MassResistance Update As fears of an H1N1 swine flu epidemic emerge, a draconian "pandemic control bill" that would give broad extra-constitutional powers to the state to enter and search houses, take property, detain people, require vaccinations, and more has passed the Massachusetts Senate and is now in the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill sets penalties for non-compliance at $1000.00 per day and jail time.
Bill S2028 (see link below) updates the "civil defense act" passed in 1950 and other statutes, and greatly expands the powers of the state and its ability to affect individuals and their property in a declared "emergency." It also gives broad powers to the unelected Commissioner of Public Health (who is not mentioned in the 1950 law) in such circumstances.
The Commonwealth can declare a "state of emergency" for a wide range of reasons. These can include a breakout of disease, imminent threats of civil disturbance, riots, a declared war, threat of foreign attack, natural disasters, floods, absence of rainfall, food shortage, and other reasons (see link below). All of these could allow action by the DPH Commissioner to protect the "public health."
If such a state of emergency is declared, Bill S2028 gives the state the legal right:
To enter and investigate any home or building.
To require the evacuation of any home or building
To decontaminate any home or building, or any material inside or outside.
To restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons.
To take over and run any health care facility.
To control ingress to and egress from any "stricken or threatened public area" and the movement of persons and materials within the area.
To dispose of human remains.
To immediately take possession of any pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, etc., in the Commonwealth.
To require health care providers to perform vaccinations, tests, and examinations, or lose their licenses to be health care providers in the Commonwealth.
To authorize people not normally qualified to perform health care tasks.
To collect specimens and perform tests on any animal, living or deceased.
To require people be vaccinated (or else be quarantined).
To isolate or quarantine people, examine them, and decontaminate them. The bill also:
Provides for fines of up to $1000 per day for "violating an order" from the DPH Commissioner, and / or put them in jail.
Gives police the power to "arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated an order."
Requires health workers and others involved to notify the State Police of a "suspicious event" that "may have been caused by a criminal act."
Gives anyone helping the effort the official status of "public employee."
Shields anyone helping the effort from any legal liability from his actions. Sweeping changes to current laws
In addition, the bill makes sweeping changes to various parts of the General Laws on a range of subjects. Over two dozen current laws are repealed, amended, or re-written in Bill S2028!
Specifically exempts HIV/AIDS!
The bill is extremely broad in what it covers, but it specifically exempts HIV/AIDS from the definition "disease or condition dangerous to the public health", to be part of a medical emergency. Why?? If AIDS is a public health issue, why treat it with less seriousness than anything else? We suspect it has something to do with the fact that the current Commissioner of Public Health, who apparently had considerable input in writing the bill, is a self-identified homosexual who is "married" to another man.
Passed unanimously in Massachusetts Senate!
Unbelievably, this bill was passed 36-0 by the Senate on April 28 (with 3 Senators not present and the Senate President not voting). The Republican contingent, Hedlund, Brown, Knapick, Tarr, and Tisei, all voted for it.
It's hard to believe that these politicians are so out of touch with reality - and constitutional law - that not a single Senator had issues with this extremely onerous legislation.
CLICK HERE for full report on S2028 including: - Full text of bill with links to legislation it references - "Civil Defense Act" defining reasons for a public emergency - Roll-call vote of the Senate, passing it, in April - Reaction around the country - And more . . .http://www.massresistance.org/docs/govt09/pandemic_bill/index.html
Some groups are calling this the "Storm Trooper Bill" because of the frightening large-scale extra-constitutional powers it gives the state against citizens. There's also been considerable reference to Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel who recently said that the government shouldn't "let a crisis go to waste".
There is a sense and fear around the country that Massachusetts is the "testing ground" for this kind of aggressive legislation, and that once it's in place here it will be the basis for replication in other states.
Other people have observed that government officials often react to emergencies with near-hysteria, and given broad powers they will needlessly oppress citizens. Also, such powers tend to continue much longer than anticipated. For example, numerous 9/11 searches and intrusions are still in place which serve no documented purpose, many say, but government officials refuse to consider even discussing them.
Attracting national attention - outrage across the country
Although it's had relatively subdued coverage in the local Boston media, this bill has attracted considerable national attention. Fox News has discussed it on at least two of their major shows, most recently last Saturday morning. This past Wednesday, MassResistance was on the Janet Porter radio show, heard on over 200 stations across America, to talk about the bill and its implications. WorldNetDaily and many other Internet news outlets, plus dozens of political blogs, have warned about it.
Misleading memo by Public Health Commissioner to "dispel rumors"
Last week the Commissioner of Public Health, John Auerbach, issued a memo to legislators and local officials to "dispel vaccination rumors." The memo does not reference Bill S2028, but says that:
"The Department of Public Health will not call for or authorize mandatory vaccination against the pandemic flu. There are no public health officials on the state, national, or global level calling for forced vaccination for H1N1."
Bill S2028 does include a type of opt-out provision from vaccination (Section 13): "An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit ... but may be isolated or quarantined..." If bill S2028 were to pass, that would happen in the case of a declared "state of emergency." But of course, the Commissioner didn't mention that in his memo! But it's pretty clear they're moving toward mandatory vaccinations. Note that in 2007, Auerbach testified for a bill mandating children be vaccinated for "all recommended vaccines" -- the list of which grows and grows, despite the strong evidence that autism, ADD, and other health problems are directly linked to the mercury and aluminum containing vaccines.
Bill's sponsor has proposed other radical legislation
The sponsor of S2028, Sen. Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge), is no stranger to radical legislation regarding medical issues and forced vaccinations. Last session Moore sponsored a bill to require all 6th-grade girls in Massachusetts to be vaccinated for the sexually-transmitted disease HPV. The campaign to pass that bill was heavily funded by the drug company Merck, which even funded radio commercials promoting the bill. The vaccine has had serious side effects, including deaths. Fortunately MassResistance led the successful fight to stop that bill in committee, and it was not passed.
Sen. Moore is defending Bill S2028, telling media that there will be no forced vaccinations, which seems to contradict the intent of the bill.
And Moore apparently believes that constitutional rights can be tossed aside for health reasons. "We all, as citizens, have rights, but we also have a responsibility not to make other people sick and perhaps kill them by spreading a dangerous disease," Moore recently told WCVB-TV.
Where does this bill stand now?
The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate in April. It's now in the House Ways and Means Committee.
We called the House Ways and Means Committee last week. They told us that they haven't scheduled when to take up S2028 to decide whether to bring it forward to the full House for a vote, or kill it. That could happen any time from now until the end of next year when the current Legislative session ends. The spokesman added that they've gotten a fair amount of feedback on this bill from around the country.
We will keep you up to date on this.