and quarantine Americans “reasonably believed to be infected” with a communicable disease.
McCullagh wrote: “Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President Bush added ‘novel’ forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year-prison term…”
In an update, however, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official told The Rock River Times: “What happened this spring happened very quickly. We find ourselves in a different situation than we were. Yes, H1N1 flu is coming back on the scene, but at this point in time, it is not here with the same intensity that we saw in April; we are not there. So the guidance that is coming out now is different than it was in April. … H1N1, like a lot of illnesses, is constantly changing. If you go to flu.gov, the recommendations are there. [The vaccine] is not mandatory; it is recommended.”
Another CDC spokesperson, Christine Pearson, said: “The CDC has had for a long time quarantine regulations which help us to prevent the spread of communicable diseases into the United States and between states. Quarantine is for well people who may have been exposed to someone who has a quarantinable disease, for which we have that ability. But right now, H1N1 is prevalent all across the United States. The disease is pretty similar to what we see every year with regular seasonal flu. Although we do have these regulations, at this point we are not planning to issue those kinds of words for H1N1.”
No drug company liability for side effects
MSNBC reported that the U.S. has purchased 195 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine for a vaccination program in the fall. According to federal health officials, the virus is not yet mutating to become more dangerous, but they are closely tracking its progress across the globe.
According to Global Health Freedom, an exempt international NGO whose mission is to discover, develop, demonstrate and disseminate natural solutions to health problems, the uninsurable vaccines produced for the swine flu pandemic will not have been tested in any meaningful way by the time they are delivered into our bodies and those of our children.
While some critics have expressed concerns about the H1N1 vaccine’s safety for the general population, WHO and CDC have released information on their Web sites addressing this issue.
To be continued…
From the October 14-20, 2009 issue