Yesterday, Ed Day, the County Executive of Rockland County, New York, declared a state of emergency and ordered that no minors under the age of 18 who are not vaccinated with the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR) are allowed in public spaces for the next thirty days beginning this morning at midnight. Violation of the order is a Class B misdemeanor punishable with up to 6 months in jail. Public places include schools, businesses, public transportation, houses of worship, and other indoor spaces. Unvaccinated minors are allowed to remain in private homes, private vehicles and outdoor spaces.
Day stated at a press conference yesterday that this is perhaps the first time in American history where any healthy person has been excluded from public places based on their vaccine status.
Since last November there have been a reported 153 cases of measles in Rockland County. Yesterday, Kevin McKay, an investigator with the Rockland County Department of Public Health stated in an interview with John Gilmore of the Autism Action Network that there are currently 4 known active cases of measles in Rockland County. Rockland County is a suburb of New York City with a population of 328,000.
This unprecedented move is a direct threat to anyone in the United States who has a religious or secular exemption from vaccine mandates. Normally we would not encourage people outside of a jurisdiction where an event is happening to get involved, but this is an action of national significance. Regardless of where you live please make the following calls.
Please click on the Take Action Link above to send a message to Ed Day, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, and NY Health Commissioner Zucker stating your opposition to the ban.
Before you take action if you value the news, information, and advocacy brought to you by the Autism Action Network please support our work here: https://grouprev.com/autismactionnetwork2019
Please call County Executive Day and Rockland County Health Commissioner:
Rockland County Executive Ed Day, (845) 638-5122
Rockland County Commissioner of Health Patricia Schnabel, (845) 364-2512
Comment on Day’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/edwin.j.day1/
Tweet Day at @rocklandgov and @ElectEdDay (his 2018 campaign site)
Please call the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and ask them to override Day's declaration. Cuomo has not ruled out a run for President in 2020, so non-New Yorkers please call.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, (518) 474-8390
Commissioner Howard Zucker, (518) 474-2011
The target for this move is children who have religious exemptions from vaccine mandates. Rockland County has a large Hasidic Jewish population where religious reasons contrary to vaccination are common. The majority of cases have been in the Hasidic community.
According to statements made yesterday by Day the vaccination uptake rate at public schools is very high. In fact the Clarkstown School District, one of the largest in the county, is notorious for not allowing any religious exemptions despite the legal right to do so in New York. The claim was also made that the vaccination rate among children country wide with the MMR is 72% indicating that the majority of religious exemptions are among the private, mostly Jewish, schools. Despite the obvious concentration in the Hasidic community Day referred on his Facebook to people who have religious exemptions as "mentally nebulous" and followers of "expert teachings of Hollywood actors" and referred to Jenny McCarthy and Robert DeNiro in yesterday's press conference.
Day recently drew a great deal of attention to his Irish Catholic roots around St. Patrick's Day but he is obviously unaware that the Roman Catholic Church, Day's church, has serious moral reservations with vaccines made from aborted fetal tissue like the MMR. In a 2005 document written under the direction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict 16, the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life stated, "Therefore, doctors and fathers of families have a duty to take recourse to alternative vaccines (if they exist), putting pressure on the political authorities and health systems so that other vaccines without moral problems become available. They should take recourse, if necessary, to the use of conscientious objection with regard to the use of vaccines produced by means of cell lines of aborted human foetal origin."
The declaration does not include adults who do not have immunity, estimated at 7%, nor children not vaccinated for medical reason even though they could still be potential carriers.
Day claimed that more than 17,000 MMR vaccines have been given since November. The MMR is a live virus vaccine; therefore recently vaccinated people can infect other people with the measles. If the people getting measles are ill with the strain in the MMR, that would indicate that they were infected by a shedding person.
Parents of children with an IEPs please be aware that your child's school is still required to provide the services called for in the IEP, regardless if the child is in school or not. Please call your school today to determine how the school will provide the federally mandated IEP services.
Despite the number of religious exemptions in the Hasidic community, or perhaps in part because of them, Rockland was declared the "Healthiest County in New York." in statewide survey released on March 19.
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