If I were not already naturally immune to Covid, I would have long ago gotten vaccinated at the first opportunity. But for those of us who have acquired natural immunity, vaccination provides none of the benefits of vaccination with all of the costs.
George Mason University’s vision aspires to “bring new perspectives and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.” By breaking from the herd and following the example of George Mason himself—who refused to sign the U.S. Constitution until it included a Bill of Rights—my university can live up to this promise and treat naturally acquired immunity as at least equivalent to vaccinated status.
While one plausible solution is for Zywicki to work and teach from home, Younes said Zywicki doesn’t see that as an acceptable long-term remedy.
“This is not a situation where he’s guessing he had COVID. He’s had many antibody tests—he’s had a number of them as recently as June, which showed very robust immunity levels,” [Jenin] Younes told Newsweek. “Where we’re talking about following the science there’s really no reason to treat him differently than other vaccinated colleagues.”
The 37-page letter sent by the Alliance to university leaders included a lengthy statement by Noorchashm and a joint statement from Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, both agreeing Zywicki should be exempt. The two cited several studies to that point.
“If you have COVID and recover, then you have natural immunity, that’s how the immune system works,” Kulldorff, who has studied vaccines for many years, told Newsweek.“The vaccine works in the same way because it makes your immune system work without having the disease so having had the disease provides at least as good or better immunity than you’d have from the vaccine.”
From a public health standpoint Kulldorff also noted that by forcing people who are already immune to take the vaccine could take the vaccine away from others who need it.
When, exactly, do we get to return to normal life? Is it when every single person is vaccinated? Is it when lockdowns finally demonstrate any effectiveness at fighting COVID-19? When we’ve driven all our kids nuts and small businesses bankrupt with restrictions? When disease is completely eradicated around the time the sun sputters out? Or will it be when the pajama class is finally bored with lording it over the rest of society and decides it’s time to come up for air? It’s a question requiring an answer as our lords and masters show every inclination to once again tighten the screws to address a never-ending public health emergency.
A year and a half into the pandemic, every American 12 and older who cares to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has had the opportunity to get a shot. That’s important, because all of the available vaccines are extremely effective at reducing the dangers of infection for their recipients.
COVID-19 has been an unpleasant ordeal for the entire planet, but perhaps not so awful as the policies inflicted on us in the name of public health. It’s time to move beyond pandemic panic to rebuild our prosperity, raise our kids, and reclaim our freedom. If the control freaks don’t like that, well, they’re another affliction we can do without.
In times of public-health emergency, the federal government takes on the role of a provider of information. Unfortunately, as “The CDC’s Delta Variant Panic” (Review & Outlook, July 31) illustrates, our government has fallen into a pattern of not only vacillating between contradictory positions, but also fanning the flames of Covid-19 misinformation.
This pattern extends to the earliest days of the pandemic. Far from providing leadership, agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and figures such as Anthony Fauci have a record of projecting their own unfounded speculation as authoritative scientific judgments on matters in which they lack clear evidence. Recall how the CDC spent spring 2020 attempting to dissuade the public from buying masks, how Dr. Fauci described the risk of Covid to the U.S. as “minuscule” in late February 2020, and how “two weeks to flatten the curve” morphed into two months, then a year.
More recent vacillation includes ever-changing advice on masks, a re-evaluation of the lab-leak theory, the confidence-undermining pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and now encouraging alarmism with misleading claims about the number of Delta variant breakthrough cases. Despite this stream of inconsistent messages, these public-health authorities are routinely invoked by journalists and social-media fact checkers as the standard against which “Covid misinformation” is to be judged.
A year and a half of placing political expediency over scientific accuracy has taken its toll on the public. By failing to acknowledge the limitations of their own knowledge and repeated errors of judgment, Dr. Fauci and the CDC have undermined the very trust they seek to command. If public trust in science declines as a result, these officials have only themselves to blame.
Phillip W. Magness
Great Barrington, Mass.
Jay Bhattacharya explains what shouldn’t – but what, unfortunately, nevertheless does – need explaining, namely, that the CDC’s new ‘guidance’ on masking only further reinforces resistance to vaccination.
Those of you who dismiss as unwarranted the warnings issued by those of us who worry about government officials using fear of Covid as an occasion to seize dangerous powers might wish to read this piece by Scott Shackford. A slice:
L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell have introduced a motion instructing the city attorney to draft an ordinance requiring people in Los Angeles to provide proof of at least one vaccine dose in order to enter any indoor spaces “including but not limited to restaurants, bars, retail establishments, fitness centers, spas, and entertainment centers such as stadiums, concert venues, and movie theaters.”
There is no actual scientific or safety justification for such a demand. The motion itself notes that more than 70 percent of Los Angeles County residents over the age of 16 have gotten at least one vaccine dose. Hospitalizations and deaths in Los Angeles due to COVID-19 are indeed rising again, but they’re nowhere near where they were before vaccines became available. Hospitalizations won’t reach that spot again precisely because more than 70 percent of residents are at least partly vaccinated.
It has never been possible to run a risk-free human society, and our current political class’s attempts to pretend to do so (while failing) get darker and more insane by the week. Public policy has made flailing attempts to eradicate a virus in the past year. It cannot do so, and it definitely hurts to try.
Millions with life-threatening health conditions were put at risk in order to block this unstoppable virus.
A generation of young people were forced to put their lives on hold when the average age of Covid victims was 83, a year older than the median UK lifespan. And our economy was damaged, in some areas perhaps beyond repair.
We deserve an explanation and we should not have to wait years for the outcome of a public inquiry. An apology from some would be welcome. Let’s start with Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson, “Professor Lockdown” himself.
Modest Proposal: If you’ve taken your Covid cues at any point over the last 1.5 years from the psychic healer wellness blog’s “long covid” survey; from the Neil Ferguson model; from Fauci’s self-contradictory press conferences; from Rebekah Jones’s social media activism; or from Sam Bowman, you don’t get to complain about the other side promoting scientific misinformation.