Medical freedom advocates around the globe know Edwin Tamasese’s name. In June 2019, I visited Samoa at the invitation of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi who has served as the Prime Minister of Samoa and Leader of the Human Rights Protection Party since 1998.
I went to Samoa to attend an independence celebration and discuss with the government the introduction of a medical informatics system that would allow Samoa’s health officials to assess, in real time, the efficacy and safety of every medical intervention or drug on overall health.
Edwin Tamasese had arranged the trip and Children’s Health Defense had offered to finance the innovative system. Samoa banned certain vaccinations after several children had died following MMR vaccines the previous year.
A nephew of the Prime minister was diagnosed with autism following a vaccine-induced fever and seizures and government officials, including the Prime Minister were curious to measure health outcomes following the “natural experiment” created by the national respite from vaccines.
Samoa’s choice had infuriated the Global Medical Cartel. A mild measles outbreak in November gave that cohort the opportunity to turn Tamasese into an international villain. Near the end of the month, following the introduction of an Indian-manufactured MMR vaccine, many Samoans began dying.
On the ground, Samoan families blamed the vaccine and poor hospital protocols — mainly the use of panadol and widespread vaccination of measles-infected hospital patients — for the mortalities. The global cartel and the Pharma-compliant press blamed anti-vaxxers and Tamasese.
When police arrested Tamasese, our movement created an international furor.
In December 2020, the government dropped all charges against Edwin.
Here is Edwin’s extraordinary story:
On the mention of a measles outbreak in Samoa, I thought nothing of it. I had fairly good insight into measles as an infection and having had it myself, was not concerned and expected it to be a non event. We had also had several small outbreaks since 2003 according to WHO statistics that had come and gone without event despite our low vaccination rate of around 31% for the last 14 years.
I was shocked therefore when the first death was announced and started to pay more attention to what was happening. I also noted comments on social media from contacts of mine talking about the struggle they were having dealing with patients at the national hospital.
The first case I was to come across was a staff member who came to me with her nine-month-old baby. She had taken her baby to the hospital twice, but said the baby was getting worse. She had the child with her. There were lesions across the baby’s body with a red rash. I asked her what the hospital had prescribed for her child. She showed me a white bottle filled with a pink liquid labeled “Pamol,” a liquid form of paracetamol or acetaminophen and a liquid antibiotic mixture labeled as augmentin.
With my basic knowledge of viruses having been a livestock farmer for two decades, I knew the medications she was using were not going to work. I had vitamins in my house at the time that I gave to her. Vitamin C and A. I also told her how to use them.
By the next morning her child had made a significant turn around and was visibly stronger. Using social media she posted her thanks for the assistance. In addition she requested I assist a neighbor. I told her I am not a doctor and they needed to be going to the hospital for assistance. She said the neighbor had been to hospital twice as well and they were progressively getting worse. I agreed and went to see them as they were close by.
When I entered the home I was horrified at what I saw: a 9-month-old boy, his 2-year-old brother and their father were all lying together in one room of the house. The 9-year-old was severely ill, with cracked lips and eyes swollen shut, oozing pus. I asked why the child was not admitted to hospital. They confirmed that they had been there twice, but the child was not admitted. I was shocked. The child clearly looked like he was going to die.
I asked to see the medications that they had been given. It was the same pamol liquid and antibiotics. I asked if they had been taking them as per prescription and they said yes. I then reiterated that the child should be in hospital, but the mother was clearly concerned. She said the children are dying at the hospital and the medications they were given were not working. I said ok, I am not a doctor, but if you agree, I will help you. She said yes and I gave them the vitamins and the doses to give.
By the next morning the 2-year-old and father were up and about, feeling much better. The very ill 9-month-old was breathing easier and the swelling of his eyes and cracks on the lips were much improved. He fully recovered over the next few days much to my relief as I honestly thought he was going to die.
This is when things got out of control. Word spread very rapidly. I started to get calls from everywhere for help. I had also realized at this point that the medications being given out by the hospital were ineffective and needed to change urgently before more lives were lost.
I tried to call the measles helpline to get through to them, but the phones just rang out repeatedly. I also started to email several of my contacts in the medical community to hopefully urgently get changes put through. In addition, I contacted a few of my contacts who are members of Parliament to see if they could help.
In addition, organizations like Children’s Health Defense had reached out from the U.S. Quite quickly when I raised my concerns with them I was linked into a group of medical professionals by Mr. Kennedy and we worked on a protocol to ensure effective treatment. In addition, a nurses’ group from Australia made contact.
