Tuesday, December 21, 1937
Address of William Howard Hay, M.D., Pocono, PA., on June 25, 1937, before The Medical Freedom Society

MR. BURDICK. Mr. Speaker, under the leave to extend my remarks in the RECORD, I include the following address by William Howard Hay, M.D., of Pocono, PA., on June 25, 1937, before the Medical Freedom Society on the Lemke bill to abolish compulsory vaccination:

I was glad to hear the Honorable Mr. Lemke’s presentation of the subject matter of his bill. I have thought many times of all the insane things that we have advocated in medicine, that Is one of the most insane-to insist on the vaccination of children, or anybody else, for the prevention of smallpox, when, as a matter of fact, we are never able to prove that vaccination saved one man from small-pox. Naturally not. When you have protected anybody, as we denote protection in medicine, you have at the same time destroyed your evidence. If that man doesn’t take the disease against which he is supposed he be protected, how can you ever know he would have taken it if he hadn’t been protected? We have destroyed the evidence.

As a matter of fact, perhaps it is safe to say that not more than 10 per cent of the people ever would take smallpox if sleeping in the same bed with an infected smallpox victim. We know there is a large immunity to smallpox. Very few people are subject to it, and these usually in the filthiest surroundings. Now, if we carry that natural immunity to smallpox as we do other diseases, and we have been protected by vaccination and then we are exposed to smallpox and don’t take it, don’t you see there is no proof there? We may be carrying a natural Immunity. If one case that has been successfully vaccinated afterwards develops smallpox, that is proof that it isn’t protection, now, isn’t it?

I know of one epidemic of smallpox comprising nine hundred and some cases in which 95 per cent of the infected had been vaccinated, and most of them recently. I have had in my own experience one very small epidemic comprising 33 cases, of which 29 had vaccination histories a “good” scar, and some of them vaccinated within the last year. There was no protection there.

Among these was one girl who was not vaccinated, never had been, who had five cases of smallpox in the family, nursed those cases that were ill, a baby among the others, the worst case of small-pox among them, refused vaccination and was never infected at all—a natural immunity.

What is true of smallpox is true of every other disease. We are not all equally subject to all the diseases that occur. We know that king. an epidemic of influenza sweeps over the country. Why doesn’t everyone have it? The germ, if it is a germ, and we don t know that it is, is ubiquitous. They are everywhere. You can’t hide from them. And yet perhaps but 10 per cent of the population of any region will be infected. What protects the 90 per cent? Natural immunity.

We may have natural immunity this year and we may not have It next year, but we can’t create it artificially by using a so-called immune serum. As I say, when we do use an immune serum we have destroyed every possibility of using that case as evidence, because we have no way of knowing whether it would ever have been infected.

We have always recognized the fact that but 15 per cent of children are subject to diphtheria, no matter how thoroughly they are exposed. Statistics of every epidemic of diphtheria in every section of the country, if averaged, will show that average, with 85 per cent who are not infected. We have taken diphtheria antitoxin, we have used toxin-antitoxin and toxoid, and if we found a susceptibility or reaction to this, we have immunized that case against diphtheria by a series of three injections of anti diphtheric serum. We have to admit 15 per cent of the children are still unprotected because they take diphtheria. Isn’t that the same 15 percent? We have no way of proving it isn’t.

A number of years ago when we were just beginning to study diphtheria antitoxin minutely, Cook County, Ill., hospital decided to immunize one-half of the nursing staff and not the other half. Diphtheria broke out soon afterward among the immunized cases, not the others. It invaded both halves, both the immunized and the unimmunized, and the total of cases was much higher among the supposedly immunized cases than among those not immunized. We didn’t do much for those nurses.

When we took over the management of the Philippines and all of its destinies, we announced to the bloomin’ cockeyed world we were going to dean up smallpox in the Philippines. Well, we waited a few years but we did make a serious effort. In fact, in a population of 10,000,000 people we consummated 30,000,000 vaccinations within a period of 6 years. The Province of Rizal, of which Manila was the center, was the most accessible, of course; the little rascals couldn’t get away there, we could catch them, and did, and some of them were vaccinated three and four and five and six times in the 6 years. We were going to make it thorough. In Mindanao and some of the other more outlying provinces, more mountainous, we couldn’t catch the little rascals, so there was a smaller percentage of vaccinations In the outlying districts. Rizal had to take it.

