STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD PAN ON THE FAILURE OF THE RECALL CAMPAIGN TO QUALIFY FOR THE BALLOT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Shannan Velayas
February 4, 2020
SACRAMENTO, CA– The most recent effort to recall Dr. Richard Pan has failed, signaling yet another victory of science over the politics of fear and intimidation. The last day for the proponent of the recall to circulate petitions and file 61,224 valid signatures with county elections officials, was yesterday, February 3, 2020.
“As a pediatrician, I dedicated my life to caring for patients, protecting children and building healthy communities,” said Dr. Richard Pan, pediatrician and state senator representing the Sacramento area. “The science is clear that vaccines work. I will continue the fight to keep our children and communities safe by advocating for laws based on science and facts.”
In 2015, during the legislative debate over SB 277, which eliminated the personal belief exemption from existing law requiring childhood vaccinations, opponents used fear, intimidation and discredited information to try to defeat the bill. Dr. Pan was the subject of harassment, ethnic slurs and even death threats. He refused to be intimidated and with the help of many other legislators, and the support of the Governor, SB 277 was signed into law. As soon as SB 277 was signed, anti-vaccination forces launched a campaign to recall Dr. Pan from office. That effort failed without the submission of a single signature.
In 2019, urgency was given to Dr. Pan’s efforts to restore community immunity when measles spread throughout the country. We saw the greatest number of measles infections in 25 years. Dr. Pan authored SB 276 to close the fake medical exemption loophole. During the legislative debate over that measure, anti-vaccination extremists worked to silence health advocates and deceive the public and policymakers. The anti-vaccination zealots who frightened parents into refusing to vaccinate their children brought those same tactics to the Capitol.
Once again, they sought to recall Dr. Pan from office, launching that effort in late summer 2019, and once again, they have failed. https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/recalls/current-recall-efforts
“I am proud of the tremendous support I received from the people of the Sixth District,” said Dr. Pan. “Thousands pledged their support if the recall qualified and hundreds donated to help me oppose the recall. Physicians from all over the state rallied to my side, recognizing their patients and the public are at serious risk if anti-science extremists are allowed to bully public officials and hijack public health policy.”
With this recall threat behind Dr. Pan, he is more committed than ever to serving the people of the Sixth District and working to build a healthy California.