When the Best of Intentions Turn Deadly

By Ed Timperlake

Now that we have implemented a massive campaign to deliver COVID vaccines, was what we did safe?

If the Department of Veterans Affairs opened up their PACT Act health registry using statistical law of large numbers to study if veterans were adversely affected by mandatory COVID vaccinations, it may then help bring sunlight and transparency on determining any long term ill effects of the COVID vaccines.

Building on all the efforts that has gone before in service connecting ill health from  many adverse environmental effects on the battle field, the PACT Act was passed. That law was described by the VA as follows:

“The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.

“The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions that we assume (or “presume”) are caused by exposure to these substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”

The process of awarding service connection to serious life ending health issues began with Vietnam Veterans and the Agent Orange fight and then continued with studying the health of our Gulf War warriors and any of their illnesses.

Such scientific research at DVA can be instructive in determining if COVID shots have adverse toxins that hurt our veterans.

Two American Presidents with full integrity made a sincere attempt to use science to save lives.

In 1962 President Kennedy allowed “Operation Ranch Hand” to proceed.  The use of herbicides was initiated until 1971. The lifesaving  goal of Agent Orange was to take away the very deadly Viet Cong, and  NVA army’s advantage in using  triple canopy and other significant natural dense foliage to spring ambushes on both ground troops and our riverine brown water forces such as swift boats.

And then on April 29, 2020 President Trump talked of the accelerated scientific research to find a vaccine against COVID; “”We’re going to fast track it like you’ve never seen before.”

 Sadly and tragically both Presidential initiatives fell victim to the powerful law of unintended consequences.

The history of two decade long fight to being Veteran Administration resources to aid my fellow Vietnam Veterans and their families may help bring focus on evolving potential statistical ill health affects faced by American veterans forced to take the shot or be thrown out of the military.

When some, way too many, Vietnam Veterans began to experience horrific life ending cancers and other illness such a ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, chemical companies that fabricated AO sprang into action because they saw the potential for huge liabilities.

This was Dow Corporation’s position at the time;

“Moreover, decades of study relating to Agent Orange have not established a causal link to any diseases, birth defects or other transgenerational effects. Notably, the extensive epidemiological study of veterans who were most exposed to Agent Orange does not show that such exposure causes cancer or other serious illnesses.”

Fortunately, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) came to the fight for service connected benefits early but still the entire scientific resolution took over twenty years until the late first Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Ed Derwinski said enough is enough and stopped the USG law suit denying benefits.

Because of Secretary Derwinski,  the Agent Orange Registry was created which continues research to this day.

However, soon after creating the Vietnam AO registry, the Deseret Storm war occurred and some who served were reporting significant ill health in greater numbers than general population, for example ALS again was seen in higher numbers.

As the Secretary’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs under Derwinski, I was instructed to create the Desert Storm registry covering those who served.

Yet again pushback was received this time from very senior DOD military and civilian leaders who saw Desert storm illness as a grab by reservists and guard troops to get unearned combat service disabilities being connected to DVA health and benefits compensation.

In this quicker than AO decades long successful the Desert Storm registry was created and this time the American Legion were tremendous allies.

Now as the often called decades long “sandbox wars” of Iraq and Afghan it became easier to change the Desert Storm registry to Gulf War Registry. Medical precedence and exam protocols were put in effect for our recent wars.

This is not a pro or anti-vaccine article. But what I am arguing is that we need to take a look at how  ongoing scientific epidemiology research focusing on “Warp Speed” once seen as a great lifesaving benefit may over time have hurt some people.

The Biden National Security team had made mandatory COVID inoculations essential to continuing ones military career. Sadly many combat warriors have been involuntary discharged for not taking the vaccine and were also additionally penalized;

“The services, however, have taken very different approaches beyond that. The Marine Corps has given 78 percent of those it separated a general discharge, while the Navy has given all honorable discharges. The Air Force has granted the fewest honorable discharges.”—A general discharge precludes access to GI Bill for example.

Fortunately, this time it was the new Congress that said enough is enough stop discharging our troops.

Republicans, emboldened by their new House majority next year, pushed the effort, which was confirmed Tuesday night when the bill was unveiled. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy personally lobbied President Joe Biden in a meeting last week to roll back the mandate.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that Biden told McCarthy he would consider lifting the mandate but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had recommended it be kept.

Right now, all DVA Secretary Mc Donough has to do, using PACT Act protocols, is state that there is the potential for adverse health effects on our troops from the mandatory vaccine because for some veterans it could manifest as “a toxic substance”

Using the AO, Desert Storm, Gulf War model of scientific research embolden by the PACT Act such Secretarial action would create the beginning of a structured epidemiology process to help all adversely affected by  the vaccine to see if there are serious adverse health side-effects from mandatory COVID shots.

It is not a political issue: it is an issue affecting the health of Americans. Republicans and Democrats alike need to know what the longer-term consequences from taking the COVID-19 vaccine actually are.

The DVA can empower the quest to know.

Credit for featured photo:Photo 173655330 / Covid 19 Vaccine © Leigh Prather | Dreamstime.com