I first heard about Obama declaring a national emergency due to the H1N1 flu this morning as I was driving down the highway. I was warned many months ago that the flu was coming and that Obama would use it as an excuse to exercise more power over the American public. One of the people that warned me of this, in March of 2009, before the public awareness of a coming flu, a retired military officer, just sent me some information.
October 24, 2009, approx 7:50 PM ET.
“Obama declares swine flu a national emergency”
“President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency and empowered his health secretary to suspend federal guidelines at hospitals and speed up how infected people might receive treatment in a disaster.
The declaration that Obama signed late Friday means Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers, if needed.
Hospitals could modify patient rules — for example, requiring them to give less information during a hectic time — to quicken access to treatment, with government approval. The declaration, which the White House announced Saturday, allows HHS in some cases to let hospitals relocate emergency rooms offsite to reduce flu-related burdens and to protect noninfected patients.
Administration officials said the declaration was a pre-emptive move designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made. Officials said this was not in response to any single development on an outbreak that has lasted months and has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States.
It was the second of two steps needed to give Sebelius extraordinary powers during a crisis. On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency, allowing the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states in case they eventually needed them. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one.”
“What does this mean for YOU? It means the Federal Government has just declared its right to revoke the Bill of Rights:
A National Emergency, under the Stafford Act:
With respect to the current outbreak, the Public Health Emergency Fund is available (but is
currently unfunded)17 and Emergency Use Authorizations have been granted by FDA.18 However,
the Secretary’s waiver and modification authority has not been activated because there is no
concurrent presidential declaration under either the Stafford Act or the National Emergencies Act.
(comment: report published in May 2009)
So declaring this emergency doesn’t really make more funds available. They don’t EXIST! So, that’s not the reason……
A presidential declaration under the Stafford Act triggers federal emergency authorities that are
independent of the Secretary’s public health emergency authorities. Declarations under the
Stafford Act fall into two categories: emergency declarations and major disaster declarations. As
of this point in time, there have been no Stafford Act declarations pertaining to the current
influenza A(H1N1) virus outbreak. A presidential emergency declaration under the Stafford Act
authorizes the President to direct federal agencies to support state and local emergency assistance
activities; coordinate disaster relief provided by federal and non-federal organizations; provide
technical and advisory assistance to state and local governments; provide emergency assistance
through federal agencies; remove debris through grants to state and local governments; provide
assistance to individuals and households for temporary housing and uninsured personal needs;
and assist state and local governments in the distribution of medicine, food, and consumables.19
The total amount of assistance available is limited in an emergency declaration to $5 million,
“unless the President determines that there is a continuing need; Congress must be notified if the
$5 million ceiling is breached.
Source: Document prepared for Congress in May, 2009: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R40560_20090506.pdf
Now, we’re getting down to the real reasons…..
Further of interest from this document:
A major disaster declaration authorizes the President to offer all the assistance authorized under
an emergency declaration, and further authorizes funds for the repair and restoration of federal
facilities, unemployment assistance, emergency grants to assist low-income migrant and seasonal
farm workers, food coupons and distribution, relocation assistance, crisis counseling assistance
and training, community disaster loans, emergency communications, and emergency public
transportation.23 Additionally, the total amount of assistance provided in a major disaster
declaration is not subject to a ceiling in the same way as under an emergency declaration.
And here is the money quote:
The Public Health Service Act and the Stafford Act contain authorities that
allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the President, respectively, to take certain
actions during emergencies or disasters. While the primary authority for quarantine and isolation
in the United States resides at the state level, the federal government has jurisdiction over
interstate and border quarantine. Border entry and border closing issues may arise in the context
of measures designed to keep individuals who have, or may have, influenza A(H1N1) from
crossing U.S. borders. Aliens with the H1N1 virus can be denied entry, but American citizens
cannot be excluded from the United States solely because of a communicable disease, although
they may be quarantined or isolated at the border for health reasons. Airlines have considerable
discretion to implement travel restrictions relating to the safety and/or security of flights and other
passengers and crew. In addition, the federal government has broad legal authority to regulate and
control the navigable airspace of the United States in dealing with incidents involving
communicable diseases. States have authority to initiate other emergency measures such as
mandatory vaccination orders and certain nonpharmaceutical interventions such as school
closures, which may lessen the spread of an infectious disease. The International Health
Regulations adopted by the World Health Organization in 2005 provide a framework for
international cooperation against infectious disease threats.
The use of these emergency measures to contain the influenza A(H1N1) virus outbreak may raise
a classic civil rights issue: to what extent can an individual’s liberty be curtailed to advance the
common good? The U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws provide for individual due
process and equal protection rights as well as a right to privacy, but these rights are balanced
against the needs of the community.
And there you have it, in black and white. I make no determination as to whether H1N1A is truly the public threat they are presenting, although there have been deaths of children at a concerning rate, even here in Michigan – the fact is, the Stafford Act allows the Federal Government to strip away all your rights. While this National Emergency is in effect, this gives the Federal Government carte blanche to use this declaration for whatever it pleases. Rights have been now officially suspended.”
Stephanie S. Jasky, Founder, Director
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