Viewpoint: Vote “Yes” on Question 1

By Blake Rosso 


Think for a moment about freedom. Put your mind on what you value most about being an American citizen. Freedom unites us. Freedom protects us. It motivates us. Freedom defines us. Now apply that concept of freedom to healthcare. Bodily autonomy is one our most basic human rights. I want the final say on what goes into my body. That is one of my most valued freedoms. I want the freedom to decide what goes into my child’s body as desperately as I want it for myself.  

We have been sold a lot of fear on the issue of vaccination. Fear clouds thinking and it can be used to lead people into giving up their freedoms. Jake Tapper from CNN told me to vaccinate my kids yesterday during the 5 o’clock news cycle after a terrifying report on the measles. Both of my parents had the measles as children. Yours probably did too. Now they all have lifelong immunity as a result. They can never get measles again. No boosters necessary. Ever. There have been great advances in standard medical care since our parents were children. High dose vitamin A treats measles effectively. Despite all of the fear-based reporting on recent measles outbreaks, the United States hasn’t seen a single person die from measles since 2015. Jake Tapper doesn’t talk about that. Is it a coincidence that CNN takes in billions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry each year for advertising? Who pays Jake Tapper to make me feel afraid before he tells me to vaccinate my kids?  

Culture is being influenced by corporations. I think that much is clear. The cat is out of the bag. Fear rules the airwaves and good money pays for its distribution. People who are afraid are easily led. Look back in history. Look to our current political situation.  

Big pharma would vaccinate every man woman and child on this earth with 100 vaccines per year if we allowed it. They are a collection of businesses. How could we blame them? Profit is the sole purpose of business. If we gave any business the opportunity to produce a product that they could force upon a captive market and then granted that business complete liability protection against faulty products, what do you think they would do? If it were my business and I valued profits over ethics, I’d create as many vaccines as possible. I’d pay money to influence the media and people like Jake Tapper. I’d donate money to university labs before they tested my product. I’d donate money to medical schools and to the CDC. I’d fund campaigns of politicians and lean on them to write mandatory vaccination bills.  

I implore you to do your own research. Google the name: Julie Gerberding and learn about the revolving door between the CDC and Big Pharma. Google: “CDC Foundation,” and see how much money Big Pharma donates directly to the government agency that sets the US vaccination schedule each year. After that, pull up the Maine state webpage and read the testimonies from doctors, PhDs, researchers and educators who opposed this bill. Science is being ignored.  

Pertussis was mentioned in last week’s paper. Pertussis (whooping cough) is a common illness in the United States that is uncommonly diagnosed. It is always circulating in the US population despite high vaccination rates. The pertussis vaccine is ineffective due to bacterial mutations. Vaccinated children can still spread infections because our vaccine protects from pertussis symptoms but not from the bacterial infection itself. Because of this, herd immunity for pertussis can never be achieved using currently available vaccines. Infants who contract pertussis most likely catch it from their recently vaccinated siblings. This information, with sources, was presented at the public committee hearing for LD798. The science went largely unheard because fear keeps the train rolling down the tracks.   

My daughter would receive 69 doses of vaccines if we followed the schedule recommended by the CDC today. That is nearly triple what I received as a child in the 1980s. How long will we allow industry to continue dictating our healthcare decisions? What will be the next business decision for big pharma? Mandatory adult vaccinations? Mandatory flu shots?  

I am not advocating for a collapse of the pharmaceutical industry. Most of the doctors who testified against LD798 are not against vaccination in principle. Voting Yes on 1 is about standing up for science and checking the power that industry has over government and healthcare. I am in no way telling you whether or not to vaccinate your children. That is a discussion for you and your doctor. This vote on 1 is about protecting your right to have that discussion. Join me and the hundreds of thousands of Mainers who will come together on March 3 and unite for bodily autonomy. For my kids and yours, for all of us together, stand up for freedom and vote Yes on 1.  

Blake Rosso lives in Southwest Harbor 



Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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