If it’s good for me, it’s good for you – or is it?
“It’s good for me, it’s good for you“.
Familiar line? Yeah, we use it in different ways, such as coaxing our children to eat their vegetables or perhaps get them to exercise. It’s also the opening line in the Kristopher Kross 80s hit Never the Same Again.
But when it comes to medicine, it appears our elected officials are saying, “It’s not good for me but it’s good for you”. It’s another way of saying, “Do as I say but don’t do as I do“.
And if there’s no other reason to distrust politicians today, this is it.
Let’s take the swine flu vaccine controversy occurring across the country but especially pitting Richard Daines, State Commissioner of Health for New York (and in turn the state itself) and the New York State Nurses Association (and in turn health care workers in general across the state). If any issue is one where a government entity wants individuals to sacrifice personal liberties to be in compliance with the state (“state” in this text meaning the government and not necessarily the state of New York), this may be as good an example as one can get.
Here we have the highest health officer in the second most populated state in the nation “telling” medical personnel to get the flu vaccination. On the other end, we have the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) legitimately (and may I say most reasonably) responding to Dr. Daines as well as an anonymous health care provider in the state.
[Editor’s note at this point: I’m going to try to minimally discuss the safety aspect in this particular post. It will be impossible not to but I will attempt to address it only as necessary I covered some of it in my last piece with regards to newspaper personnel in my state and I will cover much more in my upcoming piece on WWJD – and it’s not “What Would Jesus Do”. I had promised at the end of my last piece that I would cover it next but I felt this matter was too important to pass up on discussion. So my apologies in that regard. I intend to make that matter the very next item to be posted.]
In response to Dr. Daines from the NYSNA, the officials running the site and association express concerns about the flu vaccine not being 100% effective nor guaranteed of patient safety. They do not staunchly oppose getting vaccinated so much as they do the mandate that forces them to get the shot. In my view, this is a very reasonable position to take. The response from the anonymous health care provider is a bit firmer but at the same time quite understandable and reasonable in light of the compelling (and inarguable) points made about lack of testing and making the manufacturers of the vaccine immune from legal action.
In his open letter, Commissioner Daines makes what I believe is a very insulting statement to New York nurses, saying, “Questions about safety and claims of personal preference are understandable. Given the outstanding efficacy and safety record of approved influenza vaccines, our overriding concern then, as health care workers, should be the interests of our patients, not our own sensibilities about mandates.”
In short, the commissioner is saying “Safety concerns and preferences in dealing with them are understandable but at the same they should be tossed out the window unless you medically can’t take it“.
This is so a flawed a statement that a rational person can easily dissect it so I won’t cover it here.
Oh, and did you notice that the commissioner stated “on August 13th the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council adopted a regulation recommended by the New York State Health Department making approved annual influenza vaccinations mandatory…. for health care workers in hospitals, outpatient clinics and home care services. Legislation applying the same standards to nursing home workers has also been proposed.”
Now if I read this correctly, it sounds like this mandate was made by the state health dept. and perhaps forcefully “adopted” (if you get the drift) by this New York State Hospital Review & Planning Council (sounds like a bureaucracy to me). In other words, Dr. Daines may have essentially told this “council” that “we want to make this shot mandatory and ask you to agree (with some sort of sanction if you don’t)”.
Now I’m also reading that since there apparently is no legislation on New York’s book to force health care workers to get vaccinated, Comm. Daines is using the weight of his department to make it appear that there is law to that effect. The issue seems to be confused when he mentions that nursing homes should comply with his rule. Thus the question is this – did the New York General Assembly ever pass any legislation compelling health care workers to be vaccinated (which is implied in Dr. Daines’ comments about nursing homes but seemingly contradicted by the order his dept. has given to the NYNSA)?
In researching my question, the answer regretfully apparears to be in the affirmative, per the rule on this page. It seems the General Assembly has given the state commissioner wide latitude to do as he pleases with regards to immunizations, perhaps understandable in one sense but without oversight and/or checks and balances, a potential problem as we see here.
Anyway, let’s cut to the chase and ask the commissioner a question: If this vaccine is so essential for health care personnel, despite safety concerns, why not lead the way and get the shot first?
Interestingly enough, the question was indeed proposed to Dr. Daines and it appears to have left him in a “quandary” to where he finally stated.
“I’m not in the first priority group unless I schedule some health care facility visits where I’d have patient contact. I’m concerned about pushing to the front of the line unnecessarily. But if I meet the priority standard, I certainly should get it. I have no qualms at all. And my family members that do qualify for it, as soon as it’s available I’ll strongly urge them to get it.”
