Everywhere we look, we find signs of out-of-control Big Pharma influence on medical policies and public health laws. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering drug ads account for the vast majority of most media outlets’ advertising revenues.
As a result, the media are no longer providing us with fair and balanced reporting on the prevention and treatment of disease, and this certainly includes the subject of drugs and vaccines. As reported by Periscope News Group editor-in-chief, Christina Morales:1
“Prescription medications are a multi-BILLION-dollar industry that’s making not only the pharmaceutical companies tons of money, but also the network television stations … Did you know that pharmaceutical advertising has soared 62 percent since 2012 and is projected to cost $ 610 billion by 2021? …
The average American watches 16 hours of pharmaceutical commercials each year which is more time than they spend with their primary physician. One-third of these people ask their doctors about a drug advertisement and most request a prescription.
Clearly this type of advertising in generating a huge response from the public, but it also is having an impact that consumers rarely think about: if these companies are paying television networks billions of dollars to advertise their drugs, would their news stations risk losing big money accounts by reporting negative information about the company?
Public figure and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once shared that, ‘I ate breakfast last week with the president of a network news division and he told me that during non-election years, 70% of the advertising revenues for his news division come from pharmaceutical ads … He also told me that he would fire a host who brought onto his station a guest who lost him a pharmaceutical account.’“
Drug Industry Is the Hidden Hand Behind Vaccine Laws
During the 2019 U.S. legislative session, 22 bills were introduced in 17 states proposing to eliminate vaccine exemptions.2 One of them was New Jersey bill S2171, which tried to repeal the religious vaccine exemption and require students of all ages to be fully vaccinated or lose their right to a school education.
December 12, 2019, a hearing on the bill was held by the New Jersey Senate Health Committee, which voted in favor (6 to 4) of sending it to the floor.3 However, while the bill was widely expected to breeze through the Senate, it came to a screeching halt due to the massive uprising of concerned citizens who publicly protested against it. As reported by The New York Times January 13, 2020:4
“It began as one of the nation’s broadest proposed bans on religious exemptions to childhood vaccines. But after weeks of sustained and boisterous protests … as well as a last-minute effort to amend the proposed bill to win the support of key lawmakers, the effort collapsed on Monday in the New Jersey State Senate …
Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat and a sponsor of the legislation, said that the Senate would immediately reintroduce a new version of the bill and begin the process anew. This time, she said, the Legislature might hold public hearings with doctors and scientists to debunk opponents’ concerns. ‘The science is settled on this,’ Ms. Weinberg said.”
Vaccine Science Is Far From Settled
Is the science on vaccine safety really settled? Far from it. There’s a broad base of scientific studies questioning both the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The growing number of people filing vaccine-injury claims with the national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) also speaks to the fact that there’s a problem, as does the scientific evidence showing industry-funded vaccine studies are riddled with bias.5,6
What’s more, the more we learn about infectious diseases and how vaccines work, the more we realize just how little we actually know, and how many of our assumptions are seriously flawed.7
One of the primary reasons we’re not getting objective reporting on these issues from the media is, again, because most news organizations make the bulk of their money from the drug industry (i.e., drug ads). They simply cannot afford to bite the hand that feeds them, and so they become complicit in the cover-up by default.
New Jersey Bill S2171 Is Defeated
In its original form, S2171 eliminated the religious vaccine exemption for children attending daycare and schools in New Jersey, established a state-run review board to approve all medical exemptions, and required students of all ages enrolled in daycare, primary school and higher education, both public and private, including higher education online classes, to be fully vaccinated.
As reported by Children’s Health Defense legal counsel, Mary Holland,8 “under the terms of the law, a 60-year old taking a cooking class at a community college could be required to prove vaccination status before enrollment. This could include even online courses at any institution of higher education in New Jersey.”
As such, it was the broadest vaccine exemption elimination bill introduced so far, which is why its defeat on January 13, 2020, was such a major victory. Make no mistake, it was the participation of thousands of people who showed up for the hearings at the state capitol that allowed for this victory.9 Without that overwhelming pressure, there’s no doubt in my mind the bill would have passed.
In an effort to push the legislation through, amendments were made so that the religious vaccine exemption would be available in private schools but not public schools. However, as reported by The New York Times,10 this only raised new concerns. Many argued the amendment gave wealthy families the ability to exempt their children attending expensive private schools, while denying the same right to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for private school.
As reported by News24 in the video above, New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney — who remains adamant the bill eventually will become law – effectively “bought” votes to try to pass S2171 by offering Senators who were planning to vote “no” on the bill financial support in future elections through the General Majority super PAC funds in exchange for their “yes” vote.
News24 also highlights Sweeney’s deep connections to the drug industry, which appear to be part and parcel of why he’s such a determined advocate for mandatory vaccinations and the removal of exemptions. Fortunately, not even these highly questionable last-ditch efforts were enough to pass the bill.
