It’s Not Over, but Medical Exemption to Vaccination Strengthened in NY
April 25, 2020 — 12-year-old autistic Thorn Schwarz was kicked out of school when Cuomo forced an “emergency regulation” in August of 2019 that illegally took away a valid medical exemption to vaccination Thorn had for years. Now not only has Thorn been allowed back into school permanently, judge Dan Doyle has reached a preliminary ruling that Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Health have “over-stepped” their authority.
That’s real good!
It means we have come much closer to getting hundreds of disabled children back into school in New York with valid medical exemptions to vaccination! The case isn’t over, but it is moving in the right direction. This is a major blow for Governor Cuomo and his Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker.
John Gilmore of the Autism Action Network sent out the following information today regarding this extremely important court victory:
From John Gilmore
Some good news. In a decision yesterday NY Supreme Court Judge Daniel Doyle allowed 12-year old Thorn Schwartz to retain his right to attend school by rejecting a group of motions to dismiss Thorn’s lawsuit challenging a Monroe County school’s withdrawal of his medical exemption from vaccine mandates. And, this is huge, the legal basis for the draconian new rules for medical exemptions imposed by the Cuomo administration last fall were undercut when Judge Doyle made a “preliminary finding that the state has overstepped their boundaries” according to Thorn’s attorney Patricia Finn.
Attorneys for the school and the New York State Department of Health argued that statutory language that allows a physician to issue a medical exemption if, “such immunization may be detrimental to the person’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated,” actually means, “a child has a medical contraindication or precaution to a specific immunization consistent with ACIP guidance or other nationally recognized evidence-based standard of care.” The Judge rejected the State’s interpretation writing they, “are not entitled to dismissal of the Petitioners’ challenge to the regulation defining “may be detrimental to the child’s health”.
The suit is not over, but Thorn will retain his right to attend school when it resumes while arguments go forward, and this decision provides a preliminary finding that Cuomo’s extreme restrictions on medical exemptions could be ultimately overturned.
Please share this message with friends and family and please post to social networks while we still can.
February 22, 2020 — Thorn Schwartz is a 12-year-old boy with Autism who has a valid medical exemption to vaccination that his school denied in September of 2019, banning him from public school. However on January 30th, Judge Dan Doyle signed a temporary order honoring Thorn’s medical exemption to vaccination, returning the boy to school. There are two aspects to this case that were argued in court on February 21st, which are:
(1) Will Thorn’s medical exemption to vaccination be permanently accepted by his school?
(2) Will the emergency regulation that came from Governor Cuomo in August of 2019 – that effectively stopped all medical exemptions from being accepted in New York State – be thrown out?
If the emergency ban on medical exemptions – issued by the New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker – is overturned by Judge Doyle, it will open the door for hundreds of disabled students who are currently kicked out of school to be readmitted with their valid medical exemptions to vaccination.
We may know the answer to the above questions within the next two weeks, however sources working very close to the case believe the ruling will likely be dragged out further than that. Judge Doyle has given all the attorneys involved two weeks to submit their written arguments to the court. The Schwartz family is represented by attorney Patricia Finn, who is an expert in the laws surrounding vaccine exemptions in New York State. Find out more about Finn at her website: https://www.patriciafinnattorney.com/
(There has been a decent amount of local, upstate New York coverage of this story but I have not seen anything state-wide or national at this point.)
In the local NBC coverage you will see Thorn Schwartz’s father, Carl Schwartz, who happens to be an attorney himself, telling Judge Doyle his son has had a medical exemption to vaccination for years. It wasn’t until August of 2019 when the New York Department of Health decided to change the rules that his son was ripped out of his BOCES public school program. We all know where that change came from – it was an emergency order given to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Commissioner Howard Zucker by Governor Andrew Cuomo himself. The gruesome viciousness of Governor Cuomo’s horrifying attacks on disabled children is so repulsive the words do not exist to adequately describe how despicable Cuomo truly is — #AnyoneButAndrew2022!!!
The case is effectively two cases rolled in one; one against Thorn’s school and one against the NYSDOH. Ali Hamideh – whose son Ameer recently won a court battle over his medical exemption to vaccination – was at the courthouse on February 21st to show his support for Thorn and his family.
