Steven I. Weiss reports for the Forward:
…The state Health Department issued its own ban on the mohel in February 2005, but withdrew it in April, after receiving a written assurance from a Hasidic businessman, Jacob Spitzer, that the community was instituting its own self-policing procedures, according to documents obtained by the Forward.
[New York City Health Commissioner Thomas] Frieden briefly considered relaxing his ban, but reversed himself in November, after an infant was hospitalized with a herpes infection that had spread to his spinal column according to sources in the city government and the Orthodox community. The state health commissioner, Antonia Novello, reached an agreement in separate negotiations with Hasidic leaders in June to continue under an agreed-upon safety protocol. However, an investigation by the Forward has found that the protocol adopted by Novello relied on measures that medical experts say would do little to reduce the risk of orally transmitting the herpes virus.
Novello, a Republican, served as surgeon general in the late 1980s, during the first Bush administration. She was appointed New York state health commissioner in 1999 by Pataki, who later touted her as a “strong candidate” to challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for re-election. Pataki has been known for his extremely strong ties to the Orthodox community since his days as a state senator, when he represented heavily Orthodox Rockland County.
State records show that at her January 18 meeting with Hasidic leaders, Novello proposed a protocol closely mirroring suggestions that had been circulating for months in the Hasidic world. Among other procedures, she proposed placing the anti-viral drug Valacyclovir on the circumcision wound. The drug is used to treat herpes symptoms in those carrying the virus, and experts say it has no impact on the transmission of the virus. The final protocol eventually announced in Albany last spring removed the Valacyclovir suggestion but included several other measures — including an antibiotic ointment — that experts consulted by the Forward insist do not significantly reduce the risk of herpes transmission.
Authors of the three medical papers cited in Novello’s protocol in support of its conclusions said they were not contacted by Novello’s office when it developed the protocol. Those authors and their associates emphasized in interviews with the Forward that the measures recommended by Novello would not make the ritual safe from neonatal herpes infection.…
So Republican and haredi corruption risks the very lives of Jewish babies. Sick. And those so-called "self-protecting procedures"? You can count on those like you could count on haredi rabbis protecting children from Kolko. That means, not at all.
SIW has documents not posted by the Forward on his own blog, here. The entire Forward article, which contains much more detail, including quotes from the scientists whose work was misued by that Republican hack, is posted here.