Within 6 years of that time the Philippines suffered the worst attack of smallpox, the worst epidemic three times over, that had ever occurred in the history of the islands, and it was almost three times as fatal. The death rate ran as high as 60 per cent in certain areas where formerly it had been 10 and 15 per cent, and the thing that climaxed the whole point was this: In Rizal we had the highest incidence and the highest mortality of any part of the Archipelago. The Navy reported that vaccination of the sailors went on as regularly as drills, every so often they were vaccinated, but they had their usual percentage of smallpox, and yet they were protected!

Now we are asking in many States to have the privilege of deciding whether we will be vaccinated or not. No one wishes to deny his brother the privilege of being vaccinated if he has any faith in it, but here is the ridiculous thin g about it: The ones who are objecting to abolishing the law and who are insisting on vaccination are the ones who are afraid that they will take smallpox if their brothers are not vaccinated. Now if you are vaccinated, you are protected, aren’t you? What are you afraid of? Suppose your next-door neighbor does get smallpox because he was not vaccinated; that is his business; he has a right to have smallpox if he wants to; he can’t give it to you if you have been vaccinated, so what are you worrying about? Let him do as he pleases. That is all we are asking; we are not asking that they forbid vaccination. Let everyone have what he wants, but let us not compel those to have vaccination who know there is nothing in it, who know it is not a protection.

It is now 30 years since I have been confining myself to the treatment of chronic diseases. During those 30 years I have run against so many histories of little children who had never seen a sick day until they were vaccinated and who, in the several years that have followed, have never seen a well day since. I couldn’t put my finger on the disease they have. They just weren’t strong. Their resistance was gone. They were perfectly well before they were vaccinated. They have never been well since. Now you can’t record those as deaths from vaccination because they are still alive; but in England, where statistics are a little more frank than they are with us, where they are kept a little more accurately, a little more aboveboard than In this country, the actual official records show three times as many deaths directly from vaccinations as from smallpox for the past 21 years. If they record three times as many deaths, I will guarantee, you that there are three times as many deaths that were not recorded that are directly traceable to vaccination. That doesn’t take into account the many, many cases of encephalitis or sleeping sickness, of this or that form of degeneration, that occur as a direct result of vaccination. That case Is still alive. It hasn’t entered here the mortality records yet, but it is suffering and has suffered ever since vaccination.

And if you have been dealing, as I have, with the derelicts from all over the world for 30 years, you would find an almost fatal relationship between this history of vaccination and some failing that follows this for many years that has kept a person from being as well as he should have been.

It is nonsense to think that you can inject pus-and it is usually from the pustule of the dead smallpox victim; that is the basis of it; we used to think it was from cowpox, but the manufacturers deny that and say the most reliable form originates in the pustule of someone who had died from smallpox—it is unthinkable that you can inject that into a little child and in anyway improve its health.

What Is true of vaccination is exactly as true of all forms of serum immunization, so called. There is no such thing as immunization, but we sell it under the name, “immunization”. We jab a needle full of pus germs, we will say the streptococcus, for instance, in attenuated form so it won’t pollute too badly, and we increase the dose or potency of that little by little until we build up what we call a resistance to it. You can do the same thing with the rattlesnake venom. You can be bitten just a little by a rattlesnake and not die, and If you are bitten often enough, you can be bitten In a vital part and not die; you have built up a resistance to the venom of the rattlesnake, but have you improved your physique by doing so? If we could by any means build up a natural resistance to disease through these artificial means, I would applaud it to the echo, but we can’t do it. The body has its own methods of defense. These depend on the vitality of the body at the time. If it is vital enough, it will resist all infections; if it isn’t vital enough, It won’t, and you can’t change the vitality of the body for the better by introducing poison of any kind into it.

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