A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services seeks to protect the public health of the United States, but some people find the language to be troubling.
Following cases of Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea and repeated outbreaks and responses to measles in the United States, the Obama administration says it wants to be better prepared for the ongoing threat of "new and re-emerging communicable diseases." An 88-page rule would amend domestic (interstate) and foreign quarantine regulations to detain even U.S. citizens traveling within the country for examination, testing, and possible vaccination.
In response to this, Citizens' Council for Health Freedom put out an Action Alert. The headline is "Get Vaccinated or You Can't Fly?"
"What the administration is proposing is that they essentially deputize the travel industry to look for anybody who looks sick or coughs or looks ill, and then to report them to health officials," says Twila Brase, R.N. and president of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom.
"In addition, the proposal would say that the federal government could then detain, quarantine, examine, and potentially vaccinate anyone they thought needed that without that person's consent."
A public comment period over the proposed rule is currently under way, and the deadline is midnight on Friday, October 14. Brase is urging concerned individuals to weigh in.
"The proposal mentions measles almost 200 times – so from our perspective, this is all about getting at people who refuse to be vaccinated for measles to essentially require the airports, the train stations, etc. to gather all this information about people, new information where they're headed to, different health information and make that available to the federal government," she says.
Brase contends the proposal is actually about "using the strong, heavy hand of government to make people afraid that they might be caught by somebody in the travel industry, detained, and then forcibly vaccinated or coerced into vaccination."
More information about the proposed rule is available here.