Informed Consent Is the Bedrock of Medical Ethics
A January 17, 2020, Health Impact News post11 reviews the scientifically referenced testimony submitted by Dr. Meryl Nass before the Massachusetts legislature, which is also considering legislation that will eliminate the religious vaccine exemption. In her testimony, Nass stated pointed out that:12
“There is no crisis (no epidemic of deaths or disabilities) from infectious diseases caused by lack of vaccinations, either in Massachusetts or the United States …
The elephant in the auditorium today is Pharma profits … The pharmaceutical industry has undertaken a very ambitious campaign to legislate away vaccine exemptions in the United States and Canada. France, Italy and Germany have rescinded vaccine exemptions too, suggesting the campaign is worldwide …
This is an industry that has thrived by taking big risks — even when manufacturers knew in advance that their products killed … Pharma’s latest risky strategy is trying to rid the world of vaccine exemptions, to prevent vaccine opt-outs before a new crop of vaccines with inadequate safety and efficacy testing — and for which they will have no liability once placed on the childhood schedule — are approved …
It has been claimed that vaccines are, by nature, extremely safe. Yet vaccines are usually injected, bypassing all the body’s natural barriers. Even minute contamination or inadequate microbial inactivation can maim or kill … Vaccines have caused many autoimmune disorders, from Guillain-Barre syndrome to narcolepsy …
Vaccines appear safe because the immediate side effects are usually mild and temporary. Serious vaccine side effects often take weeks or months to surface, and by then it is difficult to know what caused them. Only when vaccinated individuals have rates of illness at least 10 times higher than the unvaccinated, is the side effect likely to be linked to the vaccine.
A 2009 European swine flu vaccine (GSK’s Pandemrix) caused over 1,300 cases of severe narcolepsy, mostly in adolescents. This vaccine was linked to narcolepsy because 15 times the usual number of narcolepsy cases suddenly appeared in clinics.
Countries that bought the swine flu vaccines … were required to waive manufacturer liability as a condition of purchase … It should be apparent, but isn’t: Government waivers of vaccine liability discourage manufacturers from ensuring that the vaccines they sell are as safe and effective as possible.
The removal of vaccine exemptions, combined with liability waivers for vaccine side effects and recently loosened standards for licensing vaccines, create a highly toxic mix.”
Nass goes on to cite statistics showing why the claim that draconian laws are required to control the “crisis” of vaccine-preventable diseases is false. She also points out that:
“The bedrock expectation of medical ethics is that patients must give informed consent13 for all medical procedures, including vaccines. Informed consent means that patients must be informed about the procedure, have the right to refuse, and may not be coerced to accept it.
Isn’t withholding an education an extreme form of coercion? Without any discussion of its moral or ethical dimensions by media, medical societies or government officials, the requirement for informed consent for medical procedures, including vaccinations, vanishes in the blink of an eye when patients are not allowed the right to refuse.”
Doctors Are Selling Out to the Drug Industry Too
Media corporations and politicians aren’t the only ones beholden to the drug industry. In 2013, ProPublica exposed how drug companies bribe hundreds of thousands of American doctors to prescribe expensive and often dangerous drugs.14
One way in which drug companies enlist medical professionals to push their wares is to offer them lucrative speaking engagements, in which they promote the company’s drugs. While presented as “educational,” these expert lectures are nothing but thinly veiled sales pitches.
Despite rising concern over these kinds of conflicts of interest, ProPublica’s latest Dollars for Doctors report reveals the trend has only grown and gotten worse over the years. In its October 2019 report, ProPublica writes:15
“Back in 2013, ProPublica detailed what seemed a stunning development in the pharmaceutical industry’s drive to win the prescription pads of the nation’s doctors:
In just four years, one doctor had earned $ 1 million giving promotional talks and consulting for drug companies; 21 others had made more than $ 500,000. Six years later — despite often damning scrutiny from prosecutors and academics — such high earnings have become commonplace.
More than 2,500 physicians have received at least half a million dollars apiece from drugmakers and medical device companies in the past five years alone. More than 700 of those doctors received at least $ 1 million …
There has been almost no change in how much the industry is spending. Each year from 2014 to 2018, drug and medical device companies spent between $ 2.1 billion and $ 2.2 billion paying doctors for speaking and consulting, as well as on meals, travel and gifts for them …
Roughly the same number of doctors — more than 600,000 — received payments in any given year … For context, there are about 1.1 million doctors in the United States.”
Vaccines Give a ‘Healthy Boost’ to Doctors’ Bottom Line
In a 2015 Family Practice Management article,16,17,18 Dr. Jamie Loehr shared with other family physicians how giving every CDC recommended vaccine to all patients, regardless of age, can provide a “strong, healthy boost to the bottom line” of their medical practice.