Ali Hamideh – WARRIOR DAD!
Pictured at the top of this report is Ali Hamideh with Thorn Schwartz. Hamideh is not Thorn’s father, but he can identify with Thorn as if he was his very own son. Ali Hamideh went through the same battle to get his own disabled son, Ameer, back in school. When Ameer was finally allowed back into school, Ali posted on Facebook he was so happy that he could finally go back to his normal life.
But he hasn’t returned to his normal life.
After he made that Facebook post Hamideh tossed and turned all night long in bed. He couldn’t sleep. His son was back in school, but what about the 26,000 other children – many of them also disabled children just like his son – who were still segregated and banned from school? The Hamideh family had received so much love and support as they battled in court for their son, Ali felt obligated to give back what he had so freely gotten.
He first got involved in Thorn’s case when Christa Kinsley from Take Action Roc reached out to him after his victory in court. She asked Hamideh to help bring attention and raise awareness to Thorn’s case. Hamideh was honored to help. Besides Thorn’s case, Hamideh has been traveling across the Northeast fighting for Health Freedom, Religious Freedom and Vaccine Choice where ever these precious rights are being threatened – most recently in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Now Hamideh plans to start a WARRIOR DAD GROUP. If you are a father fighting for Health Freedom, Religious Freedom, and/or Vaccine Choice for your family please contact Ali Hamideh to find out how you can be a part of his WARRIOR DAD GROUP.
Courts Override NY Democrats, Return Vaccine Exempt Children to School
February 1, 2020 — Disabled children in wheelchairs, walkers, with autism and far worse afflictions have been kicked out of all New York schools by the Democrats; thousands of them, because they are exempt from getting vaccinated. The Democrats claim any child with a “valid medical exemption” to vaccination is allowed in school, but today that is not the case.
In August of 2019, Governor Cuomo issued an emergency regulation to deny virtually all medical exemptions to vaccination. The NY courts have now determined – at least twice – that Cuomo’s emergency regulation is in essence illegal. The courts ruled two children with valid medical exemptions must be allowed back in school. Those two children are Ameer Hamideh (pictured above left) and Thorn Schwartz (pictured above right). Ameer is multiply disabled and Thorn is autistic. Ameer has been back in school since November and Thorn returns to school on Monday, February 3rd.
Both children were kicked out of school even though their parents presented valid medical exemptions to vaccination written by their doctors. Both had no choice but to sue the schools that had illegally denied the children their federally guaranteed right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) (which is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
In both cases the parents won, and both children are back in school. But thousands of other disabled children right now are at home – in their wheelchairs and walkers; with their assistive technology and communication devises – deprived of special education services and interaction with their peers. In fact the state isn’t even providing their mandated services at their homes in most cases. They have been completely written off. These are the children whose parents can’t afford a lawyer to fight their cases. The courts are now poised to hear arguments as to whether Cuomo’s emergency regulation denying medical exemptions is entirely illegal, and if the regulation needs to be thrown out or amended.
How the hell did New York get to this horrendous place?
This all started when the Democratic majority in Albany repealed the Religious Exemption to vaccination on June 13, 2019. When this happened most Albany Democrats made two gigantic mistakes:
(1) They did not do their due diligence on the matter, and
(2) They did not count on how heartless and ruthless Governor Cuomo was going to be.
You must understand the history of vaccine exemptions in New York to fully appreciate Cuomo’s sick cruelty towards disabled children. In New York it is nearly impossible to get a medical exemption to vaccination that is actually honored. The law here is clear – only a medical doctor can write a medical exemption to vaccination, but the schools still deny them by referring the exemption to the Department of Health where they are almost always killed. Because of this unfair, and illegal structural flaw, for years many doctors have told parents, “Yes, your child will get injured if they get another vaccine; but your only recourse is to go get a Religious Exemption for your child.”
