July 7, 2002
by Sherri Tenpenny, DO
www.nmaseminars.com © 2002
“We interrupt the current programming to bring you this important news
update…there has been a reported case of smallpox in Washington, D.C…”
What will happen next? Pandemonium. The press has done its job over the
last few months reinforcing the belief that an epidemic is about to
occur, potentially causing millions of deaths. Americans thousands of
miles from Washington will demand the smallpox vaccine, a vaccine with
the highest risk of complications of any vaccine ever manufactured and
with a dubious track record for success.
However, because you are informed, you will have a different response.
You will not panic. You will turn off the TV. You won’t listen to your
hysterical neighbors. And more importantly, you won’t rush to be
vaccinated. Here’s why:
On June 20, 2002, I attended the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC)
meeting of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) and
listened to one and a half days of testimony prior to posting the
recommendations for smallpox vaccination that are currently being
considered by the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS.) Many
testimonies and comments were presented by public participants and by
various physicians and researchers associated with the CDC. Noting that
two weeks have past since the June 20th meeting and the media has still
not reported on this historic event, I decided it was imperative to
report the content and outcome of this meeting to the general public.
After reading this report you will gain a new perspective on smallpox
and, hopefully, in the event of an outbreak, you will understand that
you have nothing to fear.
Generally accepted facts
Nearly every article or news headliner regarding smallpox is designed to
instill and continually reinforce fear in the minds of the general
public. Apparently the goal is to make everyone demand the vaccine as
soon as it is available and/or in the event of an outbreak. A very
similar media campaign was developed prior to the release of the Salk
polio vaccine in 1955. The polio vaccine had been in development for
more than a year prior to its release and was an untested
“investigational new drug,” just as the smallpox vaccine will be. The
difference is that the potential side effects and complications of the
smallpox vaccine are already known, and they are extensive.
Generally accepted facts about smallpox include:
1. Smallpox is highly contagious and could spread rapidly, killing
2. Smallpox can be spread by casual contact with an infected person
3. The death rate from smallpox is thought to be 30%.
4. There is no treatment for smallpox
5. The smallpox vaccine will protect a person from getting the disease
As it turns out, these “accepted facts” are not the “real facts.”
Myth 1: Smallpox is highly contagious
“Smallpox has a slow transmission and is not highly contagious,” stated
Joel Kuritsky, MD, director of the National Immunization Program and
Early Smallpox Response and Planning at the CDC. This statement is a
direct contradiction to nearly everything we have ever heard or read
about smallpox. However, keep in mind that this comes “straight from the
horse’s mouth” and should be considered the “real story” regarding how
smallpox is spread.
Even if a person is exposed to a known bioterrorist attack with
smallpox, it doesn’t mean that he will contract smallpox. The signs and
symptoms of the disease will not occur immediately, and there is time to
plan. The infection has an incubation period of 3 to 17 days,[i] and
the first symptom will be the development of a high fever (>101º F),
accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache, severe abdominal cramping and
low back pain. The person will be ill and most likely bed-ridden; not
out mixing with the general public.
Even with a fever, it is critically important to realize that at this
point the person is still not contagious. In fact, the fever may be
caused by something else, such as the flu.
However, if a smallpox infection is developing, the characteristic rash
will begin to develop within two to four days after the onset of the
fever. The person becomes contagious and has the ability to spread the
infection only after the development of the rash. “The characteristic
rash of variola major is difficult to misdiagnose,” stated Walter A.
Orenstein, M.D., Director of the National Immunization Program (NIP) at
the CDC. The classic smallpox rash is a round, firm pustule that can
spread and become confluent. The lesions are all in the same stage of
development over the entire body and appear to be distributed more on
the palms, soles and face than on the trunk or extremities.
ACTION ITEM: In the event of an exposure, it is imperative that you do
everything you can to improve the functioning of your immune system so
that an “exposure” does not have to result in an “outbreak.”
a. Stop eating all foods that contain refined white sugar products,
since sugar inhibits the functioning of your white blood cells, your
first line of defense.[ii]
(There are many other health-conscious dietary considerations to
consider, but that is beyond the scope of this article.)
b. Start taking large doses of Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven
in hundreds of studies to be effective in protecting the body from viral
infections,[iii] including smallpox.[iv] For an extensive scientific
review on the use of this nutrient and a “dosing recipe”, read “Vitamin
C, The Master Nutrient, by Sandra Goodman, Ph.D.
c. If you develop a fever, you still have time to plan. Purchase
enough fresh, organic produce and filtered water to last three weeks.
