A Covid Vaccine Killed Sandra Jacobs, But Where Is Justice?
The autopsy left no doubt, but her daughter’s application for “survivor death benefits” joined a list of thousands who may be out of luck getting compensation from a Pharma-controlled government.
Sandra Jacobs died alone in her Michigan home last April. Found by a friend after frantic texts from co-workers and family went unanswered, the true cause of the sixty-year-old executive’s death would likely never have been made official if not for the tenacity of her daughter.
Jacobs’s only child, Tatum Strieter-Byron, knew right away her mother died due to the Johnson & Johnson covid shot she had received thirteen days before at a local CVS.
And she was right.
Getting Michigan authorities to put that down in writing, however, was another matter, one taking a very persistent pathologist and months of waiting. And now that Jacobs’s autopsy findings clearly state she died from a “therapeutic complication” of the shot, her daughter is speaking out, and wants people “held accountable” for her death.
In any other time, under any other circumstances, that would be a rather straightforward process: hire a lawyer, gather evidence, and take your case to court. But these are far from ordinary times.
To say that covid vaccines, along with every other officially approved method of preventing, treating, and testing for covid-19 (all called “countermeasures”) have “sweeping” liability protection is an understatement. That absence of liability goes so far as to prohibit claims for an injury with any “direct connection” to a countermeasure—described in a Federal Register notice of March 17, 2020, as including a “slip-and-fall,” vehicle accident, or injury from “lax security” at any “countermeasure distribution program or site.”
So, no matter what happens, regardless of whose fault it is, if a countermeasure is somehow involved (such as falling due to a store’s negligence if you’re there to buy an OTC covid test) you’re prohibited from suing. That all-encompassing liability protection also extends to “covered persons,” a long list that shelters “all persons and entities” that touch a countermeasure, from manufacturers, their contractors and subcontractors, distributors, “program planners and qualified persons and their officials.” (The “covered persons” designation also includes the United States of America.)
The only avenue to apply for injury or death benefits caused by a vaccine or other covid-related countermeasure comes out of a nearly seventeen-year-old piss-poor program called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, a drugmaker’s suit of armor that emerged from the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. Spearheaded by then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and hidden away in a 2005 military spending bill, the PREP Act, along with post-9/11 legislation called Project Bioshield, set the stage for most of the privileges and immunities Pharma now enjoys in the time of covid.
While PREP had many critics at the time, including the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who called it irrelevant to the military bill and a Republican “back-room deal (cut) to give a massive Christmas bonus to the drug companies,” and one he had hoped to strip, the PREP Act remained intact. And today the CICP is still the only legal option for untold numbers of people and their beneficiaries who have been harmed or killed by covid vaccines, tests, or treatments.
‘She went to bed and never woke up’
According to Strieter-Byron, her mom wasn’t eager get a covid vaccine, saying she wanted to “wait and see.” But with travel obligations increasing for her job as vice president of sales and marketing at Saline Lectronics, and friends asking if “she got it yet,” Sandra Jacobs finally went to the CVS in Adrian, Michigan, on April 8, 2021, and received a shot of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen covid-19 vaccine.
Jacobs started experiencing headaches and fatigue several days later, calling it the vaccine “backlash.” A little over a week after the shot, Jacobs’s headache had progressed to a migraine, accompanied by chest pain and nausea. A call to her doctor’s office (which was aware she had received a covid vaccine) resulted in a prescription for a nausea drug and advice to take 800 mg of Motrin every six hours.
“The last thing she told me,” Strieter-Byron said, was “I’m going to bed, and if I don’t feel better in the morning I’m going to the hospital. She went to bed and never woke up.”
Many of Jacobs’s friends also believed the vaccine killed her. “I knew in my gut what this was, but I had to wait for us to be able to prove it,” her daughter said.
She immediately requested an autopsy, even granting permission for the pathologist to keep her mother’s brain for additional testing. Strieter-Byron called the medical examiner’s office every Tuesday morning for the next twelve weeks to see if there were any updates. Finally, on September 21, which just happened to be her mom’s birthday, she heard from University of Michigan pathologist Dr. Michael Caplan. “He disclosed that this was 100 percent from the vaccine,” she said, adding “Multiple people had studied her slides…everything we knew to be true was now proven by fact.”
Sandra Jacobs’s death certificate now reads “complications of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis”, with “other significant conditions contributing to death” as being “recent administration of vaccine for Coronavirus 2019 disease.” CVST is described as a blood clot that forms in the venous sinuses of the brain, preventing blood from draining out and leading to swelling and brain hemorrhage.