So thousands of children who had valid medical reasons to not be vaccinated received Religious Exemptions (REs) to vaccination because it was their only true option. When the RE was repealed, instead of doing anything to assist these vulnerable children who could not be vaccinated, Cuomo did the opposite. He issued an emergency regulation through Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of the New York Health Department ensuring they would not grant medical exemptions to the thousands of students who needed them because their REs were just made null-and-void by the repeal law. However under New York law the Department of Health (DOH) plays no role in accepting or rejecting a medical exemption to vaccination to begin with. Therefore Cuomo’s new regulation was clearly an over-reach of power: it was attempting to strengthen a power of the DOH that it never legally had!
So now the New York Democrats are the political party who kick disabled children while they are down. This is a bad, bad look for them (to put it nicely). Especially when the Democrats have traditionally been the party that speaks about equal access, universal design for learning for all children, accessibility of transportation, equal employment, and on and on an on…
Now thousands of disabled children are home bound, illegally denied an education because of laws Democrats baked like a cake and a ruthless regulation King Cuomo iced that cake with. I do not think the 2020 election cycle is going to be kind to many incumbent Democrats in New York. We are seeing many Dems being challenged in primaries, as well as many who may lose their seats to Republicans.
Not every Democrat fell for Cuomo’s okey-doke. 19 Brave Democrats voted NO to repealing the Religious Exemption to vaccination, and they may be the future of the party. We are seeing many of these Democrats thrive!
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte who bravely went against party leadership – voting NO to repealing the Religious Exemption to vaccination – has just taken her place as Brooklyn’s new Democratic Party chair. This makes her the first African American woman in New York City to hold the position of Party chair. An excellent piece was written about her in the Amsterdam News by Rev. Dr. Kahli C. Mootoo.
Also in Brooklyn Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright is getting endorsed left-and-right to fill a soon-to-be vacant Senate seat. She too voted NO to repealing the Religious Exemption to vaccination. The outgoing Senator, Velmanette Montgomery – who held the Senate seat for 34 years – has endorsed Assemblywoman Wright to be her successor. Oddly enough Senator Montgomery voted YES to repealing the Religious Exemption to vaccination – twice! She voted YES in the Senate Health Committee, and YES on the floor of the Senate. Less than 7 months later she announces her retirement and gives her endorsement to a rising star in Brooklyn who voted NO to repeal.
Both Bichotte and Wright are African American. New Jersey Assemblyman Jamel Holley is an African American man who stopped the repeal of the Religious Exemption to vaccination in New Jersey. He has swiftly become a national leader on the issue, and has pledged to engage legislators all across the country – including in New York. This makes me think of a quote from Virstyne Henry back in December; she has a theory she likes to call “The Once black people find out about it it’s over for them”theory. We may be witnessing this theory becoming a reality right here, right now.
Meanwhile Brad Hoylman, the Big Pharma-loving State Senator who originally sponsored the bill to repeal the Religious Exemption to vaccination, is being challenged by Liz Glass, who has made Vaccine Choice and Health Freedom a centerpiece of her candidacy.
Senator Monica Martinez from Suffolk County, Long Island is not falling for Cuomo’s okey-doke either. She sees how horrendous the situation is for her political party as it relates to kicking disabled children while they are down. Because of this she proposed new legislation – bill S7573 – that would protect the medical exemption to vaccination and restores it to the clear intention of the letter of the law: the medical judgment of the child’s physician shall prevail, and his or her decision may not be overridden by school or public health authorities.
It is abundantly clear that there is a huge shift happening in New York politics, as well as a rift in the Democratic party. Leadership is siding with Big Pharma but a growing minority of Democrats see that this unholy marriage is a sinking ship that could cost them their jobs in 2020.
First I want to note how important it is to have local news media that are actually located in the cities and towns they cover. Today the only time we see real, important MSM coverage of the most critical issues is when it comes from local network affiliates and those stories rarely get picked up nationally or syndicated. A perfect example of this is the Bronx boy who was illegally vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by a nurse in a Bronx, NY school without parental consent or knowledge. That was reported by BRONX12 News and no other MSM outlet.
