to tell us the truth,
to be honest about research behind rules and recommendations,
to mandate vaccines that are safe and necessary,
to have our health records on a government database,
to send government "visitors" into our homes to tell us how to raise our children.
Secret 'Research' Behind Policies
Conventional wisdom tells us "you get what you pay
for." But the Clinton Administration doesn't want that
maxim to apply to the taxpayers. When it comes to
research about global warming, other environmental
issues, gun control, vaccine mandates, and social
programs, Clinton does not want the public to get the
data we have paid for. By blocking access to that
research, the Clinton bureaucrats can mold and distort the
conclusions any way they want.
The Clinton spinmeisters have figured out that
announcing policies, rules and recommendations without
providing the research backup that allegedly justifies
them is a neat way to advance liberal goals. They force
the taxpayers to fund a study about some social issue, and
then spin the results to favor liberal programs.
The pollsters learned this trick long ago. By slanting
their choice of questions or the wording of the questions,
pollsters can produce virtually any answers their clients
want. Research data are not very different from polling
data. For a conclusion to be credible, the backup data
must be available for review by others, including who
asked what, when, where and how.
The federal budget every year includes the
expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars for studies and
research. The data are analyzed and reported by persons
who may have undisclosed conflicts of interest or
ideological biases, so it is foolish to put blind faith in
Yet for years, taxpayers have been prevented from
seeing certain research data that we financed and, instead,
what we get is a report on data that we are not allowed to
examine for ourselves. Concealing mistakes and fraud is,
therefore, no problem, and biasing the conclusions in
favor of a liberal result is a process without penalty.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) tried to end this
travesty by inserting the following provision into last
year's omnibus appropriations bill (P.L. 105-277): "all
data produced under an award will be made available to
the public through the procedures established under the
Freedom of Information Act" (FOIA). In other words, if
taxpayers paid for the research through a federal grant or
award, then taxpayers can see what they paid for, except
for limited FOIA exemptions to protect legitimate
privacy and commercial interests.
The Clinton Administration is fighting the Shelby
law tooth and nail. The Office of Management and
Budget has proposed two regulations (amending
OMB Circular A-110) that would completely gut the Shelby
The first proposed regulation, issued early this year,
would limit public access to data relating to research
findings that are actually published, and also force the
public to pay substantial charges in order to access such
data. But lots of federally-funded research does not
result in published findings, and sometimes the
unpublished findings are more important than what is
As bad as this first proposed regulation was, the
Clinton Administration is now trying to gut the Shelby
provision even further.
The second proposed regulation would block the
public from accessing data we paid for unless the data
relate to findings "used by the Federal Government in
developing a regulation." This proposal then defines
"regulation" to include only regulations that are subject
to the formal notice and comment procedure. This
second proposal would exclude from public scrutiny the
underlying data that allegedly justify the big majority of
government policies and rules. It would exclude vaccine
recommendations and many policies about the
environment and guns.
Adding insult to injury, this second proposed
regulation even suggests completely disregarding the
Shelby provision for regulations that have an alleged
impact of less than $100 million. Many of the most
harmful government regulations have a monetary impact
that is arguably less than $100 million.
Supporters of the Clinton regulations argue that the
research process would be compromised if the public can
compare the researchers' conclusions with their data. In
fact, it's only the mistakes and distortions in the
researchers' conclusions that would be threatened.
Public identifications of bureaucratic and even
scholarly errors are frequent. It was two private citizens,
not government investigators, who exposed the FBI lies
about inflammable gas used at Waco. It was the public,
not the experts, who had to tell a new TV game show that
it erred in insisting that Lake Michigan is the second
largest Great Lake rather than Lake Huron.
Less than a year ago, the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) cited unpublished data in recommending that
virtually all infants should receive the rotavirus vaccine.