I also decided to make public posts on Facebook passing on information on how to treat measles using vitamin C and A. I also passed on information on using Carica Papaya leaf Extract (CPLE) for those who did not have access to these vitamins as they are ordinarily beyond the affordability price point of many.
Amongst all this activity, I had put out a request on Facebook to overseas families to send vitamins A and C. The first to respond with a shipment was Tays Way in Australia with hundreds of packages to follow from all over the world. The way the world responded was overwhelming and very touching. My parents, brother and I hired an extra vehicle and we formed two teams that went out to distribute vitamins. We also had a local team of supporters who were helping to pack vitamins and distribute as well.
In the midst of this activity, we were being harassed by a local group and online trolls who felt we were undermining the government efforts to contain the outbreak, not realizing that there was a major issue with the treatment protocol, confirmed by the U.S. team of doctors.
As we were going out to villages treating children, a very troubling trend was emerging. Over 90% of those we were treating were either recently vaccinated or according to the parents, had caught “measles” from a recently vaccinated person. This led to a call to a few contacts in the medical community to ask if it was possible that the vaccine could actually be the source of the outbreak.
A contact who happens to be on the medical board of New Zealand mentioned that there are a few ways that this could happen. Either the vaccine is under attenuated or not weak enough, the population being injected is vulnerable and too weak to take the vaccine, the vaccine is not being transported in a suitable chilled environment allowing it to regain virulence or the vaccine itself is contaminated and we are not dealing with measles at all, but another pathogen.
This became a major source of concern as our small team was overwhelmed, not to mention the National Health Services (who merged with the Ministry of Health in 2017) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were increasing vaccination campaigns.
As activities ramped up and news spread that we were having very good success treating children, I received my first call to come in to the police station to meet with the police. During this conversation, the officer interviewing me explained that he had been directed by NEOC (National Emergency Operations Center) to arrest me for disobeying the state of emergency orders. He stated that he had been told that I had posted a video on facebook telling parents not to come into the national hospitals for treatment.
I advised him that this was not the case at all and convinced him to review the video on his computer. He agreed and we watched it together. In the video I am clearly directing parents to take their children into the national health services and to ensure that they are given vitamin A as per the WHO guidelines for their treatment.
A few days after this interview, I received an email response from one of the doctors who was supporting our efforts in the U.S., Dr. Jim Meehan, who wrote a full protocol based on the treatments that we were giving and endorsed it from his medical opinion. I printed this out and presented it to the secretary for the Prime Minister in the hope that he would be able to support it and prevent further unnecessary deaths. I am not sure if he received it, however.
Early the next morning, I was to go to another of the islands to work on the coconut oil factory that I am a shareholder in. The night previous, I had received a call from one of the district hospitals. A parent of a very sick little girl was calling asking for help. I had spent an exhausting day delivering vitamins to several villages and almost did not take the call.
By this time I had lists of messages asking for help, my phone was sending constant message alerts to such a degree that it was almost as if it was ringing. It was at the stage where I would just say a prayer, flip through the messages and whichever one it stopped on I would choose to help. I just imagined if this person was me appealing for help with a sick child and I decided to take it and go. I got there in the late evening and the mother met me in the carpark. I said that I did not think I was allowed into hospitals, but she said do not worry, just come in. I went through the usual spiel: “I am not a doctor, the protocol I am giving you however has been endorsed by doctors. If you agree that you understand this then I will help you.” She agreed and I helped her out. While I was speaking to her, I could hear several other parents looking after children saying my name. “That is Tamasese” from Facebook. They came over and asked for help as well. I explained again that I am not a doctor, but if they wanted my help still I would help them. They agreed.
Early the next morning, I headed to catch the ferry to the other island to get to the oil factory. I called to follow up with the sick child I had visited the night before at the district hospital. The mother stated that her child had regained her strength overnight and the nurses said she could be discharged. The other patients that I helped also experienced the same outcome and were all waiting to be discharged except for a 3-week-old baby who was going to be discharged the next day.
Unfortunately in my happiness with the outcome, I made a post on Facebook stating that an “angel” visited Poutasi district hospital and the measles ward was going to be cleared. This post immediately set off events within the NHS who directed the district hospital to hold all the patients and contacted the police.
As I was on the way to Savaii, I took another one of the messages. Just by chance it happened to be on the island I was heading to. It was a message from Australia asking if I could help. I responded yes and we began to communicate. She mentioned the child, a little girl, was in hospital in Tuasivi, Savaii, the island I was going to. I explained everything about what we were doing and the protocol and said I did not want to go into the hospital, but could meet the parents outside. She thanked me and organized the meeting.