“Minimizing costs and maximizing reimbursement can make immunizations profitable,” Loehr writes. He then goes on to explain where and how to get the needed vaccines for the lowest price, and how to properly code for the service in order to maximize insurance reimbursements.
Ironically — considering the vast majority of doctors do not disclose the full range of potential side effects of a given vaccine — one of the biggest money-makers is the code for vaccine counseling for patients under 18, as combined vaccines such as the MMR and DTaP allow the doctor to bill for three and four counseling components respectively.
For the MMR, they can bill for informing you about the risks and benefits of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (i.e., three counseling components) and for the DTaP, they can bill for informing you about diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio (i.e., four counseling components).
Some of the potential side effects actually listed on vaccine inserts and adverse events for which victims have received compensation from the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) are listed in my previous article, “How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccine Safety?”
I suggest reading through those lists and comparing them to what your child’s pediatrician or your doctor have told you about vaccine side effects. Many doctors are not providing parents with the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) required under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act to be given to parents before children are vaccinated, and rarely are more serious side effects mentioned before a vaccine is given.
Parents can always ask doctors for a copy of the actual manufacturer vaccine product insert, which accompanies vials of vaccines shipped to doctors’ offices, and is required by FDA regulations to list known and reported side effects.
Conflicts of Interest Rule the Roost
Doctors have a longstanding history of being revered as experts, whose morals and integrity are above reproach, and whose knowledge should not be questioned. This is why doctors were featured in cigarette ads in the 1930s and ’40s,19 before the dangers of smoking became firmly established.
It is also why doctors like Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Richard Pan are now pervasively featured in articles insisting that everyone should be legally required to purchase and use all vaccines recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and medical trade associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Medical Association (AMA).
Offit, Hotez and Pan are hardly the only vaccine experts in the U.S., let alone the world, yet the views of these two are routinely brought forth as the voices of medical consensus on vaccine safety.
This, despite the fact that Offit is a vaccine developer who has been caught making false statements20 and has significant conflicts of interest with the vaccine industry,21 including owning vaccine patents, and Pan, in his role as California Senator, has received significant amounts of money from corporations marketing vaccines.
Between 2013 and 2014, Pan received more than $ 95,000 from drug companies and their trade groups.22 In February 2015, he introduced bill SB277,23,24 which repealed the Californian personal belief vaccine, which included religious and conscience or philosophical beliefs. Coincidence?
Another vaccine developer and mandatory vaccination proponent with industry ties is Professor Peter Hotez.25,26 He also has financial ties The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,27 which is has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into global vaccination programs.
Resistance Is Never Futile
The fact that New Jersey managed to thwart the latest attack on medical freedom is an encouraging sign. Never underestimate the power of the people! The key is numbers — you have to actually take action by contacting your legislators ahead of time to communicate your concerns about a bill you oppose (or support) and showing up at public hearings and on days when votes are taken in your state Capitol.
Thousands of individuals gathered in hallways and outside the Capitol building in Trenton to protest of S2171 on multiple occasions, and it was undoubtedly the sheer size of the opposition that greatly helped to defeat the bill.
The fight is not over though. Senator Weinberg has promised to reintroduce the bill in some altered form, and hopefully, residents will rise to the occasion yet again when it does.
Stay up to date on vaccine-related bills that are moving in your state this year, including bills proposing to take away (or expand) your right to obtain a vaccine exemption for yourself or your child. Register to become a user of the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal operated by the National Vaccine Information Center and access bill analyses and talking points to educate your legislators.
Maine Could Become the First State to Overturn Bad Vaccine Law
In related news, Maine is fighting to repeal a new vaccine law that eliminated non-medical vaccine exemptions in 2019 and urgently needs your support. The veto referendum to overturn the bill (LD798) which was enacted into law in 2019 will be on a March 3, 2020 ballot.
The new law revokes religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions and prevents access to work and education for those who have not received every state mandated vaccine.28
Maine is the first state to put government vaccine mandates and repeal of exemptions to a popular vote through a veto referendum included on a ballot. To succeed and set the precedent for other states to follow, they need your support now.
Smaller states are easier to win because there are fewer people to educate on the issue at hand, which means less money is required for advertising. Maine has an advertising saturation point of about $ 3 million, meaning if you spend $ 3 million, you will reach a majority of residents and further advertising will not make a significant difference.
The “Yes on 1 Reject Big Pharma” campaign needs to raise at least $ 1 million within the next 30 days to stand a chance against the pharmaceutical industry’s deep pockets. You can make a difference by making a donation to this campaign below (and, if you are a registered voter in Maine, by making sure to cast a vote on Mar. 3, 2020 to restore vaccine exemptions in the state).