New York City mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s declaration of a public-health emergency, ordering people to be vaccinated or fined, is an abuse of power, contends the head of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

De Blasio on Tuesday issued the order for those who may have been exposed to the virus in the city’s Williamsburg neighborhood.

Some 250 measles cases have been reported there since last fall.

But Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the AAPS, argues the Supreme Court already has ruled against such an order.

“The U.S. Supreme Court warned against ‘arbitrary and oppressive’ abuse of police power, going ‘far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public,’ in the 1905 case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts,” she explained.

“This case concerned smallpox vaccination during a deadly epidemic that killed 30 percent or more of persons infected.

“In its vast overreach, New York is ignoring these cautions,” she said.

She argued further that “all medical interventions, including vaccines, have risks and benefits.”

“These vary with frequency and severity of disease, vaccine safety, and individual patient circumstances. Professional judgment, not top-down bureaucratic diktat, is needed,” she said. “Moreover, whatever their doctor advises, patients have the right to withhold informed consent. This is a fundamental liberty right.”

Her organization wrote a letter recently to members of Congress arguing against federal intervention in medical decisions.

“After being fully informed of the risks and benefits of a medical procedure, patients have the right to reject or accept that procedure,” the organization told the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in the House and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

“The regulation of medical practice is a state function, not a federal one. Governmental preemption of patients’ or parents’ decisions about accepting drugs or other medical interventions is a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy, and parental decisions about child-rearing.”

The issue was the mandates for measles vaccinations.

“A public health threat is the rationale for the policy on mandatory vaccines. But how much of a threat is required to justify forcing people to accept government-imposed risks? Regulators may intervene to protect the public against a one-in-one million risk of a threat such as cancer from an involuntary exposure to a toxin, or-one-in 100,000 risk from a voluntary (e.g. occupational) exposure. What is the risk of death, cancer, or crippling complication from a vaccine? There are no rigorous safety studies of sufficient power to rule out a much higher risk of complications, even one in 10,000, for vaccines. Such studies would require an adequate number of subjects, a long duration (years, not days), an unvaccinated control group (‘placebo’ must be truly inactive such as saline, not the adjuvant or everything-but-the-intended-antigen), and consideration of all adverse health events (including neurodevelopment disorders).”

At the time, AAPS noted: “The smallpox vaccine is so dangerous that you can’t get it now, despite the weaponization of smallpox. Rabies vaccine is given only after a suspected exposure or to high-risk persons such as veterinarians. The whole-cell pertussis vaccine was withdrawn from the U.S. market, a decade later than from the Japanese market, because of reports of severe permanent brain damage.

“The risk: benefit ratio varies with the frequency and severity of disease, vaccine safety, and individual patient factors. These must be evaluated by patient and physician, not imposed by a government agency.

“Are potential measles complications including death in persons who cannot be vaccinated due to immune deficiency a justification for revoking the rights of all Americans and establishing a precedent for still greater restrictions on our right to give – or withhold – consent to medical interventions? Clearly not,” AAPS said.

“Measles is a vexing problem, and more complete, forced vaccination will likely not solve it. Better public health measures – earlier detection, contact tracing, and isolation; a more effective, safer vaccine; or an effective treatment are all needed.”

De Blasio claimed he had to take action.

“We have a situation now where children are in danger. We have to take this seriously. Every one of us has to feel responsibility for the situation because measles is so contagious, can spread so quickly,” he said.

He ordered unvaccinated people, including children over 6 months old, who live or work within the area to get an MMR vaccine.

Failure to comply is a misdemeanor punishable by fines, forfeitures or imprisonment.

AAPS noted the action was “even more extreme than a March 26 order banning unvaccinated persons from entering indoor public spaces, which was overturned by a state Supreme Court judge.”

While state officials insist such vaccines are “safe and effective,” AAPS clarified: “Vaccinated persons can get, and possibly transmit measles even not visibly ill. Moreover, vaccines are inevitably unsafe, as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress in establishing the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The VICP has awarded about $4 billion for vaccine injuries.”

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