Informed Choice Washington believes the petition should have been perceived by the board as an acknowledgement of existing laws and regulations
Bernadette Pajer, public policy director
Informed Choice Washington
The Washington State Board of Health (BOH) yesterday voted to deny ICWA’s petition request that they adopt a new, permanent rule prohibiting adding to the daycare or school requirements any Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) product or any licensed product formulation which has not yet completed Phase 3 clinical trials.
EUA products, and products which have not completed long-term Phase 3 clinical trials are experimental.
The petition should have been perceived by the board as an acknowledgement of existing laws and regulations. EUA and federal clinical trial regulations, as well as the Board of Health’s own Criteria for Inclusion, do not allow for mandating such products. ICWA filed the petition in order to bring these facts to public attention and to the board’s public discussion after the BOH prematurely assembled a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to begin examining adding COVID-19 shots for school despite there being no licensed product with completed Phase 3 safety trials available.
Instead of acknowledging that they did not have the authority to mandate experimental products and promising that they would not do so, board members said they wanted to preserve what they do not have, that is the option of mandating them.
All board members are hand selected by the governor.
There was very little discussion and most of the board members did not have their cameras on during the meeting. Two board members were absent.
The members present at the meeting voted unanimously to deny our petition. All who spoke used the same argument: they did not want to limit the powers of future boards to mandate Emergency Use Authorized products or products that hadn’t completed safety studies. The entire meeting is in the video embedded below. To view their discussion and vote on our petition at agenda item #11, go to 04:25:00.
Dr. Pendergrass said, “I do not want to be in the setting where I am preventing some future event from occurring.” He also stated that historically, there is a precedent for mandating EUA shots because the polio vaccine was required for school in the 1950’s just after the vaccines were developed. His statement was inaccurate and it did not support his stance. In fact, it did the opposite. First, EUA’s did not exist until 2004.
“In 2004, the Project BioShield Act (Public Law No. 108-276) gave the FDA Commissioner the authority to issue an EUA during a declared emergency “involving a heightened risk of attack on the public or U.S. military forces, or a significant potential to affect national security.”3 The authority allows the FDA, after careful evaluation, to authorize the use of unapproved or uncleared medical products, or unapproved or uncleared uses of approved or cleared medical products, following a determination and declaration of emergency.1 In other words, an EUA can allow for medical countermeasures (e.g., medicines, vaccines) to be used during the declared emergency “to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions” caused by biological and other agents when “no adequate, approved, and available alternatives” exist. 3″
Second, the rollout of the polio vaccines in the absence of adequate safety studies and oversight is one of the biggest blunders in vaccine history.
The Cutter incident
On April 12, 1955 the government announced the first vaccine to protect kids against polio. Within days, labs had made thousands of lots of the vaccine. Batches made by one company, Cutter Labs, accidentally contained live polio virus and it caused an outbreak.
More than 200,000 children got the polio vaccine, but within days the government had to abandon the program. “Forty thousand kids got polio. Some had low levels, a couple hundred were left with paralysis, and about 10 died,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a pediatrician, distinguished professor, and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. The government suspended the vaccination program until it could determine what went wrong.
However, increased oversight failed to discover another problem with the polio vaccine. From 1955 to 1963, between 10% and 30% of polio vaccines were contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40). “The way they would grow the virus was on monkey tissues. These rhesus macaques were imported from India, tens of thousands of them,” medical anthropologist S. Lochlann Jain said. “They were gang caged and in those conditions, the ones that didn’t die on the journey, many got sick, and the viruses spread quickly,” added Jain, who taught a history of vaccines course at Stanford and is working on a publication about the incident. Scientists wrongly thought the formaldehyde they used would kill the virus. “It was being transferred to millions of Americans,” Jain said.”