Move the kids to grandma’s or the neighbor’s house. Remember: YOU MAY
NOT GET THE INFECTION AND YOU ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS UNTIL YOU GET THE RASH!
Myth 2: Smallpox is easily spread by casual contact with an infected
Smallpox will not rapidly disseminate throughout the community. Even
after the development of the rash, the infection is slow to spread. “The
infection is spread by droplet contamination and coughing or sneezing
are not generally part of the infection. Smallpox will not spread like
wildfire,” said Orenstein. He stated that the spread of smallpox to
casual contacts is the “exception to the rule.” Only 8% of cases in
Africa were contracted by accidental contact.
Transmission of smallpox occurs only after intense contact, defined as
“constant exposure of a person that is within 6-7 feet for a minimum of
6-7 days.”[v] Dr. Orenstein reported that in Africa, 92% of all cases
came from close associations and in India, all cases came from prolonged
personal contact. Dr. Tom Mack from the University of Southern
California stated that in Pakistan, 27% of cases demonstrated no
transmission to close associates. Nearly 37% had a transmission of only
one generation, meaning that the second person to contract smallpox did
not pass it onto the third person. These statistics directly contradict
models that predict an exponential spread to millions.
Even without medical care, isolation was the best way to stop the spread
of smallpox in Third World, population dense areas. With a slow
transmission rate and an informed public, Mack estimated that the total
number of smallpox cases in America would be less than 10, a far cry
from the millions postulated by the press.
Dr. Kuritsky said at the CDC Public Forum on Smallpox on June 8 in St.
Louis, “Given the slow transmission rate and that people need to be in
close contact for nearly a week to spread the infection, the scenario in
which a terrorist could infect himself with smallpox and contaminate an
entire city by walking through the streets touching people is purely
Point to ponder: Mass vaccination was halted in Third World countries
because it didn’t work. In India, villages with an 88% vaccination rate
still had outbreaks. After the World Health Organization began a
surveillance and containment campaign, actively seeking cases of
smallpox, isolating them in their homes, and vaccinating family members
and close contacts, outbreaks were virtually eliminated within 2 years.
The CDC and the WHO organization attribute the eradication of smallpox
to the ring vaccination of close contacts. However, since the infection
runs its course in 3-6 weeks, perhaps ISOLATION ALONE would have
effectively accomplished the same thing.
Myth #3: The death rate from smallpox is 30%
Nearly every newspaper and journal article quotes this statistic.
However, as pointed out in the presentation by Dr. Tom Mack, it appears
that the “30% fatality rate” has come from skewed data. Dr. Mack has
worked with smallpox extensively and saw more than 120 outbreaks in
Pakistan throughout the early 1970s. Villages would apparently have “an
importation” every 5-10 years, regardless of vaccination status, and the
outbreak could always be predicated by living conditions and social
arrangements. There were many small outbreaks and individual cases that
never came to the attention of the local authorities.
Mack stated that even with poor medical care, the case fatality rate in
adults was “much lower than is generally advertised” and thought to be
10-15%. He said that the statistics were “loaded with children that had
a much higher fatality,” making the average death rate reported to be
much higher. Amazingly, he revealed his opinion that even without mass
vaccination, “smallpox would have died out anyway. It just would have
Even so, people died. Why? After all, smallpox is a skin disease and
“other organs are seldom involved.”[vi] I posed this question to the
committee on two separate occasions. Kathi Williams of the National
Vaccine Information Center asked this question at the Institute of
Medicine meeting on June 15th. On June 20, an answer was finally
forthcoming when a member of the ACIP committee said, “That is a good
question. Does anyone know the actual cause of death from smallpox?”
At that point, Dr. D.A. Henderson, from the John Hopkins University
Department of Epidemiology volunteered a comment. Dr. Henderson directed
the World Health Organization's global smallpox eradication campaign
(1966-1977) and helped initiate WHO's global program of immunization in
1974. He approached the microphone and stated, “Well, it appears that
the cause of death of smallpox is a ‘mystery.’” He stated that a medical
resident had been asked to do a complete review of the literature and
“not much information” was found. It is postulated that the people died
from a “generalized toxemia” and that those with the most severe forms
of smallpox—the hemorrhagic or confluent malignant types—died of
complications of skin sloughing, similar to a burn. However, he
concluded by saying, “it’s frustrating, because we don’t really know.”