Then recently, the CDC reversed itself and said that no
one should receive this harmful vaccine, citing reasons
that may have been evident in the unpublished data all
Mistakes in Vaccine Mandates
Vaccine-caused injuries recently forced the Clinton
bureaucrats to make four sensational announcements that
have embarrassed the bureaucrats' plans to force all
American children to submit to government-dictated
On July 15, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) halted
the use of the oral rotavirus vaccine, which is given to
infants to prevent one of the major causes of diarrhea,
after reports that the vaccine caused a bowel obstruction
in some infants that required surgery to repair. The
bowel obstruction, called intussusception, results when
one portion of the bowel slides inward, like a telescope,
into another part of the bowel and causes blockage. A
previously healthy infant suddenly screams in paroxysms
In its initial trial, the rotavirus vaccine appeared to
cause intussusception at 30 times the average rate, which
should have called for additional tests. But instead of
testing further, the CDC went ahead with its recommendation and the vaccine manufacturer subjected babies
to more than a million doses of this unnecessary,
expensive, and inadequately tested vaccine.
While the risk of intussusception may have been
mentioned on the package insert, it was not on the
vaccine information statement given to parents. The
arbitrariness of government vaccine mandates is shown
by the fact that, for the previous year, CDC was
recommending that the vaccine be given to all infants,
and then suddenly a CDC spokesman started saying, "No
one should now be giving rotavirus vaccine to anyone."
The second sensational vaccine announcement
came on July 9, when the U.S. Public Health Service
(PHS) and the AAP issued a joint statement cancelling
their previous recommendation to inject the hepatitis B
vaccine into all newborns while they are still in the
hospital. PHS and AAP now recommend that
vaccination of newborns be limited to those who are at
risk of getting hepatitis B from their infected mothers.
Their remarkable backtracking from the universal
mandate for newborns probably resulted from the
widespread publicity given to the many cases of vaccine
damage causing lifetime injury or death reported on
ABC's 20/20 and at the May 18 hearing conducted by the
U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug
Policy and Human Resources. PHS and AAP continue to
recommend the hepatitis B vaccine for infants at 2 to 6
months of age, even though few of them are at risk.
Meanwhile, 42 states require the hepatitis B vaccine
for schoolchildren, although teachers and health care
workers are not required to receive it. The legislator who
sponsored the hepatitis B mandate in Ohio admitted that
he did so at the request of a vaccine manufacturer
lobbyist, while Governor Christine Whitman is trying to
impose a New Jersey requirement administratively,
In another announcement the same day, PHS-AAP
issued a joint statement that revealed the risk to children
of vaccines containing mercury and called on the FDA to
"assess the risk of all mercury-containing food and
drugs." A mercury product called thimerosal is used as
a preservative in many vaccines, even though the FDA
last year banned its use in over-the-counter products for
Under the current CDC schedule, most infants
receive a total of 15 doses of mercury-containing
vaccines by the time they are six months old, many given
simultaneously. The fact that the FDA has prohibited the
use of thimerosal for most products, but continues to
allow its use for vaccines, sounds like political corruption
in the vaccine approval process.
The National Vaccine Information Center has been
criticizing the use of mercury in vaccines for many years.
Contact lens solution bottles routinely advertise that they
contain "no thimerosal," yet any damage to adults from
contact lens solutions must be minuscule compared to
the same product ingested by or injected into infants.
The fourth announcement came on June 17, when
government officials voted to withdraw their
recommendation for the use of the live poliovirus
vaccine, and to recommend the "exclusive" use of the
inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Since 1979, the only
polio cases in the United States have been caused by the
live vaccine because, taken by mouth, it travels through
the child's body and can cause polio in a parent changing
The unjustified delay in converting to the safer polio
vaccine is due to mandatory vaccination laws that require
the public to use a certain product. The government still
demands that babies be given four doses of polio vaccine,
even though, according to Surgeon General David
Satcher, M.D., "The Western Hemisphere was certified
by the World Health Organization (WHO) as polio free
in 1994, and no case of polio has been reported in this
region since 1991."
