‘Bioshield II’ – Legislation Threatens our Freedom

Since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the citizens of the United States have been challenged by elevated alerts predicting bioterrorism. The facts, however, do not support this paranoia. In the only biological attack in our nation’s history our country was assaulted with anthrax spores that originated from a “domestic” source according to the FBI and the White House. We are told that we will not let the terrorists change our lives, but that’s exactly what our Government is mandating through legislation.

While the Government attempts to evade detection for misleading the American people in policies abroad, they are diverting their attention, and ours, to new undetectable domestic threats. The intended solutions to bioterrorism and the risk those solutions place on our citizens needs sharp review. In the midst of the diversionary hype our Government is simultaneously indemnifying itself and Biodefense manufacturers against any liability from damages caused by their vaccines or drugs meant to protect us against these new threats, real or not. Compliance will be mandatory.

Senator Burr (R-NC) has introduced a bill titled the “Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005” (S. 1873, aka: “Bioshield II”), co-sponsored by Senators Frist (R-TN), Enzi (R-WY) and Gregg (R-NH). From the title, the intent appears to be for the protection of the American people; however, upon closer scrutiny, this Act is more concerned with protecting the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, it strips the citizens of the United States of their basic human rights. Examining the facts one at a time, S. 1873 shows us the following. The Act:

  • Provides sweeping immunity to any manufacturer that produces any type of countermeasure from any type of lawsuit stemming from injuries or death that may occur to the recipient;
  • Provides a Government fund for any person that has been injured or died as a result of any countermeasure taken, with a cap of $250,000.00 per person, per life. If a person becomes permanently disabled, it is unrealistic to believe that this sum will last a couple of years, let alone a lifetime;
  • Creates a new agency, the “Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency” (BARDA), which will be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and judicial review;
  • Determines the Secretary of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to be the sole authority on whether or not a person’s injury or death resulted from the countermeasure. The Secretary’s decision is final and not subject to judicial review.

So the Secretary authorized to declare a national emergency, would coincidentally be the person who would review and rule on whether or not an injury or death was the result of his/her decision, that would not be subject to judicial review. Such practice may be suitable in an oligarchy but not in a democracy. This is a significant conflict of interest.

Under “Project Bioshield”, the Secretary of DHHS, an appointed, unelected official, can declare a national emergency based on intelligence of threats of bioterrorism/pandemics/ epidemics (whether natural outbreaks or bioterrorism), and whether those threats are real or potential. Should that occur, then every American can be forced to submit to whatever countermeasure is deemed appropriate, whether that countermeasure is FDA approved or not. To say the least, this is completely unenforceable. The Bill of Rights cannot logically coexist with such a law.

The “Homeland Security Act of 2002”, removes liability for injuries or deaths caused by the smallpox vaccine when it is used as a countermeasure. Currently, the product label with the Wyeth Smallpox vaccine now carries a “black box warning” about potentially fatal dangers to the heart.

The “Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002”, proposed changes to the vaccine and drug licensure standards. Under this Act, known as the “animal efficacy rule” (meaning that testing on animals will be deemed sufficient), could be enacted in order to use a drug or vaccine. The true human cost in terms of injuries or deaths will not be known until mass vaccination occurs.

The “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) allows the FDA to put into use countermeasures that has either not been approved, or, not approved for their intended use. The EUA has already injected the anthrax vaccine into over 1 million of our military service members under a Department of Defense order. This has resulted in thousands of injured individuals, 21 deaths that are admitted, and hundreds of court-martials which have resulted in felony convictions. A federal judge (Doe v. Rumsfeld) put an end to this mandated illegal practice. If however, S. 1873 is passed, there will be no judicial review.

To ensure compliance to rapid responses, the “Model State Emergency Health Powers Act” (MSEHPA) is an Act which allows Governors to declare an emergency and to utilize the state militia in the control of all roads leading into and out of the cities and the state. It allows the Governor to seize citizens’ personal property, to arrest and detain and forcibly examine, vaccinate and medicate citizens and/or their minor children without informed consent. Should death or injury occur during any of this process, any person acting on behalf of the Government would not be held liable.

Taken as a whole or even in part, S. 1873, and the other Acts cited above are a serious threat to our Constitution and to the liberty of all Americans. These Acts are a direct assault on every American’s freedom.

Written by Randi Airola, randiceaj@sbcglobal.net, and John Gowan, jggowan@comcast.net

To read the full paper with links and references to Senator Burr’s staff regarding S. 1873, and all other Acts cited above, by Barbara Fisher, go to:


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