COMMENT: I find this to be extremely frightening. If we knew why people
died when they contracted smallpox, perhaps current medical technology
could treat the complications, making the death rate much lower.
Considering that the last known case of smallpox in the U.S. was in
Texas in 1949, continuing to report that smallpox has a 30% death rate
is similar to saying that all heart attacks are fatal. Based on 1949
technology, that would be accurate reporting. But in 2002, all heart
attacks are NOT fatal. Neither would smallpox have a mortality rate of
Myth #4: There is no treatment for smallpox
A more accurate statement is “there are no pharmaceutical drugs for the
treatment for smallpox.” But they are working on that too. There are 274
antiviral drug compounds and testing is underway to see if one can be
useful in the treatment of smallpox.[vii] One such drug is called
hexadecylosypropyl-cidofovir (HDP-CDV). Not yet available for human
use, it has been found to be 100 times more potent than its cousin,
cidofovir, a drug used to treat retinal infections in HIV patients. If
studies pan out, HDP-CDV will be offered in a pill or capsule form over
5-14 days for the prevention and treatment of people exposed to
smallpox.[viii] Unfortunately, this drug is being developed in Europe
and will most likely be kept out of the US market until long after the
general public has been subjected to mass vaccination.
It is important to note that there are several different presentations
of a smallpox infection. The most common is called “ordinary discrete”
smallpox, occurring in more than 40% of the cases. The outbreak is seen
as a small scattering of pustules distributed across the body. The
person with this type of smallpox needs minimal medical care and the
reported death rate is <10%.[ix] >
For mild cases of smallpox, adequate hydration and anti-fever products
are essential for comfort and maintaining a temperature below 102ºF.
Keeping the skin clean to prevent secondary bacterial infections is also
important. A 1927 Textbook of Medicine recommends applying gauzed soaked
in carbolic acid to “decrease itching and prevent extensive scarring.”[x]
Carbolic acid is used acutely for burns that tend to ulcerate and other
skin conditions that cause burning or prickling pain. Homeopathic forms
of carbolic acid are also available.
For the severe complications of smallpox, modern day treatment options
are available. The hemorrhagic type of smallpox, occurring in
approximately 3% of cases, presents as hypotensive shock and can be
treated accordingly. In another 3% of serious cases, the confluent-type
has extensive skin involvement. These patients can be treated the same
as a burn patient. All severe cases need to be treated for dehydration
and watched for signs of bacterial suprainfection.
Research done by Dr. Peter Havens, MS, MD from the Medical College of
Wisconsin postulated that death from smallpox was due to multisystem
organ failure, a complication of an untreated acute cytokine
(inflammatory) response. Massive oxidative stress occurs, leading to
free-radical damage in the kidneys and other internal organs. However,
Dr. Havens estimates that modern medical technology would indeed
decrease the death rate, to possibly as low as 2-3%.
COMMENT: The treatment of choice for severe free-radical stress is high
dose intravenous Vitamin C. If conventional medicine would recognize the
value of this treatment, they would also be forced to realize mass
vaccination is simply not necessary.
Treating severely ill patients would require hospitalization and
unfortunately, smallpox spreads the most quickly in the hospital setting
due to poor isolation techniques. In addition, most patients in
hospitals are ill and immunosuppressed by disease or medication, making
them more susceptible to infection. Dr. Mike Lane, former director of
the CDC’s smallpox eradication program in the 1970s, said severely ill
smallpox patients could be treated in a suburban motel or remote
government building. “You can bring care to the patient if you elect to
use the Motel 6 on the edge of town” rather than put smallpox victims in
a hospital where the disease could spread to patients with weakened
Side bar with Dr. Mike Lane:
Dr. Lane and I had a private conversation during a coffee break. During
his presentation, he had been adamant that those within the “first ring”
would need to be mandatorily vaccinated with 100% compliance. The “first
ring” includes those that have had immediate, close contact with
patients who had confirmed cases of smallpox. Lane stated that this was
the only way that “ring vaccination would work.” When I questioned his
definition of 100% compliance, he said, “Medical contraindications would
not apply…there would be NO exceptions. I would rather vaccinate them
and take my chances treating the potential complications. In India, we
vaccinated everyone. The only medical contraindication was leprosy, and
we sometimes vaccinated them. I’m sure that we killed a few people, but
we did the best that we could.”
I pressed the issue further by saying, “if the death rate really is 30%
(which I doubt), doesn’t that mean the survival rate is 70%? Shouldn’t
that person have the right to play the odds with his health if he chose
to?” His answer was the same: “If the person is exposed, there will be
NO exceptions, medical or otherwise. Those people in the first
ring—regardless of health status MUST be vaccinated.”
