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Bush's Smallpox Vaccine Speech (Summary & Text)

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      BUSH ANNOUNCES SMALLPOX VACCINATION PLAN
      Reuters
      Friday, December 13, 2002; 2:28 PM

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50811-2002Dec13.html

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Friday announced a plan to start
      vaccinating American soldiers and civilians, including himself, against
      smallpox as a precaution against an enemy attack.

      "Our government has no information that a smallpox attack is imminent, yet
      it is prudent to prepare for the possibility that terrorists who kill
      indiscriminately would use diseases as a weapon," Bush said in announcing
      the plan.

      The plan would begin with vaccinations of about 1 million soldiers and
      health-care workers, and expand to millions more emergency personnel. The
      vaccine would eventually be offered to the general public on a voluntary
      basis.

      Bush said the vaccinations will start with the military and other U.S.
      government personnel in high-risk portions of the world.

      "I will receive the vaccine along with our military," Bush said, while
      noting neither his family nor his staff would receive it because health
      officials do not believe vaccination is necessary for the general public.

      ------------

      TEXT OF BUSH'S SMALLPOX VACCINE SPEECH
      Associated Press
      December 13, 2002

      http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/B/BUSH_SMALLPOX_TEXT?SITE=1010WINS&
      SECTION=US

      Here is the text of President Bush's statement on Friday ordering members of
      the U.S. military serving in high-risk areas to take the smallpox vaccine:

      ---

      BUSH: Good afternoon.

      Since our country was attacked 15 months ago, Americans have been forced to
      prepare for a variety of threats we hope will never come.

      We have stepped up security at our ports and borders. We've expanded our
      ability to detect chemical and biological threats. We've increased support
      for first responders. We've made public our-made our public health care
      system better able to track and treat disease.

      By preparing at home and by pursuing enemies abroad we're adding to the
      security of our nation.

      I thank the members of my team who are here who are adding to the security
      of our nation.

      One potential danger to America is the use of the smallpox virus as a weapon
      of terror. Smallpox is a deadly but preventable disease.

      Most Americans who are 34 or older had a smallpox vaccination when they were
      children. By 1972, the risk of smallpox was so remote that routine
      vaccinations were discontinued in the United States.

      In 1980, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been
      completely eradicated, and since then there has not been a single natural
      case of the disease anywhere in the world.

      We know, however, that the smallpox virus still exists in laboratories. And
      we believe that regimes hostile to the United States may possess this
      dangerous virus.

      To protect our citizens in the aftermath of September the 11th, we are
      evaluating old threats in a new light.

      Our government has no information that a smallpox attacks (sic) is imminent.
      Yet it is prudent to prepare for the possibility that terrorists who kill
      indiscriminately would use diseases as a weapon. Our public health agencies
      began preparations more than a year ago.

      Today, through the hard work of our Department of Health and Human Services,
      ably lead by Tommy Thompson, and state and local health officials, America
      has stockpiled enough vaccine, and is now prepared to inoculate our entire
      population in the event of a smallpox attacks (sic).

      Americans and anyone who would think of harming Americans can be certain
      that this nation is ready to respond quickly and effectively to a smallpox
      emergency, or an increase in the level of threat.

      Today I am directing additional steps to protect the health of our nation.
      I'm ordering that the military, and other personnel who serve America in
      high-risk parts of the world, receive the smallpox vaccine. Men and women
      who could be on the front lines of a biological attack must be protected.

      This particular vaccine does involve a small risk of serious health
      considerations.

      As commander in chief, I do not believe I can ask others to accept this risk
      unless I am willing to do the same. Therefore, I will receive the vaccine
      along with our military.

      These vaccinations are a precaution only and not a response to any
      information concerning imminent danger.

      Given the current level of threat and the inherent health risks of the
      vaccine, we have decided not to initiate a broader vaccination program for
      all Americans at this time. Neither my family nor my staff will be receiving
      the vaccine because our health and national security experts do not believe
      a vaccination is necessary for the general public.

