Alaska’s state representatives show little interest in safeguarding personal liberties or health care freedom when it comes to mandated COVID shots.
At the start of the Special Session on Oct. 4, Rep. David Eastman urged his colleagues to formally debate whether to adopt a sense of the house to show support for “The Physicians Declaration.” More than 7,200 doctors and scientists gathered in Rome last month to condemn authoritarian policymakers who force a one-size-fits-all COVID strategy that has resulted in needless illness and death.
The declaration was the result of a three-day summit in which medical professionals from around the world compared studies and assessed the benefits of various COVID treatments developed across the globe. Many of these doctors and scientists have suffered professional and media censorship.
The nation is dealing with a “political crisis” due to the government’s willingness to override the will of patients and doctors.
Eastman wanted to spark a discussion and ultimately get the House to ask Gov. Mike Dunleavy to add “health freedom” to the special session’s agenda, or to at least coordinate with the Senate to call the Legislature into a special session to address health care freedom legislation.
House Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) immediately blocked any debate on Eastman’s proposal, and assigned it to two House Committees which won’t meet until next year. The 33 members of the House who were present then voted 21 to 12 in favor of Stutes decision.
Opposing Stutes decision were Representatives Ben Carpenter, Mike Cronk, Ron Gillham, DeLena Johnson, James Kaufman, Ken McCarty, Tom McKay, Mike Prax, George Rauscher, Cathy Tilton and Sarah Vance. Excused from the vote were Andy Josephson, Christopher Kurka, Kevin McCabe, Kelly Merrick, Josiah Patkotak, Andi Story and Tiffany Zulkosky. The rest backed Stutes.
Without Gov. Dunleavy specific authorization to address health care freedom in the special session, legislators are restricted to dealing with PFD payments and programming, a constitutional amendment to enshrine the PFD in the State Constitution, budget spending limits and measures to increase state revenues.
Towards the end of the day, both Eastman and Carpenter returned to the issue of medical freedom.
Eastman spoke of Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the surgeon general of the Continental Army.
“It was he who insisted vehemently that medical freedom was so important to our future as a country that it was worth enshrining in the Constitution,” Eastman said. “He was told that, no, his fears, his concern that the federal government might interfere in the relationship between a patient and their doctor – well that fear was unwarranted. Never would the federal government grow to such a size and hold such power as to interfere in that most sacred of relationships.”
Eastman said the nation is now dealing with a “political crisis” due to the willingness of the federal government to override the will of patients and doctors – even to the point of banning physicians from treating patients in accord with their personal needs.
He then brought up the original Physicians Declaration which he introduced earlier in the day only to have Stutes assign it to inactive committees.
“[It] speaks in large part to some of the costs and consequence when, not only in this country but in many others, we have a desire on the part of government, aided by multi-national corporations, to make decisions for patients – to make decisions for doctors – using our governmental institutions … to limit access to treatments.”
Eastman said his “very close friends sought treatment and were denied treatment, and they are no longer with us.” He added that there are many people currently struggling against the virus while the government blocks them from accessing certain treatments.
Eastman then cited detailed weekly reports published in England which show that infection rates are actually higher among the vaccinated who are over age 39.
“But due to the political nature of this crisis, you probably won’t be hearing about that in our mainstream media here in Alaska, even though Alaskans are desperately looking for solutions,” he said. “The politics is keeping us from finding those solutions, just as Benjamin Rush predicted many, many years ago.”
Rep. Carpenter then rose to highlight the fact that by mid-December many Alaskans are going to lose their jobs because of federal and private COVID mandates. He said Gov. Dunleavy needs to amend the purpose the special session to include a “patients’ bill of rights” in order to codify the right of an individual to choose whether or not to get vaccinated.
He said Alaskans should not have to choose between holding down a job or getting a vaccine they do not want. He said Alaskans who decline vaccines won’t just be unemployed but will be “unemployable” due to COVID mandates.
“We are either a country that is a beacon of light for individual liberty, or we are not,” Carpenter said. “And right now, we are being tested like never before.”