Secondly I want to further emphasize that even though WKBW in Buffalo, NY has covered Ameer’s victory still not one other mainstream news outlet has picked up the story. Ameer’s case made national news headlines, but once he wins the media is silent. It should be noted WKBW got some major facts of Ameer’s case wrong. They called Ameer “unvaccinated” when he has only missed 1 DTaP shot due to his current medical exemption. However sloppy coverage is better than no coverage at all. Nowadays we gotta take what we can get…
November 16, 2019 — The Associated Press ran the ICAN press release on November 13, 2019, through the paid PR Newswire service. The report stated that a New York court granted a temporary restraining order allowing a disabled, vaccine injured boy named Ameer back into school. Read extensive details of the court’s decision and what transpired at the following reports:
However the Associated Press (AP) did not run any reporting of their own on these facts. This is odd considering that the AP has been reporting on the Ameer case since it made national news last month.
How does the AP not realize that this is historic news of a court order by a sitting New York judge? It looks really bad upon their credibility to completely ignore a ruling in a case that garnered national media attention especially when AP had been covering the story! Every MSM outlet in the country, and on the planet, has ignored it, even the Associated Press; the oldest news organization in the United States of America;
The media blackout on Ameer winning in court and being allowed back into school in New York is fascinating, frightening and alarming. A vein in the beast was sliced with this recent victory – not quite an artery, but a vein – and the beast is temporarily hiding its wound as it plots it’s next move against the populace.
The elites are very angry that Ameer is back in school.
***Update 11-13-2019 — 24 hours after this historic courtroom decision, not a single news organization has picked up the story. The *only* coverage of this came from P&T® Community, who provides information to pharmacy and therapeutics committee members; however even that was quickly pulled off of the internet.
November 12, 2019 — God bless Del Bigtree and the ICAN Network! Thanks to their legal efforts a temporary restraining order has been granted sending a 9-year-old vaccine injured boy named Ameer back to school. This is important for at least 3 major reasons
Ameer is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect; and he deserves an education.
This proves that in New York the law is clear – only doctors can write medical exemptions to vaccination, the Department of Health cannot override the doctor’s expert opinion.
This opens the doors for other medically fragile children who were kicked out of public school to have a pathway back in.
Thank god there is a judge in New York who brought a little bit of justice to this disabled, injured 9-year-old boy and his family. This is a much needed victory for Health Freedom and Vaccine Choice Advocates in New York. Below is the complete press release from ICAN and Del Bigtree: (below that is a youtube video of Del Bigtree and Ameer’s father)
New York Judge Re-Admits Expelled Disabled Student Missing Single Vaccination, According To Informed Consent Action Network
BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A New York State court granted a temporary restraining order today, re-admitting disabled student Ameer Hamideh to school at the CHC Learning Center here, according to Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) which supported Ameer’s case.
Nine-year old Ameer became an unwilling national story when he was expelled from school at CHC in October because he lacked a single mandatory vaccine for school attendance.
Ameer has numerous neurological impairments, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and a seizure disorder. He has received all vaccinations required to attend school, with the exception of a fifth dose of a pertussis (whooping cough) Tdap vaccine.
Ameer was expelled even after his life-long treating pediatric neurologist submitted a medical exemption to the school. He was expelled because the New York State Department of Health opined that the medical exemption should be denied.
Because of Ameer’s previous severe reaction to the DTaP vaccine—most recently a grand mal seizure that sent him, uncontrollably screaming, to the hospital—his parents Ali and Orooba Hamideh followed the advice of Ameer’s physician to not give him an additional dose.
ICAN took up the family’s cause and turned its team of attorneys to the case, which pointed out—among other things—New York state law allows any doctor to provide a valid medical exemption, and does not provide the Department of Health the authority to overrule that exemption.
“This is so satisfying because of what it means for the Hamideh family,” says Del Bigtree, founder and CEO of non-profit ICAN. “The State thought they could steamroll the Hamideh family. Their bureaucratic decision regarding Ameer’s medical treatment, made without ever even talking to his doctor, could have seriously injured him.”
Ali and Orooba Hamideh appeared on the October 24th episode of ICAN’s weekly online fact-based medical and health news show “The HighWire with Del Bigtree,” which streams Thursdays at 11am PST on https://thehighwire.com/, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (@HighWireTalk).
The below youtube video is of Del Bigtree interviewing Ameer’s father after the temporary restraining order was granted: In this video I learned for the first time that Ameer’s lawyer is the legendary Aaron Siri; the same lawyer who deposed Stanley Plotkin for 9 hours.