Hidden History: Bush’s Misguided 2002 Initiative to Vaccinate All Americans Against Smallpox

Dissolving Illusions

Dr Suzanne Humphries (2017)

Film Review

In this film, Dr Suzanne Humphries discusses highlights of her 2013 book (with co-author Roman Bystrianyk) Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History. Humphries, a board certified nephrologist (kidney specialist) starts by describing her transformation from pro-vaccine advocate to vaccine skeptic. This occurred in 2009, when hospital administrators persisted in administering (despite her explicit orders) flu and pneumococcal vaccines to patients whose renal failure was worsened by the aluminum in the vaccines.

After the administrators rebuffed numerous peer reviewed studies she found validating the adverse effects of aluminum-based vaccines in renal patients, she felt she had no choice but to resign her position.

The experience led her to delve more deeply into the peer reviewed vaccine literature. What she found astounded her: According to Humphries, there is a vast medical literature documenting the adverse effects of vaccines, but doctors never read it. Instead they rely on the mainstream media and public health officials (who apparently don’t read the medical literature, either) for information about vaccines.

Mack’s testimony came during George W Bush’s initiative (which has conveniently been erased from history) to vaccinate Americans against smallpox. Although the World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated in 1980, Bush claimed Americans needed protection against a potential terrorist biological attack with smallpox virus. Mack and others warned the CDC that administering smallpox vaccine to two thirds of Americans (ie all the ones in good health) would lead to 285 deaths and 4600 serious health problems.

When plans were drawn up to start with health workers, they wisely consulted the vaccine information sheet. The latter warned of a high risk the vaccine could cause myocarditis, pericarditis, angina and heart attacks.*** Armed with this information, most health workers declined to be immunized and the Bush CDC was forced to scrap their smallpox immunization campaign.

In her talk, Humphries also traces the history of the anti-vaccination movement back to 1889 in Leicester England. The anti-vax campaign, which started in Leicester, quickly spread throughout the country, forcing the government to suspend compulsory vaccination. At the time, so many children died following vaccination that parents opted to go to jail and/or be stripped of their property rather than risk their children’s lives.


*In her book Dissolving Illusions, Humphries also traces how polio vaccination didn’t eradicate polio. See How the Polio Vaccine Didn’t Conquer Polio

**The smallpox virus, which isn’t transmissible by air, can only be transmitted by direct contact. The mode of vaccination (via direct insertion of the virus into the skin) led to frequent transmission of the illness to family members and unvaccinated children.

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