Is Councilmember David Catania Fit for Office?

“There’s no justifiable reason to continue the [HPV vaccine] mandate which is expensive and unnecessary and potentially dangerous. No one ever died from a Pap smear,” testified Emily Tarsell, who lost her daughter, Christina, 18 days after she received her third shot of the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

Dr. Sin Hang Lee, a pathologist with more than 50 years experience who studied in the lab created by the inventor of the Pap test, also testified May 5 before the D.C. Council’s Committee on Health. “There is no evidence that Gardasil is effective for reducing the incidence of cervical cancer,” said Dr. Lee, who drove down from Milford, Connecticut for the hearing.

D.C.’s HPV vaccine mandate for sixth grade girls was pushed through by At-large Councilmember David Catania, the powerful chair of the Health Committee. Surprisingly, Mr. Catania was unable to respond to the testimony of either Dr. Lee (“Thank you, doctor. Your time has expired.) or Ms. Tarsell (“Thank you very much.”).

Nor did Mr. Catania respond to Dr. Paul Levine’s testimony, which he may not have heard all of since he was busy talking on the phone. The research professor suggested that the correct approach to reducing cervical cancer involved “using the best methods, not the ones that… most quickly seem [to become] popular.”

Catania also failed to respond to the testimony of members of the Parents and Citizens Committee to Stop Medical Experimentation in D.C. (of which I’m a member). Tracy Lloyd McCurty testified, “The citizens of D.C. deserve a responsive City Council and Department of Health that puts the health and safety of our young girls before political agendas.” Kea Taylor said, “I’m asking that you respect the wishes of the residents of the District of Columbia, none of whom have come before you on behalf of this vaccination being mandatory.” And Vanessa Dixon said, “It is too soon to say for sure whether the so-called vaccine has prevented even one cancer.”

I also testified. “Four years ago, the District of Columbia passed its mandate, and since that time not a single state has followed suit… When it comes to the HPV vaccine mandate this country is divided into two: on one side, opposed to the mandate, is almost the entire country; on the other side, standing in splendid isolation, is the District of Columbia and the Virginia State Senate.” Mr. Catania’s (lack of a) response to my testimony (“Thank you, Mr. Tucker”) was actually an improvement from years past when he banned me from testifying without any explanation.

How is it that someone who brooks no opposition has come to have oversight of the Department of Health budget, which is in excess of $2 billion? District residents may be alarmed to learn that so much power has been concentrated in the hands of someone with contempt for those with whom he disagrees.

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