Op-Ed: Our Rights are Still Inalienable, No Matter the Threat We Face

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In this Op-Ed, I compare the disastrous rollout of the swine flu vaccine in 1976 to the Covid vaccine today. 

In today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Doug Call’s response to my last Op-Ed completely missed the mark. There are no anti-vaxxers in the military. Zero. As I mentioned in that Op-ed, the military has a set of 17 approved vaccines for new recruits. If anyone refuses to take those, you don’t get in. But the government doesn’t get to experiment on the troops.

I also mentioned that in December 2003, a federal district judge granted an injunction against the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP), stating that US soldiers should not be used as “guinea pigs for experimental drugs.” Concerning the still experimental Covid vaccine, that is exactly what hundreds of thousands of military members are objecting to and are getting kicked out for.

Military members are saying: show us the long-term, longitudinal studies that demonstrate that mRNA vaccines are safe for pregnant women. Pharmaceutical companies respond that long-term studies are not necessary because the mRNA vaccine is safe. Military members say: how do you know, since the mRNA products have never been on the market before and there are no long-term studies. Big Pharma answers: the science says it’s safe.

Trite, tautological answers are not good enough to force an experimental vaccine on military members or for firing civilians from their jobs. Why do I say experimental? Because mRNA vaccines have been in use for less than one year, and the FDA has a history (at least 27 times) of pulling previously approved FDA drugs from the market.

And while I drew the parallel with the military’s abysmal mandatory experimental anthrax vaccine failure twenty years ago, there was another fast-rollout vaccine program in the US that also parallels our current situation: the 1976 swine flu vaccine.

I was in high school at the time and well remember that fiasco. In a Feb 1976 press conference, the CDC linked the swine flu to the 1918 Spanish flu strain and called for the immediate, 100% immunization of all Americans. The CDC spokesman raised the specter that this swine flu was like the Spanish flu which killed 3-5% of the world’s population.

This commonly run scare tactic is right out of the government’s playbook. Recall, the government told us that 2.2 million Americans were going to die from Covid if we didn’t lock down the country, stay home, and wait until a vaccine was created.

The novel swine flu vaccine was rapidly developed and deployed. But pharmaceutical companies refused to sell doses to the government unless they were indemnified and guaranteed a profit. Their casualty insurance companies wouldn’t extend coverage because “they fear the costs involved in defending against claims resulting from unforeseen side effects.” Both the indemnification and guaranteed profits were approved by the government. All of this happened immediately before a critical presidential election. Sound familiar?

Field trials of a single dose were run on 3,000 volunteers. But when vaccines were rolled out to the public on 1 October, children received two doses. The Department of Defense mandated that all service members receive the experimental swine flu vaccination.

In the first 13 days of vaccine rollout, 14 people in nine states died after receiving the vaccine. In a press release, National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) Director J.D. Millar said that those numbers were well within the range of expected values, echoing Doug Call’s sentiments.

Next, there were reports of increased cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) due to the swine flu vaccine. On 16 Dec 1976, the swine flu immunization program was suspended for a month to investigate reports that GBS was four times higher in recently vaccinated individuals. Like Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine suspension in April 2021 due to blood clot issues, this led to serious suspicions about the safety of the vaccine. In less than three months after 25% of the US population had been vaccinated, the swine flu vaccine program was dead in the water with hundreds of medical liability claims totaling millions of dollars at the tax-payers’ expense.

The government has put its citizens, military and civilian, in the impossible position of having to choose between their right to life and their right to liberty. But no one should have to choose between their own health and their freedom to work. Our rights are still inalienable, no matter the threat we face.