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What Polio Vaccine Injury Looks Like, Decades Later

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When touting the merits of vaccination, public health officials often brag about the campaign to eradicate polio. What they rarely if ever disclose, however, is that both the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) developed by Jonas Salk and the live-virus oral polio vaccine (OPV)—developed first by Polish scientist Hilary Koprowski and later by Albert Sabin—frequently have caused the very condition they were supposed to prevent.

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U.S. regulators fast-tracked the Salk vaccine in 1954, deliberating for just two hours before approving it for wide-scale use. Despite Salk’s belief that a “killed-virus” vaccine “could not accidentally cause polio in those inoculated,” the number of reported polio cases rose immediately and dramatically within a year, with particularly steep increases in some states—including a 642% spike in Massachusetts. According to one account, National Institutes of Health doctors and scientists were “well aware that the Salk vaccine was causing polio,” and some health departments even banned it. To make matters worse, in a “massive and highly publicised disaster,” over 200,000 unsuspecting children received a batch of polio vaccine later determined to be defective—manufactured by Cutter Laboratories, the batch contained improperly inactivated (and, therefore, live) polio virus that gave polio to at least 40,000 children.

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In the early 1960s, the “cheaper to make, easier to take” live-virus OPV began to supplant the IPV as the polio vaccine of choice and remained in place for nearly 40 years. By then, scientists had been testing the OPV on American children for about a decade; as reported by Koprowski in a 2006 paper, U.S. testing of his oral vaccine took place from 1951-1962. Sabin tested his OPV on millions of Soviet citizens in 1959, immediately followed by U.S. trials. By the summer of 1960, Sabin’s OPV was on the cusp of licensure. 

Knowing that children gravitate toward sugar, U.S. health department personnel who administered the oral polio vaccine “helped the medicine go down” by delivering the vaccine serum on sugar cubes. By 1962, “children were lining up at school, tongues out to receive pink-stained lumps of sugar impregnated with Albert Sabin’s live, attenuated oral polio vaccine.” What officials neglected to tell the millions of American children who happily crunched on their sugar cubes was that the OPV, like the IPV, could give them full-blown, iron-lung-type polio. Nor were recipients of either type of polio vaccine informed of their exposure to the cancer-causing viral contaminant SV40, derived from the monkey kidneys used to produce the vaccines. When some vaccine recipients went on to develop polio or cancer (or both), all too often they met with an evasive and uncaring response from public health authorities who refused to admit that their vaccines could cause lifelong damage.

A true story

Cynthia Grady, now almost 65 years old, is a North Carolina resident who received a coerced “sugar cube” polio vaccine in South Carolina in July, 1960 and has lived with chronic pain and severe health problems ever since. Grady and her nearly 85-year-old mother, Connie Gallagher, consented to an August 2019 interview with Children’s Health Defense to tell Grady’s tragic and hair-raising story of vaccine injury and describe their encounters with an officialdom apparently committed to obfuscation, stonewalling and denial of harm.

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At the time, Grady and Gallagher (who had divorced Grady’s biological father) lived in New York. In July of 1960, Gallagher drove south to drop her “very healthy” six-year-old daughter off with relatives in South Carolina before continuing on to Florida to visit her parents. Unfortunately, Grady’s biological father—a member of the South Carolina Cherokee Nation—decided to take advantage of Gallagher’s absence and engaged in what would now be termed a parental kidnap, whisking the bewildered child away from her aunt and uncle shortly after her arrival. To qualify for social welfare benefits allocated on the basis of “number of mouths being fed,” he immediately took Grady to the Cherokee County Health Department for vaccination.

Scared and crying, Grady explained that she had already had her vaccines, which she had received in injected form prior to starting kindergarten the year before. Despite her protests, the health department employee got her to swallow a sugar cube polio vaccine. Within a couple of days, while staying in a house that had only an outhouse, Grady began to profusely vomit and became so ill that she was taken to an isolation room in Cherokee Memorial Hospital. Her rapid deterioration then prompted a transfer 25 miles away to Spartanburg General Hospital, where she found herself in a special basement ward with 20 or more other children in similar condition. All of the children, Grady included, were diagnosed with paralytic polio.

Grady’s laboratory report form dated August 4, 1960 (not obtainable by the family until 2016, see below) clearly shows that Grady and the other children in her basement ward were closely monitored by the CDC/Public Health Service’s “Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program.” The lab report provides evidence of positive culturing for “monkey kidney” and also shows that Grady tested positive for polioviruses Types I, II and III.

By the time that Gallagher received the terrifying phone call that her daughter was in the hospital in critical condition, Grady was in an iron lung, unable to speak and paralyzed from the neck down. (Her time in the iron lung ultimately left her with a scar on the back of her neck and motor neuron imbalances as well as heart deformities.) After Gallagher rushed north to join her daughter, finding that Grady could only move her head and blink “yes” or “no” in response to questions, Gallagher repeatedly heard her daughter described as being in “grave condition.”

The CDC’s Poliomyelitis Surveillance Report No. 205, published on August 5, 1960, indicates that the CDC monitored 33 cases of paralytic polio (and 10 nonparalytic cases) that occurred in the tri-county area of Cherokee and Spartanburg counties (South Carolina) and Cleveland county in North Carolina between June 11 and August 6, 1960. The report states that 11 of the 33 paralyzed children had previously received one or more doses of the Salk polio vaccine but does not discuss the OPV. However, during the many days spent at her daughter’s bedside at the Spartanburg hospital, Gallagher learned from the other mothers present that all of the children in the special ward had received the sugar cube vaccine and had similar monkey kidney serum test results.

