By Arjun Walia
- The Facts: The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons is suing Rep. Adam Schiff for “censoring vaccine debate.”
- Reflect On: Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it’s factual and not actually ‘fake news?’
Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.
The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.
Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements
This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.
At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?
As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,
don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.
Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”
It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.
Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff
The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.
Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.
Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:
Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel. “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”
In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.
Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.
Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.
On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.
“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.
Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”
AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.
The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when, in reality, all of us want the same thing: healthy children and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and, in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.
Article source: Collective Evolution
Arjun Walia —