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EDITOR’S NOTE: Following testimony provided by many experts including Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee members voted 13 – 2 to reject Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to add Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to the state’s list of vaccines mandated for schoolchildren. However, the governor said he will veto the committee’s recommendation.
Earlier this week I was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) team where some of us, including CHD Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., testified at the statehouse against Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to add Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to Louisiana’s childhood vaccine schedule.
Unelected Louisiana Department of Health leadership proposed COVID vaccine mandates for students 16 and older but leadership could expand the mandate for children as young as 5.
The proposal would make the vaccine mandatory for all school children in order to attend in-person classes.
I was there to assist Health Freedom Louisiana — the physician and nurses’ advocacy group Louisiana for Medical Freedom — Rep. Kathy Edmonston and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The belief in Louisiana is that Edwards’ support of the vaccine mandate is an attempt on his part to curry favor with the Biden administration as he seeks a federal appointment as an exit strategy from the Louisiana government.
Louisiana’s push to mandate COVID vaccines for children is as radical as the plan advanced in California by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said he will require all California children to get the Pfizer vaccine as soon as it is licensed or forfeit the right to in-person schooling.
The Unity Project, for which I serve as chief medical and regulatory officer, is leading the charge in opposing California’s mandate.
Televised hearing draws crowd to statehouse
The Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee on Monday held a televised hearing before the entire Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee in a room packed with Louisiana residents who oppose the mandate.
Elected officials, medical care providers (including physicians and nurses) and parents — including many mothers seeking to protect their children — presented testimony opposing the proposed mandate.
From what I saw, there are a lot of angry Louisiana mothers, physicians and nurses who are absolutely not OK with a government mandate requiring their children to get an experimental vaccine that is mismatched to currently circulating viral variants, does not prevent infection and spread of the virus and is associated with significant safety risks to their children including myocarditis and even death.
The governor’s attempts to interject state government bureaucrats and D.C. politics into decisions that should reside within the family are not going down well with these groups.
The CHD team delivered a carefully researched and focused presentation to Louisiana lawmakers based on both peer-reviewed data and primary data provided by Pfizer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Kennedy testified at Landry’s request, presenting studies and data, including Pfizer’s own data from its clinical trials.
Watch Kennedy’s testimony here:
Following the testimony, Louisiana House Health Committee members voted, 13 – 2, to reject the proposed mandate!
Three Democrats and one Independent joined all nine Republicans in voting against the recommendation. Democratic Reps. Robby Carter of Amite and Dustin Miller of Opelousas cast the only votes in favor of the mandate.
Despite the vote, Gov. Edwards said he intends to overrule the veto and add the shot to the immunization schedule starting next school year.
Media parrots public health official’s false facts, ignores Kennedy’s factual presentation
Predictably, the legacy media covered the rout of the governor’s attempted vaccine mandate by misrepresenting the testimony provided, gaslighting and attempting to delegitimize those providing testimony.
Media outlets regurgitated the vaccine mis- and disinformation provided by Louisiana Public Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter, who believes COVID represents a significant health threat to children, denies the vaccines are experimental and rejects the idea that an unlicensed vaccine shouldn’t be added to the immunization schedule just because it doesn’t keep someone from getting infected or spreading the virus to others.
None of these opinions are consistent with an assessment or with past precedents for adding vaccines to the childhood schedule.
Kanter asserted no vaccine-associated deaths have been reported to his office via an [unpublicized] telephone number set up by his office to report such events — an assertion the governor posted on social media.
Spreading misinformation is a disservice to yourself and your neighbors, & it can be deadly.
Over 14,800 of our fellow Louisianans lost their lives to COVID. ZERO Louisianans have died from the COVID vaccines. These vaccines prevent unnecessary suffering. Let’s use them. #lagov pic.twitter.com/MrZZwpPH1e
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) December 7, 2021
Kanter is wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, between Dec. 14, 2020 and Nov. 26, there were 63 reports of Louisiana residents who died after they took the vaccine.
Inaccurate public health reporting of vaccine adverse events may support the governor’s political agenda, but it does not enable sound public health decision-making and is no substitute for solid data.
Rather than addressing the data and meticulously referenced information provided by Kennedy and the CHD team, the Associated Press reported Landry “appeared with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has promoted debunked claims about the vaccine.”
The Lafayette Daily Advertiser’s reporter Greg Hilburn, who covers Louisiana politics for USA TODAY, referred to Kennedy as “an adamant COVID-19 vaccine critic who has been banned from social media sites because of spreading what the platforms deemed as immunization misinformation” — an assertion which allowed him to avoid reporting on the substance of the information Kennedy presented.
Readers will recognize a typical pattern: derisive legacy media coverage of data and opinion that questions the approved narrative, that the Pfizer COVID vaccine is perfectly safe and effective in children.
Perhaps mindful of the famous Battle of New Orleans, the intrepid health freedom warriors fighting the current Battle of Baton Rouge seem to be metaphorically keeping their powder dry and waiting until they can see the whites of their opponents’ eyes.
But Louisiana’s legal sharpshooters are ready to respond to the governor and may put a crimp in his designs on a Washington DC sinecure.
Meanwhile, we await the next skirmish.