The primary elections are quickly approaching, but before Iowans go vote, it is pertinent to examine how our nation got to a place where medical mandates have not only been allowed, but have impacted our lives so significantly. What role did our current elected officials, specifically Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley who is up for re-election for his eighth term in the US Senate, play in the policies allowing these pandemic guidelines to take form or was the response to COVID just an overreaction?
To answer that question, there are a host of relevant policies that need to be discussed. Consider the votes to form the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that paved the way for providing immunity to vaccine manufacturers, to the subsequent amendments to the Act which watered down the informed consent provisions and the amount of injuries that would receive compensation from the VICP, or the power given to the secretary of HHS to make changes to the program without oversight. For the sake of brevity, this article is going to focus on policies passed in the last 20 years directly impacting the COVID-19 pandemic response. Our United States Senator Chuck Grassley was first elected in 1975 to Congress and would have served throughout the formation and amending of these policies.
Senator Grassley was 26 years into his Congressional career when 9/11 occurred. After the terrorist attacks a large portion of US policy began focusing on fighting all aspects of terrorism, including bioterrorism. The Biodefense Act of 2002 (HR3448) ushered in new changes to vaccine and drug licensure standards Congress had declined to pass since it was first proposed in 1999. The new standards outlined under the “animal efficacy rule”, lowered biodefense vaccine and drug licensure standards by allowing efficacy to be proven by clinical trials in one or more animal models, rather than in humans. Meaning, the risk benefit analysis of these products would be unknown in humans prior to their use in mass-vaccination programs. This bill passed the Senate unanimously, with support from our own Senator Grassley.
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HR5005) gave the secretary of HHS the authority to issue a declaration of emergency based on an actual or potential bioterrorist incident or other public health emergencies. It also advises the administration of the covered countermeasures (like vaccines) should be made available and to which groups of individuals. The Secretary “shall also specify in such declaration the substance or substances that shall be considered covered countermeasures for purposes of administration to individuals.” At the time of this piece of legislation, there was a concern over a potential smallpox attack. Because of this concern, the Federal government wanted to take quick action to prevent an attack of that nature. However, in doing so, the government exempted vaccine makers, administrators, and public health officials from liability in the event the vaccines caused injuries or deaths when used as a countermeasure. Senator Grassley voted YEA.
In 2004, Project Bioshield (HR1588) was passed under the National Defense Authorization Act. The principle component was to expedite the peer review process for the FDA to authorize medical products for use during emergencies before they were proven safe and effective (EUA). This provision removed the efficacy standards for products and allowed them to gain authorization by simply showing some benefit. The secretary of HHS was also granted the authority to declare an emergency based on an actual or “potential” threat, which could be based on intelligence that remained secret and not subject to judicial review. Prohibiting judicial review of the secretary’s actions during an emergency declaration means neither Congress nor the Judicial branch could ask for the evidence leading to the declaration or any decisions made during the active emergency. Section 564 e 1 A of the law also laid out the conditions for authorization stating the Secretary can “establish such conditions on an authorization under this section as the Secretary finds necessary or appropriate to protect the public health”. This has a direct impact on how state officials or DOD can use these products on citizens. The law did provide informed consent must be given in the form of the known and unknown potential benefits and risks of the product and alternatives available. However, individuals were to be informed of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, but also of the consequences of that choice if there are any, for refusing the product, as seen in 546 e 1 A (III). In the case of armed forces, this law also codified that military personnel must be informed of their option to accept or refuse administration of the new product. However, the President could waive this requirement if obtaining consent was not in the best interests of national security. (10 USC § 1107 a(a)(1)). Again, Senator Grassley voted YEA.
President Biden’s Administration has used Section 564 of the Bioshield Act as the primary justification for allowing private or public entities to impose vaccine mandates.
Unfortunately the very next year, 2005, another horrible piece of legislation was passed to further erode the rights of the American people. The PREP Act was passed hidden within the DOD’s Emergency Aid to the Gulf of Mexico Hurricanes, and Pandemic Influenza Act of 2006 (HR2863). The PREP Act provided another round of immunity from tort liability claims (except in cases of willful misconduct) to individuals or organizations involved in the manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing of medical countermeasures. The law stated a covered countermeasure may include vaccines, antidotes, medications, medical devices or other FDA regulated assets used to respond to pandemics, epidemics, or any biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear threat. It also created a compensation program for eligible individuals with a covered injury, since tort liability was removed from those creating the products or those administering them. However, if you know anything about the countermeasures injury compensation program (CIPC) you know it is poorly funded and has compensated few claims since its inception. Senator Grassley voted YEA.
Next came Bioshield 2.0 known as the Biodefense and Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 (S.3678). This law was written and passed in response to a “possible” avian influenza outbreak. This law continued to erode our rights and further increase the size of the government as it expanded the liability protections from countermeasures treating bioterrorism pathogens to all outbreaks or pandemics, including those derived from natural origin. It also created the agency known as BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), which gained some notoriety recently for its link to gain of function research, designed to develop experimental or licensed vaccines and drugs to be used as countermeasures. These countermeasures could then be thrust upon American citizens by the Secretary of HHS to combat a declared pandemic or emergency at their sole discretion. The law also authorized BARDA to withhold information from FOIA and FACA requests, as well as operate outside of judicial review. Meaning, they will operate without transparency to the public or the public’s elected officials. The Secretary of HHS was also given the authority to decide what, if any, compensation will be awarded to those who suffer an injury or death caused by these countermeasures, subverting citizens’ rights to a jury trial as outlined in the 7th amendment of the Constitution. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate, meaning again Senator Grassley voted YEA.
This is why individuals injured by COVID vaccines or treatments cannot sue Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson or any of the other companies represented by the 600 EUA’s issued for COVID for the injuries they have caused. These bills are why vaccine mandates have been allowed to occur not only at the federal level, but also in private businesses, healthcare facilities, even entertainment venues. Senator Grassley knowingly voted for these programs which gave away the liberties of Iowans, removed their right to seek justice, and instead gave protection and power to industry and government. He gave authority to a bureaucratic agency, FDA, to decide whether a product should have emergency use authorization and under what conditions people should be allowed to accept or refuse the product. An agency where nearly 75% of the drug review board’s budget is funded by the pharmaceutical companies that they will be issuing either full approval or EUA status. Senator Grassley gave an unelected bureaucrat, the Secretary of HHS, the authority to declare an emergency based on a threat or “potential” threat without the possibility for congressional or judicial review. He also granted the Secretary of HHS authority to write the rules for when and who needs to receive a countermeasure, the type of informed consent they will receive, and whether or not someone will qualify for compensation if they are injured. In addition to this, by voting yea, Senator Grassley gave the sole power to waive the rights of our armed forces to receive informed consent, to a single branch of government (and one single person) – the President!
Based on this voting record, can we say Senator Grassley played a significant role in the policies leading to the atrocities committed over the past two years? Instead of protecting our rights and ensuring a limited government, pharmaceutical companies were shielded from lawsuits and padded their pockets in the process. While at the same time, the natural rights of citizens to receive true informed consent and to freely choose or reject whether they want to take a vaccine or medication, along with the right for a jury trial if these countermeasures cause harm, were all removed. Perhaps it was willful ignorance under the guise of safety allowing Senator Grassley to voted this way. Regardless, we have to ask ourselves if he has done his job to protect our rights and keep Big Government in check. We also need to evaluate if we believe he will realistically be the one to repeal these policies before the next pandemic comes. If you believe he has not done his job in protecting your medical freedom, then it is time to vote for someone who will uphold those principles instead. Someone who actually follows through with action rather than campaign rhetoric. Someone who will reign in bureaucratic agencies, hold officials accountable who break the law, and not pass legislation that removes the natural rights of Iowans by actually upholding the Constitution. It is time to elect someone into office who will truly represent the best interests of “we the people” and on June 7th we have that opportunity.