History is replete with other examples of drugs and vaccines rolled out hastily, causing much harm. And because clinical trials are often small and limited to healthy subjects in controlled conditions, most adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals are discovered after product licensing and rollout into the “postmarking” stage of clinical trials, which are perpetual. Informed consent laws and rights exist for all medical interventions because only an individual, or a parent or guardian, has the right, given by God not government, to decide the risks they want to take.
Fran Bessermin is on the board, purportedly representing consumers. Several years ago, ICWA asked for meetings with Ms. Bessermin in order to discuss with her our vaccine safety concerns, but we were told she was not allowed to have such meetings with the public. If the consumer representative on the BOH is not allowed to hear the concerns of the public, then she only represents her own opinion, and not consumers. There are supposed to be two consumer representatives on the board, but the second position has been vacant for several years. Ms. Bessermin agreed with Dr. Pendergrass.
Board member Steven Kutz said that he still has nightmares about measles because of his boyhood experience. While ICWA regrets Mr. Kutz still suffers, it is irrelevant to ICWA’s petition that aimed to prohibit mandating experimental vaccines on children. The measles vaccine was not issued under EUA, although it and the MMR that also contains it was never tested against an inert placebo, and injuries sustained from exposure to the vaccine(s), as well as the waning of protection in a significant number of people leaving them susceptible to measles as adults, are dismissed or ignored by public health.
It is now known that Vitamin A and D are both essential for preventing severe disease with all viral infections such as measles and COVID-19. Zinc and other nutrients play key roles, as well. Had public health messaging about measles over the past sixty years included information about Vitamin A and D, rather than focusing exclusively on vaccines and fear, then much of this COVID chaos could have been avoided and many lives saved. After nearly 2 years of ICWA and many others in the state writing to the BOH about studies showing that Vitamin D levels are associated with severe COVID, they still refuse to take action to ensure the public is aware of and able to get this lifesaving supplement. Mr. Kutz agreed with Dr. Pendergrass.
The vaccinated and non-vaccinated are still dying unnecessarily because of low Vitamin D levels, which is criminal given the volume of information that has been provided to public health employees, such as the board of health members.
Temple Lentz and Keith Grellner also agreed with Dr. Pendergrass about not wanting to tie the hands of future boards in regards to mandating experimental products.
State Chief Science Officer Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, the Secretary of Health’s designee, agreed with Dr. Pendergrass on behalf of Secretary Shah, who is a board member.
The meeting was held via Zoom and aired on TVW.org. More than 7,500 requests were made to give oral comment. The board extended their usual 20 minute public comment time to over an hour, giving 1 minute to those chosen to comment. The number of Zoom attendees ranged between about 3,000 to more than 4,000. Many of those in attendance were there because they vehemently oppose mandating COVID-19 vaccines for children for school attendance. Others attended because of a misunderstanding about the agenda items and were understandably concerned. See this post for an explanation.
Video courtesy TVW.org
The BOH staff have not yet uploaded all of the written public comments submitted. The first batch contained more than 3,500 pages. See this page, item #6 for posting of public comments.
Several BOH members acknowledged they heard the public’s concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines. They said the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) they had convened to examine the shots would be looking at all the data on the shots, which will be provided by the Department of Health (DOH). DOH is unlikely to supply the TAG members with data, experts, or perspectives critical of the shots. If such outside perspectives from some of the world’s top doctors and scientists had been listened to over the past two years, the TAG would never have been formed.
ICWA is dismayed and alarmed that the BOH believes their vote preserves an option for themselves and for future boards to be able to mandate experimental products on children. They have never had such a right or authority and their vote changes nothing. Mandating such products violates federal protective regulations and human rights declarations. It is not for them, or for anyone other than parents, to decide whether to take the risk of any product, and this decision must be made free of coercion and undue influence. Their vote demonstrates a frightening trend in this country for official bodies to misinterpret or ignore laws and regulations that do not align with their own views and goals.
The BOH said the public may send their comments and concerns to WSBOH@SBOH.WA.GOV.
Information provided by InformedChoiceWA.org.