NYC Sends “Disease Detectives” In Jewish Neighborhoods Looking for Unvaccinated – Attorneys Prepare Lawsuits
A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency over measles outbreaks in Jewish communities of Brooklyn, and ordered forced vaccinations of everyone not yet vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, the Washington Post is reporting that the Health Department has sent "disease detectives" into the community to force compliance: "On Wednesday, the city sent 15 to 20 disease detectives into the community, some with Yiddish interpreters, a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vow to quash the outbreak with $1,000 fines and misdemeanor charges for anyone in certain areas who refuses to be immunized. The workers, wearing blue Health Department jackets, conducted interviews in the homes of people who may have been exposed to the dangerous, highly contagious virus and checked the immunization records of all those they may have had contact with. Others pored over records for the same information at a federally funded health clinic in the heart of the community." John Marshall, chairman of emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center, is reportedly threatening to call the police on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The Washington Post reported: "Marshall said he threatened to call police on parents who were refusing to send a feverish child to the hospital in an ambulance for fear the authorities would learn all their children were unvaccinated. 'The ones who are so vehemently anti-vaccination, I don’t know how to convince them,' said Edward Chapnick, director of Maimonides’s infectious disease division." The Mayor and the Health Department are assuming that by declaring a state of emergency over recent measles "outbreaks," that they have the legal authority to suspend certain laws in place protecting the rights of residents of NYC to opt out of vaccines due to religious beliefs, and HIPAA privacy laws which would prevent them from pulling up medical records of children to see if they have been vaccinated or not. In the meantime, attorneys are saying that they will file a lawsuit challenging the emergency order by Friday. Attorney Michael Sussman, who successfully represented parents in Rockland County, New York last week and convinced the state Supreme Court to overturn the County's ban on unvaccinated children, is one of the attorneys planning to file a lawsuit in New York City.