June 6, 2002
ACIP-NVAC Smallpox Working Group
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30333
RE: Smallpox Vaccination Concerns
Dear ACIP-NVAC and CDC Officials:
I am writing to you to register my strongest opposition to the proposed smallpox inoculation program as a Harvard graduate in public health (1982) and internationally known authority in biological warfare and emerging disease research.
My concerns transcend those legitimate issues raised by widespread opponents to smallpox vaccinations, including: 1) substantial risks of common side effects from smallpox vaccination to the general public and especially immune compromised populations, 2) inadequate smallpox vaccine safety testing record, 3) inadequate smallpox vaccine efficacy testing, 4) the availability of modern therapies to treat life-threatening complications associated with smallpox infection, 5) the risk to unvaccinated populations from shedding infectious vaccinia virus for up to 21 days post vaccination, 6) lacking sufficient cost/benefit studies of the proposed vaccination campaign, and most importantly, 7) entirely lacking data from no risk/benefit studies having been performed on this proposed policy.
Must I remind CDC and public health officials that the cornerstone of legitimate public health policy legislation rest entirely on this later premise—that above all, more good should result than harm from the proposed vaccination program. To date, however, not one scientific assessment of the risk versus the benefit of smallpox vaccination has been conducted. Therefore, we simply do not know whether the proposed campaign would help and save more people that it might kill or maim. Obviously, this flies in the face of rational public health policy, and presents risks possibly more pervasive than a threatened or actual terrorist attack.
The recent editorial in The Lancet (Vol. 359, No. 9313; 2002) should also be considered in this regard. The editors of this most esteemed scientific journal asked, “Just how tainted has medicine become [by pharmaceutical industry payoffs]?” They concluded, “Heavily, and damagingly so,” urging “doctors who support this culture for the best of intentions” to “have the courage to oppose practices that bring the whole of medicine into disrepute.” This speaks directly to your decision-making concerning the proposed smallpox campaign, especially reflecting on the following information.
The little known fact is that the primary smallpox vaccine producers, Aventis and Baxter corporations, or their parent companies, are highly untrustworthy. They have been implicated on more than one occasion in committing genocide. Genocide is simply defined as “the mass killing of people for economic, political, and/or ideological reasons.” Baxter, along with other pharmaceutical firms including Bayer, is infamous for having committed genocide against the American hemophiliac population through their known sale of HIV-contaminated blood products. Both firms settled out of court for what amounted to economically motivated genocide. As the attached organizational chart shows, Baxter is a subsidiary of American Home Products (AHP). AHP, like Bayer, Hoechst and BASF, is a progeny of I.G. Farben—Germany’s leading industrial organization that virtually directed the Third Reich and Hitler’s economic war engine. After World War II, I.G. Farben was primarily broken up into Bayer, Hoechst and BASF companies. Aventis is a subsidiary of Hoechst. In summary, both smallpox vaccine producers—Aventis and Baxter—share hideous legacies demanding caution, if not certain avoidance.
Please, for the sake of millions of people, public health, medical respectability, and the future of this great nation, DO NOT SUPPORT ANY POLICY REQUIRING FORCED SMALLPOX VACCINATIONS.
Leonard G. Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H.
President and Publisher, Tetrahedron Publishing Group