Whether universal vaccine mandates are good for
children is becoming increasingly controversial, but it is
certain that these mandates serve two other goals:
the pharmaceutical corporations whose profits
depend on universal mandates rather than on sales to
those at risk for disease, and
the original Clinton national health plan to put the
health records of all Americans on government databases
so that the government can dictate (or deny) health care.
We are long overdue for a Congressional investigation
into the validity of research and licensing standards for
vaccines, the results of clinical trials (if any), the motives
of the vaccine policymakers, and the conflicts of interest
of those responsible for the recommendations.
Hanky-Panky Behind Vaccines
After parents whose children had been severely
damaged from vaccines attended a couple of
congressional hearings, we might have thought Bill
Clinton's response would have been, "I feel your pain."
Not on your life. The Clinton Administration instead
floated plans to gut the federal trust fund that
compensates the families of children who are injured or
killed by reactions to vaccines.
Surgeon General David Satcher told a House
committee on August 3 that Health and Human Services
Secretary Donna Shalala might recommend that a large
portion of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation
Program's $1.4 billion trust be turned over to vaccine
research. That would be a cruel betrayal of the parents
who financed this trust fund by a 75 cents per dose
assessment on vaccines and were promised compensation
from it in exchange for virtually eliminating the
pharmaceutical companies' financial liability for injuries
caused by their products.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
(VAERS) received 11,000 complaints last year from
doctors or parents. In presenting their claims of vaccine
damages, parents must face a battery of 17 full-time,
veteran Justice Department lawyers assigned to argue
against them. These lawyers have been successful in
denying compensation to all but 1,300 of 5,300-plus
families. The Clinton Administration has tightened the
screws to make it more and more difficult for parents to
get any compensation.
Since most children today get up to 33
immunizations before they can be admitted to public
school, parents are starting to ask a fundamental question.
Which is the greater risk: getting and being injured by
the disease, or being injured by the vaccine that purports
to protect against it?
For example, serious adverse events after receiving
the hepatitis B vaccine, including 48 deaths, are reported
three times as frequently as actual cases of hepatitis B in
children under the age of 14. And, the only polio cases
in the United States since 1991 have been those caused
by the oral polio vaccine, whose use was discouraged
only a few weeks ago!
Adults are free to assume risk for reasons of their
choice: health, safety, protection of family or property,
entertainment, or even excitement. But risk is not
something that government, in a free society, should
ordinarily force people to accept.
The Association of American Physicians and
Surgeons (AAPS) has written Secretary Shalala a letter
charging that "federal vaccine policy results in the
violation of informed consent, and is based on
incomplete studies of efficacy and potential adverse
effects of the vaccines." The AAPS letter points out that
federal vaccine "recommendations" are transformed into
"mandates by state health departments," and that schools
often require many vaccines "as a condition of
These adverse events include not only immediate
reactions to the vaccines, such as seizures and even
death, but also possible long-term effects from damage to
a child's immune system. We urgently need an
independent study to discover if there is a relationship
between vaccines (especially when so many are given to
infants in multiple doses) and the dramatic recent
increases in autism and asthma. (USA Today, Aug. 16, 1999)
The peremptory demand that all infants be
immunized, regardless of whether they are at risk, is now
being imitated by the U.S. Armed Forces. In May 1998,
the Department of Defense mandated anthrax
vaccination -- requiring six shots in the first 18 months
followed by annual booster shots -- for all 2.4 million
Serious questions have been raised about the
vaccine's safety. (USA Today, Aug. 4 & 6, 1999) The vaccine
was approved by the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) back in 1970 after being tested on only 26 human
recipients, and the long-term effects are unknown. Israel
does not force its military to take this vaccine. Neither
does France. Neither does England. No country in
Europe or Asia forces this vaccine on its soldiers.
There is so much opposition to the anthrax
vaccination among the military that morale and combat
readiness are suffering. This vaccine policy has caused
an ominous exodus of some of our most experienced
pilots from the reserves and the Air National Guard.
There is something drastically amiss when hundreds of
servicemen with exemplary records are accepting court
martial, dishonorable discharge, pay reduction, and time
in the brig rather than obey an order to be vaccinated.