This is a smokescreen, folks. As the state’s CEO of health, he certainly can set the standard by being the first one to get injected. He has broad powers and can easily summon a nurse or other medical official to his office and “take it like a man”. Better yet, he can call the media, get a camera and microphone with a nurse or doctor in tow and say, “I believe this shot is essential to patient safety and accordingly I want to ensure that there are no risks to anyone in taking it by being the first in New York to get inoculated“. The fact he identifies himself as not in the “first priority group” is a crock of you know what.
Trust me, Comm. Daines meets the priority standard. If he wasn’t sure he would, he could simply leave his stately New York office for a short period of time, head over to a nearby hospital, visit a patient, shake his or her hand and then declare himself as eligible since he was in contact with a patient. He wouldn’t have to worry about “pushing to the front of the line“. Right there and then he could have the media cameras and hospital officials around and lead by example.
But you know, he won’t do so. It is “don’t do as I do but do as I say“.
Or “if it’s not good for me, it’s good for you“.
Oh, Commissioner, don’t urge your family members to get the swine flu shot. Make them do it. Better yet, have them appear on camera with you getting the shot and then let them take their turns in doing so.
If you’d like to contact Dr. Daines and tell him to “lead the way”, his phone number is (518) 474-2011, fax is 474-6608. His mailing address is Office of the Commissioner, Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237. I doubt he reads any e-mails so that probably won’t get very far. However, if you wish to go that route, the one e-mail address listed at the state’s website is email@example.com. If you write an e-mail to that address, ask that it be forwarded to the commissioner’s office.
And please be polite in all communications.
Now Dr. Daines isn’t the only public official to follow the liberal Democrat rule of “do as I say but not as I do“, though he’s from the only state that is making the swine flu vaccine mandatory for health care workers. Other public officials across the country – locally, statewide and nationally – are telling others to get the shot but not “leading the way”. We could take them on but instead turn to our country’s resident “president”, Mr. Obama, you know, the only one who apparently has no medical records to show us that he’s a natural born citizen. Let’s hear what he had to say on Sept. 20th regarding the swine flu shot.
“We want to get vaccinated. We think it’s the right thing to do. We will stand in line like everybody else and when folks say it’s our turn, that’s when we’ll get it…..The Obama family plan is to call up my HHS (Health and Human Services) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and my CDC director, and just ask them, what’s your recommendation? And whatever they tell me to do, I will do.”
This is so laughable, folks. This guy is supposed to be the CEO of America and he, Michelle and his two children are not leading the way. Funny but I thought the “president” was our leader. He’s going to wait, just like Commissioner Daines. He could easily summon a staff doctor or nurse to the Oval Office, bring Michelle and his kids with, along with a camera and the AP, and say, “We’re going to lead the way for America by getting the shots ourselves and then in turn we ask all Americans to follow our example“. And then the four of them go on camera and get vaccinated.
What could be wrong with that? A world “leader” isn’t going to lead the way on the swine flu shot?
Oh, it gets better.
Now the Resident says the family plan is to call his Health & Human Services Secretary, the Rebellious Kathy Sebelius, and CDC director Tom Frieden and get a recommendation. Gee, is this guy really the president? He can’t decide for himself and his family but he wants all America to get the vaccine. So he needs the HHS & CDC directors to recommend the vaccinations? They’ve already done so, Mr. Resident. It’s all across the web sites of your directors. That means you and your family are to be inoculated against the swine flu. What the heck are you waiting for? You appointed these people. You call the shots (no pun intended in this case). You get the shots. It’s not rocket science.
Unless Dr. Daines and Resident Obama lead the charge and have themselves and their families vaccinated first, don’t even think of getting one.
Along those same lines, Obama’s Congressional allies get specialized superior medical care in Washington but instead of wanting to pass that down to us as part of health care legislation they are trying to foist on us, they want us to get their version of Obamacare foisted on us while they continue seeking to be excluded.
Such a measure failed in the U.S. House (surprise, surprise), though it passed by one vote as an amendment in the Senate. No doubt the amendment will be deleted in joint committee if it passes both chambers.
Bottom line – mandatory health care by Congress and mandatory vaccinations (yes, I know they’re listed as voluntary right now) are unconstitutional measures that erode constitutional liberties and we must let these officials know we will take every possible measure to ensure they are never foisted on us. If it’s not good for them, it’s not good for us.
And that message is one we must drive home.