ALBEMARLE — With a 6-1 vote, the Stanly County Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution in support of North Carolina House Bill 98 and Senate Bill 121, also known as the Medical Freedom Act.
The proposed bill is currently sitting in committee at the state level.
On March 6, the board signaled its approval of the bill’s goals to prevent local governmental discrimination against people based on their refusal to provide proof of or submit to a COVID-19 vaccination.
The bill also prohibits public schools, state and local public health agencies, and local governments from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination, adopting mask policies, or quarantining healthy students.
Presented by Commissioner Patty Crump, the board’s near-unanimous resolution is a full-hearted endorsement of the bill.
“I talked with Wayne Sasser — our N.C. House representative — this past week,” Crump said. “He feels very strongly that this is going to be approved, possibly with a 72-vote majority, which would make it veto-proof which is excellent for medical freedom,” Crump said. “But it always helps when our representatives can hear from county commissioners and other leaders and the voices of the people. I would like to present a resolution in order to give it teeth.”
Holding over 20 years of professional medical experience, Dr. Amir Koohestani joined Crump in support of the Medical Freedom Act.
Koohestani is board certified in osteopathic family and functional medicine and currently serves as an associate professor of medicine at Campbell University Medical School.
“I teach my medical students that science is the knowledge of how things work, but wisdom is when you recognize the limitations of your science. And science has a lot of limitations,” Koohestani said. “In fact, science has thrived over the years because scientists have been allowed to ask questions.”
Koohestani provided his input that there isn’t a strong enough consensus in the medical community around COVID-19 vaccination effectiveness for the vaccines to be required by the government in certain public places. He also provided statistics indicating that the vaccines have led to higher rates of myocarditis and pregnancy complications.
When it came time for the vote, the lone nay vote belonged to Commissioner Peter Asciutto, a community vaccine ambassador with Atrium Health and a longtime advocate for COVID-19 vaccines.
The commissioner brought up that just last week, the Stanly County Consolidated Health and Human Services Board voted 7-4 not to lend its endorsement to the Medical Freedom Act. Ascuitto then took issue with Koohestani’s claim that the vaccines were initially advertised to fully prevent virus transmission.
“I’ve never heard anybody say that if you take the vaccine, you’re not going to get COVID. There’s always been a risk to everything,” Ascuitto said.
“What planet do you live on?” Koohestani responded.
Back on March 30, 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky contended that “Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it’s not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.”
A few months later, President Joe Biden also suggested that fully vaccinated people don’t carry COVID-19: “We’re making sure healthcare workers are vaccinated because if you seek care at a healthcare facility, you should have the certainty that the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you.”
Following the 6-1 vote in favor of the resolution, a large portion of the crowd in attendance clapped in support.
The Stanly County Board of Commissioners will hold its next meeting on March 20 in the Gene McIntyre Room at Stanly Commons.