From the December 2001 Idaho Observer:

Model State Emergency Health Powers Act Update:

The Washington Post published an article Nov. 19, 2001, which indicates the CDC model health powers act (See article at left) has tremendous political weight behind it and is being pushed forward as fast as it will go. “Spurred by fears of bioterrorism, state legislators across the country are pushing new laws that would permit large-scale quarantine, forcible seizure of hospitals and other businesses, mandatory vaccination or treatment, and destruction of contaminated property without the owners' consent,” said the story lead.

According to the Post, the bill has been introduced in a few states including Nevada and Illinois. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said the proposed act has been on the drawing table for six months. The Nevada legislature disbanded last June.

“Some variation of the measure is likely to be considered in virtually every state next year, forcing lawmakers to grapple with the right balance between civil liberties and emergency health powers in a new age of biological terrorism,” commented the Post.

An irony?

It is no secret that in the 1800s the federal government exposed Indians to smallpox with blankets intentionally contaminated with the disease. Indians had no immunity to smallpox and smallpox epidemics severely diminished their ability to prevent the white man from taking over their land. Less than 200 years later, smallpox is back. This time the exposure will be from needles, not blankets and this time the epidemics will be among all Americans so that their ability to prevent the federal government from taking their land (and their freedom) will be severely diminished. The irony here is difficult to miss. ~(DWH)

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Hari Heath

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