September 6, 2019
Dear Governor Newsom,
I can only imagine the pressure you must be under as you contemplate what to do about SB276. As Senator Brian Jones indicated yesterday, in about 8,000 bills coming through the California legislature in the last five years, none have brought about the level of passion and activism of the constituents of California in opposing a measure as SB277 and SB276 have.
There are many people who oppose SB276 for many different reasons and I’d like to share mine.
After my son suffered multiple seizures, four separate emergency responder calls and multi-day hospital stay in isolation at CHOC it was determined that his health issues were a result of his routine vaccinations. Despite FOUR separate pediatricians and neurologists telling us it would be a risk to continue to vaccinate, none of them were willing to write a medical exemption so that he could start preschool. This was the aftermath of SB277. Robust medical exemptions were promised by our lawmakers but it was extremely difficult to locate doctors willing to write them.
Now, comes SB276 of which the stated intention of the bill is to go after doctors who are writing fraudulent medical exemptions. With respect Governor Newsom, this is simply asinine. Where are these so called “fake medical exemptions”? People have been shouting from the rooftops since this bill was introduced for Senator Pan to produce proof of any fake ME. He still hasn’t done this. On the contrary, I’m sure you’ve heard the audio recordings of the over 850 doctors offices contacted where they indicated that they would not write a ME FOR ANY REASON and in fact many of the doctors offices refused to accept patients who were not fully up to date on their vaccines. Let that sink in. Children who have been harmed by vaccines are unable to find doctors to treat their injuries in this state let alone obtain medical exemptions so that they can attend school. This is unconscionable and I have to believe that you would want no part in this.
Even if my family were able to use our existing ME through a “grandfather” clause or obtain a ME that withstands the scrutiny of the public health department under SB276, it would still require that we submit to a government database not just my son’s health history but my medical records and those of my husband and his sister who barely survived a rare form of cancer – all of which were relevant in determining why vaccines pose a risk to my youngest child who so far has avoided the harm his brother has suffered. This is a gross violation of our privacy rights and I am confident this will ultimately be determined to be in violation of Federal Laws.
The state has a compelling interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens. Vaccines play a role in this. However, this bill does absolutely nothing to improve vaccination rates or public health. No parent who watches their child suffer a severe vaccine injury which results in a ME, would risk giving their child another shot. Our already high vaccination rates will not increase. If anything this bill does the opposite of protecting public health by chilling doctors from being able to advise and treat the small minority of children whom they or their immediate family have been a victim of vaccine injury or auto-immune conditions which would make vaccine administration unsafe in their case.
This bill is based on a fictional problem and causes great harm to children who have already suffered so much. Passing SB 276 brings absolutely zero benefit to the state of California yet will come at an immense cost to our schools, our taxpayers, our medically fragile children, the doctor-patient relationship, and our faith in the democratic process. For all of these reasons I vehemently urge you to veto SB276.