      At present, the responsible course is to make careful and thorough
      preparations in case a broader vaccination program should become necessary
      in the future.

      There may be some citizens, however, who insist on being vaccinated now. Our
      public health agencies will work to accommodate them.

      But that is not our recommendation at this time.

      We do recommend vaccinations for one other group of Americans that could be
      on the front lines of a biological attack. We will make the vaccine
      available on a voluntary basis to medical professionals and emergency
      personnel and response teams that would be the first on the scene in a
      smallpox emergency.

      These teams would immediately provide vaccine and treatment to Americans in
      a crisis. And to do this job effectively, members of these teams should be
      protected against the disease.

      I understand that many first responders will have questions before deciding
      whether to be vaccinated. We will make sure they have the medical advice
      they need to make an informed decision.

      Smallpox is a serious disease and we know that our enemies are trying to
      inflict serious harm. Yet there is no evidence that smallpox imminently
      threatens this country.

      We will continue taking every essential step to guard against the threats to
      our nation. And I deeply appreciate the good efforts of state and local
      health officials who are facing difficult challenges with great skill. The
      actions we are taking together will help safeguard the health of our people
      in a measured and responsible way.

      Thank you all.

      ------------

      PREVIOUS NHNE NEWS LIST ARTICLES:

      WHEN PARENTS SAY NO TO CHILD VACCINATIONS (12/1/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/4011

      BUSH TO ANNOUNCE PLAN FOR SMALLPOX VACCINATIONS (11/26/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3996

      PROPOSAL TO TEST SMALLPOX VACCINE IN YOUNG CHILDREN (11/7/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3933

      PENTAGON HAS SMALLPOX PLAN FOR TROOPS (11/7/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3932

      FORCED VACCINES HAUNT GULF VETS (11/7/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3931

      FEDS PUSHING TOXIC ANTHRAX DRUG? (10/30/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3888

      GI GUINEA PIGS (10/30/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3885

      AN EPIDEMIC OF AUTISM (10/19/2002):
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      VACCINATED PEOPLE CAN TRANSMIT VACCINIA VIRUS (10/17/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3824

      ANCIENT & ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR BIOTERRORISM (10/12/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3808

      PENTAGON PLANS SMALLPOX SHOTS FOR UP TO 500,000 (10/12/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3807

      SMALLPOX VACCINE GUIDELINES READIED (9/23/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3714

      SMALLPOX OUTBREAK: WHAT TO DO (8/20/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3592

      DOUBTS OVER SMALLPOX VACCINES EMERGE (7/30/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3497

      TWO ARTICLES: MMR VACCINATIONS CONNECTED TO AUTISM (8/10/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3559

      CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PENALTIES AT VACCINE MERCURY HEARINGS
      (7/20/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3443

      U.S. TO VACCINATE 500,000 WORKERS AGAINST SMALLPOX (7/7/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3371

      LIVING WITHOUT VACCINATIONS (12/8/2001):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/2371

      LEADING DOCTORS' GROUP OPPOSE MANDATORY VACCINATIONS (11/4/2001):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/793

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      RELATED WEBSITES:

      SMALLPOX VACCINATION 101:
      http://smallpoxvaccination101.com/

      NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC):
      http://www.909shot.com

      DR. CLASSEN'S VACCINE SITE:
      http://www.vaccines.net/%c2%a0

      IMMUNIZATIONS:
      http://www.pcslink.com/~klove/immunize.htm

      VACCINE INFORMATION AND AWARENESS (VIA) WEB SITE:
      http://www.access1.net/via/

      CONCERNED PARENTS FOR VACCINE SAFETY:
      http://home.sprynet.com/~gyrene/index.htm

      ANTHRAX VACCINE INFORMATION:
      http://www.anthraxvaccine.org

      VACCINATION NEWS:
      http://www.vaccinationnews.com

      VACCINEWEBSITE.COM:
      http://www.vaccinewebsite.com

      DR. TIM O'SHEA'S THEDOCTORWITHIN.COM:
      http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/index1.html

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