That means that all people with medical contraindictions—organ
transplants, cancer, HIV, eczema and other skin conditions—would be
vaccinated, even it was against their will and with the use of force, if
necessary. He was quite the zealot about it; hopefully, in the event of
a smallpox exposure, more reasonable minds will prevail.
Myth #5: The vaccine will keep me from getting the infection
Most people believe that all vaccines work to protect them, meaning that
the vaccine will be clinically effective. What most people do not know
is that vaccines have never been proven to protect them from getting the
This little known fact is not only true for all vaccines, it is also
true for the smallpox vaccine. Here are a few examples:
“No data exists regarding post-exposure efficacy of the current
“Vaccinated persons have a less severe out break than unvaccinated”
(300 vs. 50 lesions.)[xi]
"The findings of efficacy studies have not demonstrated a direct
correlation between antibody response and protection against pertussis
“Neutralizing antibodies are reported to reflect levels of protection,
although this has not been validated in the field.” [xiii]
Dr. Harold Margolis, Senior Advisor to the Director for Smallpox
Planning and Response, stated in Atlanta that “the vaccine decreased the
death rate among those vaccinated by ‘modifying the disease’, not by
TAKE HOME POINTS:
Smallpox is NOT highly contagious. You have time. Don’t panic.
Smallpox is only spread by close contact of less than 6 feet for at
least 6-7 days. You aren’t that close to coworkers or commuters.
Treatment for smallpox should be surveillance and containment, without
Smallpox is not highly fatal. There are treatments for smallpox.
The vaccine will not protect you from getting the infection. The vaccine
has high complication rates, is an experimental drug and there are many
contraindications. (Please see article at
As I was completing this report this morning, I read in the New York
Times that the CDC plans to increase the number of “first responders”
who receive the vaccination to 500,000 from the agreed-to
15,000.[xiv] Preparations are also underway for rapid mass vaccination
of the general public. The more extensive vaccination plan is possible
because supplies are increasing. As I have stated before, the government
spent more than $780 million to develop its arsenal. Now that we have
it, we will use it.
In addition to medical first responders, a presentation at the June 20th
meeting suggested that first responders should also include a class to
be defined as “economic first responders,” those who would be necessary
in keeping the economy moving in the event of a nationwide “lock down”
caused by an outbreak. This group would include pilots, truck drivers,
food handlers, etc. It is the “etc.” that is of concern. Where do you
draw the line? Obviously, the line will be drawn after Tommy Thompson’s
vision of a “vaccine for every man, woman and child” has been
One of the major problems is the lack of vaccinia immune globulin (VIG),
the “antidote” that is needed for those who experience a severe reaction
to the vaccine. The Times article reports that there are only 700 doses
currently available. Dr. Tom Mack, among others at the CDC warned that,
“in the absence of VIG, extensive vaccination would be extremely
With the continued rhetoric about the US plans to go to war with Iraq,
we are essentially taunting Saddam into launching a biological weapons
attack on our own people. We are not given an exact knowledge as to
Saddam’s capability but are given euphemisms such as “reasonably high”
or “quite high.” But we don’t know for sure. And if the government
knows, it is not telling. And if Saddam does have biological smallpox,
what is the chance he has other weapons of biological destruction, those
for which we do not have a vaccine?
We are developing “grounds” for a war with Iraq in spite of the rest of
the world telling us to stay out of there. I encourage all to spend some
time on this site: www.globalpolicy.org
for some eye-opening information on policy that you won’t see in the
We are setting the stage for a health disaster unlike anything we have
seen before in America, and it will be our own doing. World health
records (England, Germany, Italy, the Philippines, British India, etc.)
document that devastating epidemics followed mass vaccination. The
worst smallpox disaster occurred in the Philippines after a 10 year
compulsory US program administered 25 million vaccinations to its
population of 10 million resulting in 170,000 cases and more than 75,000
deaths from ‘smallpox’, in a country having only scattered cases in
rural villages prior to the onslaught of vaccines.[xv]
I received an excellent bulletin from Larken Rose
who is an activist regarding taxes. So much of what he said applies to
the vaccine movement, that I got his permission to include part of his
letter here. It is time to STAND AGAINST forced vaccination. Stop the
hysteria! Information is power. However, after gaining power, you must
Here is something to inspire you:
More than 200 years ago, the people of this country chose to tell King
George, not just that he was unreasonable, not just that they didn’t
like him, not just that they had complaints about him, but that they
were going to RESIST BY FORCE his tyrannical ways. The Declaration was
not a threat to take King George to court; it was not a petition, or a
request for fairness, or even a demand. It was a STATEMENT—a
DECLARATION—that the people of America REFUSED TO TOLERATE the
oppression, and were going to openly resist it, and didn’t give a damn
what the King thought about it.
