Bush Approves Smallpox Vaccination
News Leaks Attempt to Link
Virulent Russian Strain
MEHPA Now Law in 20 States; Homeland
Security Act Shields
Vaccine Makers from Potential
by Joe Taglieri, FTW Staff
2002, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com.
All rights reserved.
May be copied, distributed or posted on the Internet for non-profit purposes
[With media pre-conditioning of the population for biowarfare attacks
reaching new levels, a number of inconsistencies
are appearing in U.S. government positions. While
the CIA web site's analysis of possible Iraqi threats
makes no references to smallpox, other recent stories
in the major media are sounding dire warnings about
it. On Sunday December 15, 2002 HHS Secretary Tommy
Thompson appeared on CNN to agree that smallpox vaccines
are inherently dangerous and that cabinet members
would not be receiving vaccinations even as President
Bush promised to be vaccinated with U.S. troops.
Thus far, the U.S. military is the only group subject
to mandatory vaccinations. And while Thompson and
other federal officials insist that there will be
no federal order directing mass vaccinations of the
American public, MEHPA, a federally sponsored law
that could do just that is quietly making inroads
in many state legislatures.
Recently, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, a heroic and outspoken protector
of civil liberties - himself a medical doctor - has
indicated that several portions of the recently enacted
Homeland Security bill do, in fact, make it possible
for the federal government to order compulsory vaccination
of the American public. FTW is currently engaged
in a detailed analysis of the 484-page bill and will
have a complete report soon. - MCR]
Dec. 16, 2002, 16:00 PST (FTW) - The Bush Administration announced Friday
its plan to begin vaccinating Americans against smallpox
in advance of a possible biological terrorist attack.
The announcement came 10 days after a New York Times story headlined, "C.I.A.
Hunts Iraq Tie to Soviet Smallpox" and three weeks
after President Bush signed into law the Homeland Security
Act of 2002, which contains a provision that gives
a legal shield to vaccine makers.
Also, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) has now become
law in 20 states.
BUSH'S SMALLPOX VACCINE PLAN
About 500,000 military personnel stationed overseas or likely to be deployed
abroad were scheduled to receive the vaccine beginning
Friday, followed in the coming months by between 450,000
and 500,000 emergency healthcare workers who would
be the first-responders to a smallpox attack.
The vaccine is a requirement for the military and voluntary for healthcare
Despite the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox
eradicated worldwide in 1980, the president Friday
told a news conference, "We, however, know that
the smallpox virus still exists in laboratories, and
we believe regimes hostile to the United States may
possess this dangerous virus.
"To protect our citizens in the aftermath of September 11th, we are
evaluating old threats in new light," said Bush.
Though the administration has no knowledge of an imminent smallpox attack,
Bush said, "At present the responsible course
is to make thorough and careful preparations should
a broader vaccination program become necessary in the
Federal health and security officials have been working on a bioterror
defense plan for a year now, according to Bush. Through
coordination with state and local governments, procedures
are in place to inoculate every American in the event
of an attack.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Bush's announcement came just after a Dec. 3 New York Times Story by Judith
Miller, which reported an alleged link between Iraq
and a weaponized Russian strain of smallpox.
U.S. government sources told the veteran Middle East correspondent Miller
that the CIA is investigating whether Nelja N. Maltseva,
a now-deceased Russian virologist who worked on a WHO
smallpox eradication project in the early-1970s, delivered
a vaccine-resistant strain of the disease to Iraqi
scientists in 1990.
According to the story, "the information came to the American government
from an informant whose identity has not been disclosed.
The C.I.A. considered the information reliable enough
that President Bush was briefed about its implications.
The attempt to verify the information is continuing."
Miller's sourcing rides heavily on information attributed to unnamed "senior
American officials" and "administration officials," who
seem to hinge their information on what has been provided
by the confidential informant. A distinction is drawn
in the piece between these sources and "intelligence
officials," indicating CIA sources were not behind
the bulk of this report.
Five paragraphs into the story that appeared on page A18, Miller wrote, "The
possibility that Iraq possesses this strain is one
of several factors that has complicated Mr. Bush's
decision, expected this week, about how many Americans
should be vaccinated against smallpox..."
Despite this story's supposed relevance to Bush's vaccination announcement
Friday, the link between Maltseva and Iraq is presently
unsubstantiated and under investigation. According
to wire service Agence France-Presse, the Russian daily
Izvestia reported Thursday that colleagues and Maltseva's
daughter have denied the virologist went to Iraq in
1990. They also denied that she had access to the specific
lab at the Moscow viral research institute where Russia's
120 smallpox strains are stored.
Colleagues said Maltseva last visited Iraq from 1971 to 1972 and last
traveled abroad in 1982 for a trip to Finland.
Izvestia reported Maltseva's daughter Natalia was "shocked" by the accusations
against her mother and planned to sue the New York
Times, she said, for tarnishing her mother's memory.
Georgetown and Johns Hopkins' Center for Law and the Public Health, the
think tank where this state legislation model was created,
reports MEHPA-like laws have been passed in 20 states,
and 16 state legislatures have introduced measures
dealing with public health emergencies caused by a
States where MEHPA laws have been enacted include: Arizona, Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota,
Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,
Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington,
D.C. has also enacted an emergency health powers law.
legislatures where MEHPA has been introduced include:
California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington,
Alabama an executive order establishing the Office
of Homeland Security for Alabama and the Alabama Defense
Security Council was introduced Nov. 1, 2001. "One
component of their mission is to coordinate state efforts
to ensure public health preparedness for a terrorist
attack," according to the Center for Law and the Public
Health, "including reviewing vaccination policies as
well as the adequacy of vaccine and pharmaceutical
stockpiles and hospital capacity.
Center also reports that state health officials in
Alaska "have circulated the model act widely for review
and consideration. The legislature has been asked by
Gov. [Tony] Knowles to appropriate additional funds
for anti-terrorism activities in January 2002. Additional
legislative activity concerning the model act may soon
Department of Public Health and Human Services requested
a bill to revise the emergency health powers act, which
is currently in progress of being drafted and is planned
for introduction in the next session.
on Oct. 25, 2001 Nevada Senator Ray Rawson introduced
a Bill Draft Request that would make various changes
to emergency public health laws. On Sept. 25, 2002,
the Legislative Committee on Health Care introduced
an additional Bill Draft Request that proposes several
changes to the emergency public health laws.
for Law and the Public's Health -- MEHPA Updates: