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Physician Group Sues Adam Schiff for Attempting to Censure Vaccine Debate

February 19, 2020

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and a New York state resident are suing U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) for trying to suppress what he deems “inaccurate” vaccine information on the internet.

The suit, filed January 15, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claims Schiff contacted Amazon, Facebook, and Google in February and March of 2019, stating that social media sites are discouraging parents from not getting their children vaccinated. 

In a letter he posted on his on his congressional website, Schiff wrote such messages are “a direct threat to public health.” Schiff asked for additional information “on the steps that [they] currently take to provide medically accurate information on vaccinations to [their] users.”

A Free Speech Issue

AAPS and Katarina Verrelli of New York, on behalf of others seeking vaccine information, say Schiff’s actions are an abuse of power and an infringement on free-speech.

“Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asked AAPS General Counsel Andrew Schlafly, in a press release. “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

AAPS said a search for any of its articles on vaccines now leads to links to the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health.

“AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,” but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention,” said AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, which publishes Health Care News.

The suit asks for a declaratory judgement that Schiff violated plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights, an order for Schiff to cease action against publishers of vaccine-related information, and publication of a link to such an announcement.

Internet Info

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Katarina Verrelli v. Adam B. Schiff, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, January 15, 2020:  https://aapsonline.org/judicial/aaps-v-schiff-1-15-2020.pdf

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