“We live in a broken world, bad things happen, and government is not God,” said a commenter on a recent Facebook vaccine poll taken by a news station. This is the bottom line, but I put it right up top for you. It should be the filter you use to read the rest of this blog post. I don’t think one person on this planet can argue with that statement, so let’s start there.

KERA’s content team writer, Lauren Silverman, wrote an article and aired a broadcast recently after she interviewed our executive director, Jackie Schlegel. The article noted that measles can kill. I wouldn’t even think of arguing with that. It can. It does. However, it usually does not. She also interviewed Dr. Peter Hotez. Dr. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The article shared a great deal of information based on Dr. Hotez’s belief that vaccines should be mandatory. He states in the article that thousands of people die yearly of the measles. Our broken world makes bad things happen. I don’t take those thoughts lightly. However, what Dr. Hotez kept concealed during the interview was that ONE person (who was on immunosuppressant drugs) since 2003 has died in the U.S. from COMPLICATIONS from the measles. She passed away in 2015.

Where are the thousands of people dying of the measles per year? We mustn’t forget that data is from Third World countries struggling with poor sanitation, poor nutrition, lack of clean water, and potentially lacking in better personal hygiene practices. These unfortunate living conditions are responsible for the high death rates associated with otherwise benign illnesses like the measles.

Dr. Hotez also concealed the fact that MANY measles outbreaks have been EXCLUSIVELY among the vaccinated. A school in Corpus Christi, Texas, had an outbreak of measles. The New England Journal of Medicine stated the following:

We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.

The funny thing is there was no mention of any unvaccinated in the community contracting measles. Three of the students tested did not build immunity from their two doses of the measles vaccine but did not get sick. What are the odds?

In Quebec City, vaccination coverage for the total population was 99.0% yet they experienced a major outbreak of 1,363 people. It was concluded by health officials that “incomplete vaccination coverage [was] not a valid explanation for the Quebec City measles outbreak.”

Dr. Hotez also said that of the 2.5 billion vaccines issued in the last 8 years, only 2,000 have been awarded compensation in vaccine court. Does he truly believe that ONLY those who are victors in vaccine court are injured? If so, it’s quite a pompous assertion. The dynamics of vaccine injury are broad and complex. Reducing it to those basic calculations is grossly ignoring the fact that close to 34,000 people in the same time period reported SERIOUS vaccine related reactions to VAERS as well as the fact that MANY reactions were never even reported. “Serious reactions” are defined by the terms “life threatening, ER visit, disabled, and/or died.” Non-serious reactions were not included in the calculation but need to be considered by parents as well. The factors going into this equation are far too variant to calculate.

Essentially, if we used Dr. Hotez’s “math rules,” being struck by lightning has the same odds as vaccine injury. They would both register at one in a million when comparing the stats in The National Weather Service’s report. I was eager to look this data up because I am a three-time lightning strike survivor! What I didn’t do was tell the National Weather Service that I had been struck, let alone three different times. This would be similar to the unreported vaccine reactions VAERS cannot account for. Thankfully, my injuries did not send me to an ER or kill me. Twice, I had witnesses. The second time, I was with a friend and she was also struck. She has dealt with horrible headaches since the incident. Could she prove her headaches were lightning induced? Not if someone wanted to argue that correlation does not equal causation. She and I knew better. (And for the record, I believe that makes me one in three billion. HA!) This world is broken and bad things happen.

In 1986, the U.S. government played God and gave a complete pass on safety and accountability to the most influential industry in the health of our nation. Vaccine manufacturers would no longer be liable for reactions experienced by recipients of their products. They have complete autonomy and can’t be touched. Instead, We the People pay for our own vaccine injuries because the federal government thought it would be a good idea to create a vaccine court that offers awards paid for by your tax dollars, not by the manufacturer. If this is going to continue, the ONLY way we can influence vaccine manufacturers to produce safe vaccines is to NOT mandate them. If too many choose not to vaccinate due to safety concerns, maybe one company will raise their testing standards to meet the demand! This broken government handed permission to an industry that has unashamedly allowed bad things to happen en masse.

Now, back to Dr. Hotez’s misleading comments. He claimed in the KERA article, among others, that, “Measles is something that takes off when vaccination rates start to decline, and what we see now in Texas is a very ominous trend where we’ve had a dramatic rise in the number of kids whose parents are opting them out of them getting vaccinated. It’s therefore almost inevitable Texas will start experiencing measles outbreaks.” What Dr. Hotez isn’t saying is how the elderly community, whose vaccine efficacy has waned, ISN’T causing pocket outbreaks. He isn’t saying that the 20 to 65-year-olds who aren’t getting recommended boosters are also NOT causing pocket outbreaks.

Another fact Dr. Hotez isn’t telling you is that the MMR vaccine is made with live viruses. Those viruses shed for weeks after injection. MD Anderson’s visitor policy is proof enough that the recently vaccinated are a much higher risk factor for creating pocket outbreaks. Their policy states: “All children in the visitation room must have a negative screen for recent illnesses, exposure to chickenpox or live vaccines. If special permission is given for a child to visit a restricted area, they must be screened for recent polio vaccination. A child who has received oral polio vaccine within the past six weeks is prohibited from contact with immuno-suppressed patients.”

If one lesson can be learned from the KERA article, it would be that Dr. Hotez isn’t giving us complete and true information. He, like so many other stakeholders, conceals with smoke and mirrors. We MUST educate ourselves on the data and history he isn’t sharing! This is a broken world and bad things happen. Influential people use their positions to mislead and take advantage of what may be an under-informed public. Dr. Hotez has forgotten that the truth cannot be concealed forever, but more importantly, he seems to have forgotten that the government isn’t God.

My immediate call to action is for you to KNOW who represents you and to put their information in your contacts NOW. The 85th Legislative Session has started and you don’t want to be caught with an action alert and be unprepared.