With proof in hand, Strieter-Byron started telling her mother’s story, bristling at comments saying what killed her mom is “incredibly rare.”
“That doesn’t make her any less dead,” she replied.
Looking for legal help, she contacted several large law firms in Michigan, finally being referred to attorneys in Alabama who told her “there’s nothing you can do” except file yourself with the CICP.
And so, in March 2022, with the one-year window for CICP filing closing in, Tatum Strieter-Byron submitted a claim for “survivor death benefits,” spending hours filling out forms and collecting a package of documents to send to the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland.
Once her submission enters the CICP system it will join 7,669 others documented as of April 1. (Unknown is how many are still in the queue.) Of those, 4,691 are for injuries and deaths from covid vaccines, with the remainder from other countermeasures, including remdesivir, ventilators, and even a “brain puncture” from a covid test. Aside from “death,” injuries claimed include a medical-book list of horrors from kidney damage to myocarditis to allergic reactions to anaphylaxis.
To date, none have been paid.
Should the CICP eventually approve Strieter-Byron’s claim, the pre-determined price for her mother’s life is set at $370,376, a figure taken directly from the Department of Justice-managed Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, which pays death benefits to families of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and others who die in the line of duty. (PSOB allowances have since been assigned as the default CICP death benefit payment amounts for the general public.)
As far as pre-covid era claims and payments made by the CICP, out of 446 submissions (most for the 2009 HINI vaccine), only thirty were compensated. Ten additional ones were found “eligible,” but not paid, as the program doesn’t cover pain and suffering (or therapy or expert witnesses or even legal representation). The program is funded through congressional appropriations, and how much money is currently available is unknown.
‘There Will Be a Reckoning’
Despite the thousands of claims that have found their way to the CICP, and 1,216,787 covid vaccine adverse event reports sent into the joint CDC/FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System through April 1, there is really no way to ever know how many have been injured or died as a result of this mass vaccination program.
Every so often, however, someone like Strieter-Byron or a family like that of Jessica Berg Wilson comes along. Wilson, a thirty-seven-year-old mother of two young children, also died as a direct result of the Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine that she was “vehemently opposed to taking,” only doing so to be a “room mom” at her daughters’ school. Wilson’s story would likely never have emerged if not for her family telling in her obituary how the “exceptionally healthy and vibrant” Seattle woman died.
Strieter-Byron says she has no intention of being quiet about her mother’s death, whatever the outcome is with the CICP. “I have a gut feeling that something is going to change,” she said, adding “at some point there will be a class-action lawsuit.”
Is that possible? Although the wording of the March 2020 PREP Act “notice of declaration,” which put the all-encompassing liability protections for vaccines and other covid countermeasures into effect, contains an expiration date of October 1, 2024, or the last day of the “emergency declaration” (plus an additional twelve months for good measure), how long it stays in effect appears totally subject to the whims of the HHS Secretary.
In a lengthy email response from the HHS press office, it’s clear the Secretary can amend liability coverage “as needed” as long as “liability protections are not retroactively rescinded.”
“Products that are related to federal agreements,” which includes all covid vaccines, will in fact only keep their liability shield until October 2024 (plus twelve months) unless the Secretary extends the date.
As for the question regarding whether the end of the “emergency declaration” (another way to end the PREP Act declaration) is one and the same as the declaration of a “public health emergency,” which has been renewed every three months since January 2020, the answer veered off into even more complex territory, mentioning the “PHS Act,” the “Stafford Act,” the “National Emergencies Act,” and even state or local emergency declarations.
But that’s just about how everything related to covid has been concocted—in essence to be as tangled, convoluted, and as dense as possible.
Even the term “emergency use authorization” (EUA), which entered our vocabulary two years ago, comes from another, now obscure piece of legislation called Project Bioshield Act of 2004, originally sold as being part of our “war on terror” to a still shell-shocked post-9/11 public. The anthrax mailings starting a week later sealed the deal on Bioshield, which called for billions in appropriations to stockpile countermeasures in preparation for a bioterror attack.
Project Bioshield also allowed for an extraordinary escalation of FDA powers. For the first time, a legal way was created for the FDA to authorize unapproved drugs, devices, and biologics to cross state lines and be administered to the public by adding a provision to the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. Never before had Pharma been presented such a golden opportunity. The covid pandemic marks the first time the FDA has used its EUA authority for experimental new vaccines.
Despite being up against a bureaucratic brick wall that has been many years in the making, Strieter-Byron remains firm in her belief that things are going to “evolve and change.”
“We have to keep going,” she said. There will be a reckoning.”
RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.