LD798 is the mandatory vaccine bill, removing religious and “philosophical” (read “rational, scientific, real-world”) exemptions from Maine’s vaccine program. Another bill, LD978 (talk about potential-confusion numbering!), on the other hand, gives Maine doctors latitude against state bureaucrats to provide the medically-appropriate exemptions that would be the only ones left in the wake of LD798.
Both were up for public input during hearings in the Education and Cultural Affairs committee in Augusta on Wednesday. One would think the Health and Human Services Committee would be the place to discuss a medical issue such as vaccines, but since the Maine approach to vaccines, as elsewhere, is to throw kids out of school if they aren’t fully vaccinated by Maine’s version of the never-tested CDC vaccine schedule, it falls to the Education Committee to hear the public’s opinions on the subject.
I heard estimates of an 80-20 split between opponents and proponents testifying on the LD978 mandatory bill. What I do know is that over 190 people spoke against it — and I, and a lot of other people who were unable to stay until the end, weren’t among them, though we’d prepared our 3-minute presentations with 20 copies for the committee.
I arrived at 11AM and after walking the full length of the Cross building to the end of the line waiting to sign up to speak, I realized I wasn’t going to get a chance to speak, given I had to leave by 6PM. For what I gather is the first time in history, there were at least 5 overflow rooms, all full, and the proceedings went on until 1:45 AM Thursday.
I’ve spent the past four years looking into the scientific details of the inappropriately-broad claim of (all) “vaccines are safe and effective,” and understand the science of why neither of those assertions is true. The list of reasons is almost endless, and the testimonies against the bill ran the gamut from coverage of these to truly horrendous stories of family lives wrecked by “adverse effects.”
But I thought Scott Porter, superintendent of the Machias area AOS 96 school district, apparently known by the legislators as a “numbers guy,” gave the most logical summary of why LD798 doesn’t make any sense in terms of protecting immunocompromised kids from contagion in the form of unvaccinated kids. To his response to a financial-impact question, he appended the following (transcribed from my recording made in one of the overflow rooms, at 4:44 into his testimony):
“The thing that really is difficult for me to comprehend is that they won’t be allowed to go to school, but yet they can come to after-school activities, so the kids are going to still interact. There is just no way to keep them apart, So how do you do that, logically? I don’t think it’s possible. So these kids are still going to have time that they’re exposed to each other, whether it’s with basketball, or groups that are meeting outside of school. Families — you even have some cases where a child may have been injured by a vaccination, and they have a sibling that was not, so you are literally going to have cases where some of these kids can go to school in the same family and some that can’t. So I can’t see logically how it can possibly work, when these kids are still going to interact, somehow, somewhere, some place, some [audience noise] going to be a place where we have someone watching after-school activities to keep them from coming into those [audience noise] even allowed to do that.”
If you are concerned about the impact on the state of forcing a large number of children out of public and private schools, leaving their parents to figure out how to either home-school them or move to another state (or even if you think that is a good idea), it might be useful to contact your Maine senator and representative. Two of our Hancock County representatives, Brian Hubbell and Genevieve McDonald, are co-sponsors of the bill.
And I’ve put up the email/phone contact info for the committee members and bill sponsors at
A bit more info on the safety/efficacy issue, such as could fit into the length limitations of a letter to the editor, can be found at
I’d be more than happy to talk with anyone who is interested in this topic.
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