Though it may be politically incorrect to describe it this way, the
Declaration of Independence was a bunch of people openly stating that
they were going to IGNORE the law (not debate it or litigate it), and
OVERTHROW their present government. (King George was not a foreign
invader; he was "the government.") Again, in the words of the
Declaration, "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing
invariably the same object, evidences a design to reduce them under
absolute despotism, it is the people’s right, it is their duty, to throw
off such government."
Where are the Americans who still have that attitude?
There are a few (very few), and most people consider them to be "fringe
extremists." Where do YOU draw the line? What injustice would
government agents have to commit, before YOU would openly resist? Is
there a line for you? Or would you complain and bicker all the way to
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never
will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out
the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,
and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or
blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the
endurance of those whom they suppress."
- Frederick Douglas-
This is a very different country today from what it was 226 years ago.
We have become a country of sheep. We occasionally "baaa" at government
injustice, but we do not ACT. For the most part, our “rebelliousness"
now consists of pushing buttons in voting booths, to hopefully elect the
less scummy of two lying scumbags (after a debate about which one is
For most people that is the extent of their resistance to
government-imposed injustice. Each of us cowers in a corner for fear
that we will be the next one that government makes an "example"
of. While self-preservation is no sin, at some point a country of
"self-preservers" will "preserve" itself into total submission to
We are one step away from that now.
Once upon a time, a group of individuals declared to the world that they
would fight and risk death, rather than tolerate the oppressions of an
abusive government. Now, we are too comfortable for that. We are
spoiled. We are cowards. For today’s battle, we need only the smallest
fraction of the courage our forefathers demonstrated.
We do not need to lie in the mud, squinting in the cold to see the rifle
sites, waiting for the glimpse of British Troops that we know are headed
our way just over the next ridge. We do not need to run into the open
field, in heavy enemy fire, to retrieve our buddy who just had his leg
blown off by a cannonball.We do not need to leave our families and
friends to fight, and possibly to die. No, today the price for our
freedom (at least a huge chunk of it) is a pittance compared to what
others have paid, but I have my doubts about whether we are willing to
pay even that. What is that price? What do we need to do?
We need to just say NO by affirming the following:
I will avoid fear.
I will seek alternatives to the forced medical experimentation.
I will avoid being injected with an experimental new drug based on a
“hunch” or based on something that happened hundreds or thousands of
miles from where I live.
I will resist the government’s efforts to take away my right to do what
I believe is best for my body.
I will take personal responsibility for my heath and for the health of
[i] JAMA, June 9, 1999; Vol. 281, No. 22, p 3132
[ii] Bernstein J et al. Depression of lymphocyte transformation
following oral glucose ingestion. Am. J. of Clin. Nut. 1977;30:613
[iii] Murata A. Virucidal Activity of Vitamin C: Vitamin C for
Prevention and Treatment of Viral Diseases. Proceedings of the First
Intersectional Congress of Microbiological Societies, Science Council of
Japan 3:432-442. 1975.
[iv] Kligler IJ, Bernkopf H. Inactivation of Vaccinia Virus by Ascorbic
Acid and Glutathione. Nature, vol. 139:pp.965-966. 1937
[v] Am. J. Epid. 1971; 91:316-326.
[vi] JAMA, June 9, 1999; Vol. 281, No. 22, p 2130
[vii] LeDuc, James and Jahrling, Peter B. Strengthening National
Preparedness for Smallpox: an Update. Emerging Infectious Diseases,
Jan-Feb 2001, Vol. 7., No. 1
[viii] Highfield, Roger. New drug could conquer smallpox,
[ix] Data from Rao, 1972, quoted in Fenner Table 1.2
[x] Blumgarten, A.S. “A Textbook of Medicine” for nursing students.
[xi] MMWR July 12, 1996/45(RR11); p. 12
[xii] MMWR March 28, 1997/Vol.46/No. RR-7, pg. 4
[xiii] JAMA, ibid. p 2131
[xv] Physician William Howard Hay's address of June 25, 1937; printed in
the Congressional Record.