At the request of Louisiana State Representative Mike Echols, a last minute agenda item was added to the House Health and Welfare’s scheduled hearing on Monday, November 8th. One of his constituents, Melissa McKinney, an RN, had approached him with personal and professional concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccine adverse events (AE) and faulty reporting to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). As a result, Representative Echols asked for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to appear before the committee to discuss VAERS reporting.
There were several jaw-dropping revelations throughout this meeting.
Only two minutes into questioning, Teresa Sokol, LDH State Epidemiologist, made a startling revelation. There is an 800 number available to healthcare workers 24/7 to accept urgent reports. It was detailed in a health alert sent out by LDH in December of 2020. Despite assurances that this information had been emailed “broadly” several times over the months, it was news to the committee members and the healthcare workers in attendance, including the pediatrician sitting next to me.
As evidence of this broad dissemination, Ms. Sokol announced that only one hundred twenty-two reports had been made from the millions of shots administered in Louisiana. Of those, LDH had determined that only 11 met their criteria for a severe adverse events (AE) and were definitively associated with COVID-19 vaccines. Included in those 11 AE were three cases of myocarditis, one anaphylaxis, and the rest were in a general category of “other,” including a case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
Then came another stunning revelation. When given the opportunity to question Ms. Sokol and State Health Officer, Dr Joseph Kanter, State Representative Kenny Cox announced that he has been suffering from GBS since his second vaccination in May. Dr. Kanter assured that GBS is a short-term side effect, supposedly lasting “much less” than four to six months. That assurance fell flat when Representative Cox announced he was still experiencing symptoms and seven (7) months had elapsed.
Public comments brought more bombshell admissions, though both Ms. Sokol and Dr. Kanter chose to leave immediately instead of staying to listen.
The first registered nurse to be called to the table, Elizabeth Suire, stated she has noticed an uptick in blood clotting disorders in the ICU where she works. These disorders are going unreported because there are no hospital protocols for reporting adverse events. Next, cardiovascular ICU nurse, Heather Lebeouf, shocked the room by declaring what she is seeing in the ICU is “terrifying.” She spoke on behalf of nurses across the state when she said she had not been made aware of LDH’s 800 number for reporting adverse events (AE).
Another registered nurse, Melissa McKinney, provided unique testimony as someone who not only witnessed vaccine injury in her work, but both she and her husband experienced vaccine injury as well. There is “no VAERS reality” in her hospital because blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks have gone completely unreported.
Shocked, Solicitor General Liz Murrill joins the meeting
Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill was listening to the hearing from her office and was so disturbed by what she heard from LDH that she made her way to the Capitol to offer testimony of her own personal experience with her son’s COVID vaccine injury. She did not testify in her official capacity, rather as a “very angry mother.” She was angered that LDH continues to downplay the significance of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, in children. Ms. Murrill emphasized that we have a broken reporting system.
Her son’s injury was the first incidence of pediatric myocarditis in the state and yet his injury is not included in the 11 recognized by LDH, stating that they never called her back to investigate his injury. She even wrote a letter to LDH asking them to take down a video they posted which downplays the seriousness and frequency of myocarditis from covid vaccines. She told the committee LDH never bothered to respond.
More vaccine injury testimony
Angelia Desselle and Alicia Smith experienced severe injury following their COVID vaccinations and testified that their individual reports are also not included in the 11 official reactions because there has never been any follow up by LDH. Both women had hospital stays and significant, unresolved neurological damage that has prevented them from returning to work and normal life.
Fiorella Trapani, Co-Director of Health Freedom Louisiana, pointed out that if LDH can text every parent of 5 to 11 year olds about the availability of a vaccine, then surely they can and should have notified parents of the 800 number in case their child became injured as well as informing physicians and providers of their reporting obligations. Ms. Trapani pointed out that LDH is deliberate in promoting vaccines (including a social media post advertising $100 for getting vaccinated) while intentionally minimizing the known and unknown risks of vaccination by not sharing or promoting the vaccine injury number because ultimately LDH doesn’t want the data.
As I stated during my testimony in my capacity as Co-Director of Health Freedom Louisiana, VAERS is a safety signaling system. It is considered by many to be a passive reporting system, but it is a mandatory reporting system for healthcare workers who are obligated by federal law to report severe reactions, including death. In addition, because a drug issued under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is considered investigational, or experimental, reactions are to be reported “irrespective of attribution to the vaccination,” meaning the physician does not get to determine causality.
Statements made by Ms. Sokol and Dr. Kanter left the impression that LDH is only considering the calls made to their hotline in determining the number of adverse events in the state. Neither Ms. Sokol nor Dr. Kanter acknowledged the thousands of adverse events (AE) reports submitted by Louisiana citizens directly to VAERS, including sixty-seven reported deaths. While the reports to VAERS do not determine causality, it is, again, a safety signaling system. This is an astonishing number of reports to ignore.
LDH has created a system that favors vaccine success, but at what cost?
As vaccines are made available to younger and younger members of our society, while in other countries they are stopping vaccination of younger populations because of the high risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, it is critical that education and awareness of physicians’ adverse events (AE) reporting obligations be made widely known. An 800 number is useless if medical professionals are not made aware that reporting is mandatory. It is unbelievably negligent that this obligation has not been made known, per the testimony of every single healthcare worker who spoke that day.
I am still awaiting the response to several follow-up questions submitted to LDH to clarify their policy regarding the 800 number. Hopefully they won’t ignore my request as they did the Solicitor General’s.
It’s also a citizen’s duty to report adverse events
If you or a loved one has experienced injury or death following a COVID-19 vaccination, call the LDH hotline at 800-256-2748. If LDH fails to file a report or turns you away, please contact us at Citizens for a New Louisiana. You can file a report yourself, and you can find instructions on how to do that at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
There is no time limit for filing a VAERS report, but there is a time limit on filing for compensation for injury or death. If you experienced injury from any “countermeasure” during the declared emergency, you have a one year time limit from the administration of the drug or intervention to file for compensation. Find out more about that here: https://www.hrsa.gov/cicp/faq.
Don’t just sit there, do something!
Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution. Will you join us?
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