MADISON – After voting no on suspending portions of the Department of Health Services Administrative Code Chapter 144 as a member of the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) earlier today, State Rep. Samba Baldeh (D-Madison) released the following statement:

“On Tuesday, JCRAR heard hours of testimony on suspending portions of DHS 144, relating to vaccines. Among the portions we considered were those relating to adding two doses of the meningococcal vaccine to the childhood vaccine schedule, updated definitions of ‘substantial outbreak’ for certain diseases, and updated reporting requirements for varicella (chickenpox) infection. While I appreciate the passion of everyone who came to speak on Tuesday, this morning I voted “no” to suspend these rules because I trust the expertise of our medical professionals, the public health professionals at DHS and the CDC, and the scientists who work so incredibly hard to protect our communities from the threat of serious diseases.

During the hearing, opponents of the updates to DHS 144 claimed that we should not trust public health and medical professionals, or the data on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. When I asked multiple individuals who testified why I should trust them instead of the scientists, they were unable to give me a compelling reason.

With that in mind, with my vote earlier today I chose to trust the professionals from DHS and the medical field who spoke in defense of the recent changes to DHS 144 and in defense of vaccines. I chose to trust the data that shows the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. And I chose to trust my own experience in seeing just how many lives vaccines can and have saved, both here in Wisconsin and around the world.

I trust the science and our dedicated public servants, and will not to give in to arguments that undermine public health for us all. We must continue to stand strong against misinformation, and do everything we can to improve public health in Wisconsin and across the world.”

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