So who is profiting from this gigantic vaccine
mandate? The Pentagon contracted with a single
supplier, BioPort Corp., and recently agreed to pay
$10.64 per dose even though the contractual obligation
was only $4.36 per dose. ABC News reported that
Admiral William J. Crowe Jr. owns 22.5% of Intervac,
which gives him a 13% share of BioPort, even though he
hasn't "invested a penny" in the venture. (ABC News, Mar.
12, 1999) Crowe was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
under President Bush, but made big news in 1992 when
he gave Clinton "cover" for his draft dodging. Clinton
rewarded Crowe with the prize plum of appointment as
Ambassador to England.
The Pentagon badly needs Congressional
supervision, and Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) and
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) have introduced separate bills
to halt the mandatory anthrax vaccinations.
'Big Sister' Is Watching
Are the American people willing to allow
government agents to come into their homes to "advise"
them how to care for their babies? What if the
announced purpose of these home visits is to look for
child abuse under the assumption that all parents are
The plan to send "home visitors" into the homes of
all first-time parents is one more example of the
pervasive liberal push to monitor law-abiding citizens
under the pretext of catching criminals. The model for
universal home visitation is Healthy Families America
(HFA), a program developed by the National Committee
for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA), now known
as Prevent Child Abuse America. The HFA program
calls for 50+ in-home visits annually per family for those
considered most "at risk." The home visitors are
paraprofessionals and volunteers who are called
"trained," but may have only a high school education.
These recruits are supposed to educate parents on
"proper parenting practices" and to monitor child
development. NCPCA materials make it clear that
parents should never spank their children, and state that
"no child needs a spanking, spanking can be dangerous."
The agency's contact with the family may be initiated
before the mother gives birth and continues through age
five. The home visitor links the families to other health
and social services until the child enters school. HFA
claims to be voluntary, but the NCPCA's stated goal is
"to provide home visiting services to all new parents."
Special attention is given to those deemed to be "at risk."
A family's level of risk is determined by screening the
hospital, and sometimes even clinic, records on 15 risk
factors. The long list of risk factors includes the age of
the mother, divorce, late prenatal care, previous
abortions, and depression. Some of the definitions are so
nebulous that almost any parent could be labelled "at
It is unlikely that all the women being screened have
given "informed consent" to this government monitoring.
Some consent forms are part of hospital admission
procedures and are easily misunderstood, and most
expectant mothers are in labor when they enter the
hospital. The fact that assessment workers (who have
reviewed the mother's medical records) possess intimate
information about the women they are soliciting makes
the "voluntary" nature of the program suspect.
In 1992, NCPCA adopted Hawaii's "Healthy Start"
program as the national model for child abuse prevention,
and HFA programs are currently operating in 40 states
under various names. Vermont's HFA program plan
states that "the purpose of home visits is to assess the
family's needs and to evaluate the family for child abuse
potential." It is not difficult to imagine that many parents
might be labeled "at risk" due to the home visitor's
inexperience, inadequate training, or overzealousness.
Indiana's HFA program has grown from a quarter million
dollars five years ago to $40 million today, with 58 sites
in 91 counties, and HFA literature makes it clear that the
goal is "all families." Indiana's sites use electronic data
collection systems that gather an extensive array of client
Last October, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) wrote a Dear
Colleague letter to other House Members warning that
HFA "sets a dangerous precedent" and represents "the
village mentality run wild." He described the program as
"Big Brother intervention as we have never seen it
before," noting that "Americans have never experienced
such intrusion in their family lives."
Rep. Hyde's letter notes that all HFA program data
will be kept in a nationwide computerized tracking
system called the Program Information Management
System (PIMS), and could eventually be combined with
preschool and public school tracking systems when
children enter the education system.
Sending government "visitors" into private homes to
monitor child rearing and enter family information on a
government database is part and parcel of the Clinton
Administration's drive for totalitarian control over our
daily lives. It's time for a total repudiation of all the
totalitarian impulses of the Clinton Administration.