Mother and daughter recall that the CDC “brought in equipment like you wouldn’t believe” and put Grady through the rigors of various forms of physical therapy and rehabilitation, not always reflecting good clinical decision-making. Gallagher reports never receiving a single medical bill nor any medical documentation of Grady’s treatment in South Carolina, leaving no paper trail. With Grady still largely unable to walk, the pair eventually returned to New York and later moved to Oregon. Many years of painful rehabilitation followed, and it took seven years for Grady to be able to walk without crutches. Since then, Grady has endured one costly medical problem after another, including meningitis, tachycardia, mood swings, problems with balance, a partial and then full hysterectomy, gallbladder and appendix removal, ovarian cancer and more. At present, Grady has “good days and bad days,” with many spent mostly in bed. Her ongoing balance difficulties have led to numerous falls, concussions and broken bones.

The runaround

For years, mother and daughter tried to obtain Grady’s hospital records, to little avail. In 2001, the Spartanburg hospital even told Grady that they had “no record that you were ever here.” After renewing their request in 2016, a kind hospital employee dedicated two weeks to searching through the institution’s microfiched archives and stumbled on the apparently suppressed records, which included the revelatory CDC lab report.

For many years, the government repeatedly denied Grady’s applications for Social Security Disability, telling her that her health problems were “all in her head.” Eventually, Social Security awarded Grady a small monthly disability stipend (currently $645), while still periodically asking her to “jump through hoops” such as seeing a psychiatrist.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was established in 1986 and became operational in the fall of 1988. Although it included a meager provision for individuals like Grady who had sustained vaccine injuries prior to October 1, 1988, there were several caveats—those individuals had to know about the NVICP, had to have medical documentation to prove the case and had to file their claims by January 31, 1991. The program also capped the number of petitioners who could be compensated retrospectively at 3,500; by early 1993, the slow-moving program had only adjudicated 32% of retrospective claims and had only awarded compensation to half of those (641 claimants). In 2014, the GAO reported that the average time to adjudicate a claim remained three and a half years.

From the beginning, the NVICP has done little to publicize its existence, so it is unsurprising that Grady and Gallagher did not learn about it until decades after the 1991 deadline for filing a retroactive claim. Moreover, the hospital in Spartanburg did not hand over Grady’s medical records until 2016. When Grady and Gallagher first reached out to the NVICP, the program told them to get a lawyer and sent them a list of 150 attorneys. More than 75 attorneys refused to take the case: “We couldn’t get an attorney to touch it with a 10-foot pole.” In an unanswered letter to President Trump, Grady noted her stepfather’s military service during World War II and stated that she had been “raised to believe that this is one great country and that there is justice for all,” adding that something was “wrong with this picture” when a criminal gets a court-appointed attorney while she couldn’t get one.

Next, Grady asked for help from her congressional representative, Congressman Mark Meadows. For eight months, the Congressman’s staff tried to help and even submitted a complete set of paperwork to the NVICP. After months of getting nowhere, the Congressman’s staff was unable to continue dedicating scarce time to the case.

Finally, aware of a legal provision called “equitable tolling,” Grady and Gallagher filed a retrospective pro se petition (i.e., without an attorney) on April 6, 2017. Equitable tolling “means that a person is not required to sue within the statutory period if he cannot in the circumstances reasonably be expected to do so.” The NVICP assigned a case number (17-509V) and a Special Master (Mindy Michaels Roth), conducted two audiotaped status conferences by phone and asked for a complete set of medical records, information about current health status, and equitable tolling paperwork; months later, Special Master Roth dismissed the petition “on statute of limitations grounds.” Grady followed up with a motion for review, which was met first by inappropriate procedural steps and then by complete closure of the case.

The dismissal document refers to a prior legal decision discussing the intent of the 1986 Act that put the NVICP in place, stating that while “Congress sought to extend relief to those vaccinated before the Act went into effect,” it “also wanted to provide the government with a definite date after which it would no longer have to defend against any such retroactive suits.” In other words, “tough luck.” In a phone conversation between Grady and Special Master Roth and a Department of Justice attorney, Grady asked, “What am I, your collateral damage?” The reply was, “Well, if you have to put it that way.”

Collateral damage

Historians admit that the history of polio vaccines is littered with unsavory “tough choices”—as one historical account puts it, “the scientists who raced toward effective polio vaccines tested their work on prisoners, institutionalized children, and tens of thousands of monkeys.” A Harvard-based writer goes even further, stating that “The success of mass immunization…comes at a price” and that “Many children…suffer major injuries and death from the administration of vaccines.”

n 2000, the U.S. stopped administering oral polio vaccines and reverted to the IPV after being forced by outraged parents to admit that the OPV was resulting in an unacceptably high number of actual cases of polio in children. (The OPV is still in wide use in many other countries.) Dr. Walter Orenstein, then the director of the CDC’s vaccination program, unashamedly described his prior stance, stating that when a small number of children a year contracted polio but millions were assumed to be protected, “my feeling was it was a small price to pay.” However, when confronted with the tragic story of a young man, David Salamone, who died at age 28 of complications from childhood vaccine-induced polio, Orenstein seemingly changed his tune, saying “Suddenly, the eight to 10 people were not just tiny numbers but were real people. Just seeing how these people’s lives were ruined made a big difference.”

Grady, likewise, wants people to understand that she is a “real person.” As she states:

I want to be able to tell my story and to help change these time constraints on timely filing and make these people understand that it is the residuals of the polio monkey kidney serum that took a 6-year-old girl and many, many others years of distress, misdiagnosis with health problems, caused heart problems, cancer and motor neuron problems with the brain and lots of other disability. I want them to understand that we were not properly informed that there was even a vaccine compensation program back in the ‘80s, that our records were suppressed [for] over 50 years by the CDC and that they were derelict in their duty to follow up and admit the wrongdoing.


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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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General

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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