"Your organizations are the main entities promoting vaccine hesitancy – Florida promotes the truth."

Joseph Lapado, MD, MPH Florida State Health Officer

March 10, 2023 Letter to FDA/CDC 

The following article is written with sad hearts because so many wrongs could have been avoided if there had been a commitment to open dialogue and our leaders had the requisite humility and courage.

When history tells the story of what happened in The Great COVID Debacle, the most critical factor will be the epic failure and demonstrable incompetence of our public health authorities. For the state of Alabama, these charges land squarely at the feet of Dr. Scott Harris, the State Health Officer (and his boss, the state's physician organization, and the hospital lobby).

It is not enough to simply claim ignorance and move on, as many seem to be doing. Those in authority need to be held to account for their actions that have permanent adverse effects on our families, society and our Republic. While the unique and unconstitutional arrangement of the current mechanism of selecting our state's health officer has been politically expedient for those in authority, the damage has been historic. Although it is a belated action, with the governor's insistence, the legislature (in particular House Healthcare Committee chairman Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) and Senate Healthcare Committee chairman Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence)) must accept their responsibility and make changes stat!

Just as Dr. Harris' statements last week at a social justice symposium at UAB, many of his appalling remarks have gone unchallenged by the powers that be in our state.

For just a few examples:

1. At the annual Medical Association of Alabama (MASA) meeting in the Spring of 2021, regarding the relatively low incidence of COVID-19 vaccine uptake in our state, he pointed an accusatory finger at white conservatives (ignoring the fact that there was no significant difference in vaccine uptake between races).

2. In an example of fear-mongering to promote the vaccines, in January 2022, he stated incorrectly that the Omicron variant (the least lethal of the four main strains in circulation at that time) had a 10-fold higher mortality rate than the flu (Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford found that the infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 in 2020 was far less.)1

3. In his opening statement to the state's vaccine working group on Oct. 8, 2020, he correctly pointed out that the time-honored goal of a vaccine campaign is to promote herd immunity. As that was the stated objective, when did we hear him explain this throughout the past 2 1/2 years? This leads us to the reality that the actual objective clearly was not herd immunity.

The evidence of pervasive missteps, miscalculations, errors and wrongs over the past 3+ years in our "public health's" words and actions is historic (and will be the topic of a follow-up article.) Almost without exception, the general lack of application of the scientific method, along with incorrect and divisive pronouncements, have led to generational harm to human health and the discipline of medicine itself. Medical authorities have ignored centuries of fundamental principles in pandemic responses to the detriment of all and death for many.

From the WHO, NIH, FDA, CDC, state public health authorities and all the way down to the county coroner, there has been a massive avoidance of accountability alongside a demonstrable insatiable thirst for power and control- all to the detriment of our God-given rights and responsibilities. Largely blind to these abuses through the corporate media's suppression of dissent, the public now (understandably) distrusts the so-called "scientific experts."

Last week, in a statement criticizing all branches of government for their malfeasance over the past 3+ years, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch belatedly penned a rebuke regarding many of the actions taken under the guise of "public health." 2 Alabama has been the petri dish of unabated corruption by the medical-industrial complex because of our unique situation. Alabama's State Health Officer is appointed and controlled by the unelected state medical board (think MASA) with zero oversight by any of our elected officials.3

From March through June 2020, the initial Unified Commander of our state's response to the pandemic, Retired Col. James Hawkins, found corruption and incompetence from those responsible for leading the state public health response. Having served our country and state with distinction as a commander for over a decade during crises, he is a highly-qualified, competent and trained individual. He was appalled by the capture by the medical-industrial complex and the public health response of the state to the pandemic. In short, those in charge had seemingly little understanding of the demands and requirements for the task at hand.

As a clear example of the results of Dr. Harris' erroneous decrees, Governor Ivey was forced to apologize in December 2020 (in an interview on WCOV) for shutting down the state. Also, because of Harris' hubris and incompetence, Ivy made statements in July 2021 that were counter to the evidence when she said, "I want folks to get vaccinated. That's the cure. That prevents everything ...Why would we want to mess around with just temporary stuff? .... And we know what it takes to get it done."

She went on to describe the shots as "safe" and "effective," saying: "The data proves that it works. [It] doesn't cost you anything. It saves lives... Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down."

Unlike Dr. Harris, Florida's State Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Lapado, MD, MPH, has demonstrated many times in the past couple of years that leadership requires a commitment to time-honored principles and ethics. He has relied on scientific evidence in the decision-making process rather than fear or political pressure. In a March 10, 2023, three-page letter to the FDA and CDC regarding the mRNA biologics, he delivered a scathing rebuke to the overlords of the COVID-19 public health response.

His opening sentence set the tone: "Your ongoing decision to ignore many of the risks associated with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, alongside your efforts to manipulate the public into thinking they are harmless, have resulted in deep distrust in the American healthcare system."

The letter went on to itemize just a dozen of the inappropriate actions of the public health authorities. It concluded with the following: "Your organizations are the main entities promoting vaccine hesitancy – Florida promotes the truth. It is our duty to provide all information within our power to individuals so they can make their own informed healthcare decisions. A lack of transparency only harms Americans' faith in science." 4

As the nation had the now-disgraced Dr. Fauci as the face of the federal response, Alabama has Dr. Scott Harris. However, unlike Dr. Fauci, who was forced to appear before congressional committees (where he lied many times), Dr. Harris has not availed himself to others who seek truth as he continues to ignore the abuses of our public health apparatus. (Besides the obvious dereliction of duty of the mainstream media, the rules and structure of our legislature don't allow for such... but that's a story for another time.) We are in the FOURTH legislative session since this disaster started, and the vacuum in leadership from our elected officials is appalling. It is past time for leadership to step to the fore and change the selection system for our state's health officer, remove Dr. Scott Harris and hold those responsible for the gross mismanagement during this historic disaster.

1. "At a global level, pre-vaccination IFR may have been as low as 0.03% and 0.07% for 0–59 and 0–69-year-old people, respectively." Age-stratified infection fatality rate of COVID-19 in the non-elderly population - ScienceDirect

2. Justice Neil Gorsuch Speaks Out Against Lockdowns and Mandates ⋆ Brownstone Institute

3. Physicians on the State Board of Health { Mark LeQuire, Chairman, Montgomery; Charles 'Mac' Rogers, Vice Chairman, Mobile; Aruna Arora, Huntsville; Gregory Ayers, Hoover; Jane Ann Weida, Tuscaloosa; David Thrasher, Montgomery; Tonya Bradley, Auburn; Eli Brown, Birmingham; Hernando Carter, Birmingham; Nina Ford Johnson, Mobile; Beverly Jordan, Enterprise; George Koulianos, Mobile; Dick Owens, Haleyville; Jay Suggs, Decatur}

4. Surgeon General's Stationery (floridahealth.gov)

Dr. Stewart Tankersley served on the Alabama Ethics Commission from 2012-2017.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com (Commentary@1819News.com)

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