It was while waiting to meet these parents outside the hospital that an individual I know saw me and pulled up his car to talk to me. He mentioned that I am entitled to my view, but that I was being disruptive of government efforts. I stated that I would be as disruptive of the deaths of children as I could possibly be and if NEOC thought this was contrary to what we should be trying to achieve then that was their problem. He left and I continued to my meeting with the parents. I explained how to use the vitamins and left it with them.
Later that evening just on dusk, a police car turned up at our factory. I was on a call with some other parents asking for help. I told the parents I would call them back and approached the car. The officers advised that they had been informed to deliver a letter to me to inform me that there was going to be a two-day lockdown starting in the morning. If I was seen outside my place of residence during the period of the lockdown, I would be arrested on site. I asked why I was getting this special letter and nobody that I was aware of in the country was getting one. They said they were just acting on the orders of their superiors. I agreed and signed the letter and they left.
Around 9:00 p.m. that evening, the parents of the child I had just provided vitamins sent me a video of the child I had just helped six hours previous. The change was miraculous. The little girl had been lying on her back with a distended stomach and an IV in her arm before she started on the vitamins. Three doses later of a gram a dose every two hours of vitamin C powder mixed in 20 mls of water and she was sitting up eating. She was very close in age to my daughter and seeing her recover like that brought me to tears of happiness and frustration at the same time.
The fact that there was an effective treatment at hand and children were still dying needlessly was incredibly disheartening.
The following morning I noted a post from a friend who was to help with the mass vaccination efforts of the government. Considering the pattern of infection that made it look like the outbreak was coming from the vaccine, I made a post in reply that I later took down.
Two hours after this post, the police arrived and said that I was going to be arrested, with the charges to be advised later. The oddest part of this arrest was that one of the officers had been hugging me across the shoulders and thanking me for helping his relative the day before.
I was then transported to the police post at Tuasivi near the main town center where I was held for one night. My greatest concern was for the parents of the child I had spoken to the previous evening that I was intending to meet when the curfew was to be lifted in the afternoon.
In the meantime,I had no method to contact the team working the main island where the outbreak was at its worst. We had set up a distribution pattern where we would create delivery routes and assign people to areas to drop off vitamins. We were also keeping records of infections, age, sex, village, vaccination status and then following up on outcomes. It was an incredible effort from a very small but dedicated team.
I was held for two nights in this cell. Sleeping on a dirty concrete floor in a filthy cell with rats and cockroaches running about and an unflushed blocked toilet in one corner. Early the second morning, I was taken by ferry to the main island to be questioned at the main police headquarters.
When I arrived I asked what my charge was. They said they were yet to finalize it. I said you can’t hold me for more than 24 hours unless you charge me. They asked me to wait and I complied. There was no point escalating the situation.
I was finally given a charge of incitement against a government order under state of emergency powers in the afternoon. The registrar at the advice of the police asked that I be confined until bail hearing. The registrar complied and I was then transferred to the main prison to be held. I ended up spending three nights in that prison which was thankfully in much better condition then the one I had left behind.
At the bail hearing on the third day, the Judge agreed to release me on bail under the specific conditions that I release my passport and not say anything against the specific measles vaccine on social media. He disagreed that I should not be allowed to give out vitamins as requested by the prosecution and permitted me to continue doing this.
After being released on bail the outbreak had subsided significantly. A group of us met to look at what data we had available to try to determine what had actually happened in Samoa to cause this outbreak to be so severe and why the death rate was an astronomical one in 68 and not one in 5000 as would be expected if you trust the official statistics.
It was then that a few anomalies showed themselves. At the commencement of the outbreak, 36 tests were sent to Australia. Only seven came back positive for measles. What then were the other 29? All those for which samples had been sent were “suspected measles” cases.
The record of what this infection was if not measles needs to be made public. In addition, the Government stated that the mass vaccination campaign eliminated the virus and was a resounding success.
The infection charts, however, do not support this at all. In fact the mass vaccination drive statistically had no significance at all. Infection rates had been falling from a peak on the 26th of November. Mass vaccination occurred on the 5th and 6th of December. The vaccine takes two weeks to develop antibodies. Over the two weeks, the infection rate continued to plummet. By the time the vaccine would have become effective on the 19th-20th December, the infection rate was already as low as the seven case high that had led to the declaration of the outbreak.
Not only that, cases continued to occur on the six days after which the vaccine should have eliminated all cases.
In my view, and unless the government releases the results of all tests, both positive and negative, and what the infection actually was and if vaccine measles or some other pathogen was part of this outbreak, the suspicion that there was a faulty batch of vaccine, in particular the vaccine that was the basis of the vaccination drive from Serum Institute of India is credible.
What also showed through very clearly is that there are very simple and effective treatments available that should have been used in the outbreak.