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Swine Flu II: One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest – The Potential Consequences of Another Media-Drive Flu Panic

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Posted on September 1 2009 12:00 pm
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The left loves to pride itself on its defense of “choice.” Unfortunately, the only choice they seem to actually believe you should be able to make on your own is the choice to have an abortion. If you decide to–gasp–have a child, then, in the eyes of the left, it’s up to the state to make your decisions for you. “It takes a village” and all that.

Why do we bring up that particular point? Well, let’s talk about swine flu. As much as the media is freaking out about swine flu, we’re actually pretty even-keeled over the whole thing – and we have a 7.5-month-old. We’re right in the supposed “target demographic” of this disease. But we find this whole hullabaloo ridiculously overblown. There is, however, something about the supposed swine flu pandemic we’re a bit leery of: not the disease itself, but the vaccine.

swine_flu_vaccine

Last night on both Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper 360, the vaccines were a big topic. Both hosts had doctors answering questions from viewers and giving general information about the vaccine, when it would be available, etc.   On AC360, Dr. Sanjay Gupta stated, when asked about the availability of the vaccine:

CNN_SanjayGupta“What’s happening right now is sort of in this process, something known as finish and fill. All the safety testing has not been done yet. But they’re still filling the bottles, and they’re shipping them to the various centers so that as soon as those safety tests come back, they can start administering those doses.”

Did you catch that? The vaccine is still being tested in clinical trials – and yet they are shipping it out anyway with the assumption that it’s safe. You know, those clinical trials. Just a formality. Just go through the motions of testing.

Some of you might remember the last time there was a swine flu crisis – 1976.  Neither of us were around to witness that scare (and, as far as we’ve seen, the media have been silent on the comparisons), but the facts are these: the flu pandemic never came. A million were supposed to die. None did. But what did come were side effects for the hastily-developed shots sure did.  Guillain-Barré syndrome cases skyrocketed, largely blamed on the vaccinations, although the government did its best to pooh-pooh those claims. Yet they go out of their way to assure the public that they’ll do better this time. Color us not-so-very-reassured.

Still, despite very good reasons to be cautious, with all the media buzz people will no doubt show up in droves for the vaccine when it comes out. But what about those who decide it’s not worth the risk? Will the government just let them take their well-founded skepticism and go on with their lives? Maybe. Maybe not.

There has been some chatter that it might be mandatory. A Google search of ‘mandatory H1N1 vaccine’ will take you on a tour of some of the finer conspiracy theory sites on the web, but in the name of good journalism we won’t use those as sources. However, the idea of mandatory universal vaccination is not merely a side effect of tinfoil-hat disease. The H1N1 vaccine is mandatory in Greece: “We decided that the entire population, all citizens and residents, without any exception, will be vaccinated against the flu,” said Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

The article doesn’t specify what they will do with those who refuse the vaccine, but if Greece were Massachusetts, they could be thrown in jail or quarantined. That’s right, a bill was recently passed in Massachusetts that states:

“An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit to such procedures but may be isolated or quarantined pursuant to section 96 of chapter 111 if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health, as determined by the commissioner, or a local public health authority operating within its jurisdiction.”

Note that this power is not limited to swine flu, but is extended broadly to cover the vague concept of “danger to public health.” All as determined by your benevolent government bureaucrat, of course. So, if some government person decides you are a threat to public health, it’s off to the gulag for you. Wait – what country is this again?

quarantine

There is a very real precedent here for mandatory vaccines. The government already tries to pressure you in to vaccinations. Sure, you can forgo them if you want. Just don’t think your child can go to a public school (even though you’ll still be taxed to pay for them). In many states, vaccinations are required even if you send your child to a private school, or you home-school your child. Imagine the force with which the government might insist on mandatory vaccinations if they were in charge of not just schools, but the health care of the entire country.

Dr. Bob Sears, pediatrician and author of The Vaccine Book (which, in our opinion, leans more toward pro-vaccination than not), thinks the real issue to fret over is the vaccine being made mandatory:

Now, what you can fret about is whether or not the government will make the vaccine mandatory. Not “mandatory” in the sense that all vaccines are “required,” but parents can sign a waiver. I’m talking about mandatory in that Child Protective Services will take your kids away, or hold you back while they force the shot on your child. Yeah, that would be something to worry about. So, write your senator now and put in your two cents. Or, don’t even worry about it until they decide whether or not it’s mandatory, but by then it will be too late to make your voice heard.

Terrifying, much?

But, you say, but how will the government ever enforce it? I mean, unless they get soldiers to point  guns at you and say “Get the shot” or “Hand over the kid,” they can’t really do anything, right? And THAT’s not going to happen, right? I mean, this is the United States of America and – oh, the military is gearing up to “help” with an outbreak of H1N1?  It begs the question – what do they know that we don’t? Now, this might be nothing more than what the National Guard does when they help sandbag rivers or set up emergency shelters after a hurricane. But why does the plan call for members of every branch of the armed forces? Surely, the Marines have something better to do than watch after sniffly moms and dads.

“But oh, Tim and Alissa,” you might say. “This is a real crisis. Surely we can hand over some controls of our lives to the government, it’ll only be temporary.” Remember, this administration has a vested interest in crises. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama‘s Chief of Staff, famously said “Never allow a crisis to go to waste.” Now what large, costly, and unpopular government program could use a good crisis to get back it’s momentum? Can you think of any?

The funny thing about giving government control over your lives because of a “crisis” is that the crisis never seems to end, or another one takes its place, or for some reason or another the government has to keep “helping” you. Remember the income tax? That was originally a temporary idea to raise revenue during wartime. But once government gets its hands on a source of revenue, or a power, it finds a way to keep it permanently (see: the 16th Amendment). Your paycheck can tell you how well that “temporary” tax is working out.

Remember also that, as we blogged earlier, it was a government panel of Obama appointees who started this panic in the first place. It is our sincere wish that the citizens of this country will not succumb to the government-created, media-led panic that can only lead to one thing—more loss of real choices for you and your family. Maybe it’s time we reminded the left just who the defenders of choice, of freedom, really are. Here’s hoping we don’t sound too crazy. Because really, we don’t think we are. And that’s the scary part.

Oh, and you can punish us for the pun in the title later.

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