At the 17th District Town Hall on Saturday June 1st, Paul Harris (R?), Vicki Kraft (R) and Linda Wilson (R) met the public at WSU Vancouver to talk about past and future legislative sessions. Three vaccine and exemption-related questions were addressed rather calmly, while the topics of abortion, education and transportation seemed more impassioned. Of special note to ICWA Advocates, Rep. Harris said that any new legislation should wait until we see what happens with vaccine rates.
While these latest words from the primary sponsor of HB 1638 may seem to calm fears that he would pursue additional tightening of vaccine exemptions, it’s important to remember we have heard inconsistent statements regarding this topic in the past from Rep. Harris. What he claims today may not be his stance tomorrow. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has made the elimination of all non-medical exemptions their number one goal, and they join other rich and powerful forces hard at work behind the scenes, visiting legislators and medical facilities, all year long. It is also important to remember that there are other legislators, supported by powerful lobbies, who are being told that the “under-vaccinated” will soon bring an end to human history, despite facts to the contrary.
During the Q&A, Rep. Harris told the story of an immuno-compromised student who was afraid to go back to school. While it is true that the immuno-compromised should be concerned about going out in public while they are suppressing their immune system during treatments, they should be concerned about ALL other infections, including the common cold. For Rep. Harris to suggest that the unvaccinated are the reason the child is staying home is disingenuous. The student should stay home – even if everyone was 100% vaccinated.
Town Hall Questions on Vaccines / Exemptions:
Q1: What can be done about the largest contributor to low community immunity – Vaccine Failure? Rep. Harris said he would “look into it.” (See 0:16:20 of recording linked below; significant portions of this dialog were omitted from the posted video because of low audio quality).
Q2: Will you protect religious exemptions for MMR and other vaccines? Sen. Wilson: Yes. Rep. Kraft: Yes. And drum roll please…Rep. Harris: “I have no problem with religious exemptions” (0:24:20)
Q3: What are the next steps in vaccine Legislation? Harris: I plan on doing nothing about vaccines next. This bill was just imposed…you’ve gotta see what happens with vaccine rates. (1:10:00)
The recording of the town hall can be found on this online article: