Ron Paul: This weekend I was asked several times about the national emergency declared by the Obama administration regarding the H1N1 flu. In many ways I see it as a mixed bag because I think it’s interesting to note that the reason they give for doing this is to get out of the way of bureaucracy. They’re running into all kinds of trouble distributing the H1N1 flu vaccine and they found out that the government bureaucracy is getting in the way, so their excuse, of course, is to facilitate this distribution and to take care of the problems that they say we have.
But on the other hand, it’s a rather dangerous thing that it may be just another one of those things that the government does to condition us that they’re in charge if there is an emergency, because under this emergency, they do get a lot more power. They can have power to dismiss regulations. They also have power to do a lot more and if they want to regulate the movement of people and watch them, this could be a very bad, bad thing.
But this whole idea of immunization is worth thinking about because when people ask me about it, I say I have two opinions. One is a medical opinion and the other is a political opinion. My political opinion is very simple. The government shouldn’t be involved. There should never be a collective decision to force people to either pay for or take immunization. On immunizations, I think the country and the medical profession promotes too many inoculations, but I’m not against them all. I saw polio being wiped out and I took a polio shot, so I think discretionary choice making is fine.
But this whole idea that we’re getting inoculation after inoculation, I do believe there’s something to natural immune systems being knocked down by this. But you know, it’s interesting to note also that, you know, this distribution of the vaccine has really been a total failure. By the middle of October, they were supposed to have 120 million inoculations, and vaccines distributed around the country. It turns out that about ten percent of that has been done. So it really has been a total failure, in that sense.
So here it is, they’re providing free vaccines for everybody, but it’s not available and the tactics they’re using of scaring people, they don’t even test most of these people. They’re declaring that they have H1N1, but the story now is that a thousand people have died in this country from H1N1. Possibly, that’s true. It’s a serious disease. It’s not to be totally ignored, but how many people were already sick and how many people really had the disease and is a thousand a catastrophic event where we have to have a national emergency and do all the things that they’re doing?
Between January and April of this year, there were 13,000 people that died in this country from the ordinary flu. That’s 800 per week. I mean, it wasn’t even mentioned. So here we have come up for the total year of 1,000 and there’s a bit of hysteria going on regarding this program. But if they have totally failed in distributing this vaccine, which they’re in a way admitting because now they’re suspending the rules because the rules are getting in their way… if it was a total failure, why would anybody want to turn over their whole medical care to this group of people who are distributing this vaccine? It makes no sense.
The people who are developing the vaccine, of course, got their money. They got $2 billion of taxpayers’ money and they’re supposed to do their job. But you know, the whole purpose of a free society is to distribute scarce resources in a more efficient manner and this is a typical example of how government gets involved and they mess it up. The more they mess it up, the more they want. So I think it’s time for us to step back and think about this for a minute and not endorse this whole idea that the government should be running the show and that is exactly what we’re moving toward on national healthcare, it’s the same people that have given this very complex and confusing mess and a lot of wasted money. As far as I can see, more control and more power and that don’t make any sense.
Question: Who is getting the vaccine, and who is not?
Ron Paul: You know, it’s interesting to note that the President’s children have not gotten their shots and the explanation for this is it hasn’t been available to them. Now, that’s a little bit hard to buy when you think that probably anything the President wants can be available for his children. So in a way, he has made his decision not to give his children these inoculations, so if he has freedom of choice on this, I would like to make sure that all the American people have the same amount of freedom of choice.
You know, it reminds me also that when presidents talk about public education and the biggest champions of public education make sure their kids never get public education. They always get private education where there are a lot of better choices than the type of system that they’re promoting and that, of course, is what would happen in a socialized system of medicine. There will always be some who will be privileged to make these decisions outside of the rules of the government.
Question: Why should we be concerned about the federal government declaring an “emergency”?
Ron Paul: It’s also interesting to ask the question of why we should be worried about an emergency, especially when the emergency is designed to get rid of some government regulation. Well, some of the concerns I think are justified because in the law, when there is an emergency declared for medical reasons, the government gets more power to invoke quarantines for a large number of people. So this once again is decision making at a central level by government, not by doctors and patients and local communities, so even though that is not likely to happen right now, I think this conditions the people to accept the idea that the government is our protector and when the government declares an emergency, then we have to, you know, go along with whatever they say.
Fortunately, though, I think the American people are waking up on this since I personally don’t think that it’s critical that everybody gets one of these H1N1 flu shots. I think I saw one statistic where 65 percent of the American people have chosen not to get the flu shot and those who have, ironically, they can’t find it because, of course, when something is free, it’s also very scarce.