Almost two weeks ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a measles vaccine emergency; within 48 hours, everyone 6 months and older would need to be vaccinated with MMR or prove they had been. Within a week, “Five parents, identified only by their initials, challenged the constitutionality of the order earlier this week in Brooklyn Supreme Court, slamming the measure as ‘arbitrary and capricious’ and demanding an immediate halt to enforcement. In addition to violating their right to ‘individual autonomy, informed consent and free exercise of religion,'”1 they did not believe the city could prove a genuine public health crisis. (Our friend Robert F Kennedy Jr. also launched an immediate legal challenge.)
Sadly, yesterday a judge dismissed their lawsuit.
“’A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire. Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,’ Judge Lawrence Knipel wrote in his decision, calling the mandatory vaccination order ‘a rare but necessary step’ and dismissing the parents’ arguments that it violates their religious freedom, medical ethics, and ‘internationally accepted human rights principles such as the Nuremberg Code.’”1
The emergency order is still in place and still mandates that anyone over the age of six months who lives, works, or attends school in several Brooklyn zip codes, must be vaccinated. (This area is home to large concentrations of Orthodox Jews. Why isn’t this a hate crime?)
- Breaking: NY Legislators move to end religious exemptions from vaccines, will mirror existing California law
To date, at least three parents of unvaccinated children have been handed a $1,000 fine and threatened with another $2,000 penalty if they don’t appear in court. Also, as we reported yesterday, multiple Orthodox schools and preschools have been warned about being shut down if they don’t turn over their immunization and attendance records to city health authorities, and one has been shut down.
Since October, 329 New Yorkers have been infected with the measles and many are the children of Orthodox Jewish families (who would apparently rather their children have measles and then lifetime immunity than a vaccine) living in Brooklyn.
No one has died in this country, from the measles, in decades.