The state Assembly is expected to vote Thursday on SB 277, the controversial bill that would require all children to be vaccinated in order to attend daycare or school. The bill would eliminate the personal belief and religious exemptions to vaccination, while maintaining the medical exemption.Jessica Calefati reports at The San Jose Mercury News:
Ahead of that vote, there's been a flurry of last-minute politicking by the bill's opponents and supporters.
A group calling itself the Public Health Council paid for anti-SB 277 robo calls. In the automated message, a woman claiming to be a mother says the bill would "take away our right to make important medical decisions for our children." She urges people to call their assemblymember and tell him or her to vote "no" on SB 277.
A Voice for Choice placed four advertisements in the Sacramento Bee this week. The ads look like political cartoons and show the supposed consequence of the bill becoming law: One depicts the tombstones of children who allegedly died of so-called "lethal vaccination."
Carl Krawitt delivered a message Wednesday for opponents of a deeply divisive bill that would mandate vaccinations for all school children, regardless of their parents' personal or religious beliefs.Patrick McGreevy reports at The Los Angeles Times:
"Get a real problem," said Krawitt, the father of a 7-year-old leukemia survivor from Corte Madera who couldn't be fully vaccinated until he completed chemotherapy and beat cancer.
"I know what fear is because I was in the hospital with a kid whose odds of survival were pretty low," Krawitt said Wednesday at a Sacramento news conference. "But what scared me more than the threat of disease was the misinformation" about vaccines.
Krawitt visited the Capitol with his son, Rhett, to give Gov. Jerry Brown a copy of a petition signed by 32,000 supporters of SB277, which will face another tough vote Thursday on the state Assembly floor. The Senate has already approved the bill.
A split among African American leaders on the issue of government-required vaccination has roiled the Capitol as lawmakers consider whether to eliminate most exemptions to state immunization laws.From a Sacramento Bee editorial:
A leader of the Nation of Islam has warned African American lawmakers of political repercussions if they support a bill that would require many more children to be vaccinated. A coalition of other black organizations on Monday countered that message with support for the measure.
Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister Tony Muhammad has told members of the California Legislative Black Caucus that they will face a backlash from their community if they support the bill, which may come up for a vote in the Assembly on Thursday.
“That is a traitorous act,” he said of black lawmakers voting for the bill, which already passed the state Senate. “They will not be welcome in the black community if they vote like that.
Echoing vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and using forums owned by the Church of Scientology, among other platforms, the head of the Nation of Islam and the group’s Los Angeles leader have spent the last several weeks denouncing the measure, which would eliminate the state’s overly broad “personal belief” exemption to school vaccination.
Last week, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan urged black families in Los Angeles to keep their kids home from school if state lawmakers pass SB 277, citing discredited claims that vaccines are linked to autism, particularly among black male children.
Meanwhile, Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister Tony Muhammad, who has credited Scientology with his emotional recovery after a police beating, appeared with Kennedy at a “town hall” at the church’s South Los Angeles community center. Kennedy claimed that the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Muhammad called out legislative Black Caucus members by name who had voted for SB 277.
“If they live in our neighborhoods, we will be in front of their houses throwing eggs,”Muhammad promised. “And we will have the biggest Uncle Tom signs they’ve ever seen.”