The Political Badge of Ignoring Natural Immunity
Ignoring the data on natural immunity to Covid was a catastrophic error, resulting in lives lost, careers ruined, and a 4-day school week for many children today
Later today, Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins will testify before congress. He was kind enough to share an advanced copy of his remarks with me. He makes the powerful case that ignoring natural immunity during the Dec 2020 to April 2021 vaccine rollout resulted in thousands of lives lost because 2 vaccines were being given to people with natural immunity while thousands of unvaccinated Americans without any immunity died each day. As he appropriately asks: Why give some people two life-preservers while others drown with none. He also explains how ignoring natural immunity in vaccine mandates contributed to 1) the nursing shortage crisis resulting in increased nursing staff costs, which hospitals are covering with higher medical bills today and 2) a teacher shortage that has left nearly a thousand schools with a 4-day school week to this day. Marty, a co-author of the 2022 JAMA study on the durability of natural immunity, was prophetic, warning about the collateral damage of ignoring scientific data on the topic. Even when the evidence was clear, public health officials avoided the topic altogether. I hope you enjoy his remarks as much as I did.
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Nothing speaks more to the intellectual dishonesty of public health leaders than their complete dismissal of natural immunity.
Since the Athenian plague of 430 B.C. it has been known that prior infection is protective against severe disease. Natural immunity works for nearly every other virus. The CDC website tells you not to get the chickenpox vaccine if you had chickenpox. And the only 2 other coronaviruses that cause severe disease in humans other than Covid (SARS & MERS) both resulted in long-term immunity. Oddly, public health oligarchs hypothesized that COVID-19 would break the rule. They got it terribly wrong.
A recent Lancet review studied the top 65 studies from 9 countries and concluded that natural immunity is at least as effective as vaccinated immunity, and probably better. The evidence was there all along. But health officials never talked about it.
Instead they made ignoring natural immunity a political badge. They dismissed it by dangling uncertainty about it, saying we don’t know how long it lasts. They bizarrely assumed that vaccinated immunity was durable and natural immunity was not. They got it backwards.
A 2022 study that my Johns Hopkins colleagues and I conducted found that antibodies were present up to nearly 2 years after infection and follow-up studies showed this was protective. The JAMA website listed our study as their 3rd most discussed study of 2022. But when I posted it on social media, it was censored.
Big tech censored many scientific studies on natural immunity, labeling it “vaccine hesitant content.”
Universities, like my own, put their heads in the sand, ignoring the data and forcing young healthy students to choose between the risk of myocarditis or getting kicked out of school, even though they already had natural immunity.
The media parroted whatever Fauci and the CDC fed them, just as they did when government leaders told them there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, parroting whatever the government told them without asking any questions.
Big Pharma was also driving the narrative. Is anyone surprised that Pfizer & Moderna never talked about natural immunity as a reason to not get one of their products?
On the Ground
Meanwhile many practicing doctors knew the power of natural immunity and used it to custom tailor their vaccine recommendations, just as much of Europe did. A group of us wrote dozens of articles on the topics. We received secret praise from hundreds of doctors who often reached out to us. Some, with big national profiles, would tell us that privately they agreed with us but were afraid to speak up publicly because they receive grants from Dr. Fauci, or because their hospital would bully them.
While many doctors practiced medicine factoring in the powerful role of natural immunity, the highly-political leadership of the medical establishment supported 100% of everything Dr. Fauci said, not because he was correct, but to show their political solidarity. At the same time, the CDC put out their own highly-flawed studies to support their position while ignoring a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
But ignoring natural immunity was not just an intellectual debate, ignoring natural immunity resulted in tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S.
From December, 2020 to April, 2021 when the Covid vaccine supply was scarce and thousands of Americans were dying each day, many of those died because they could not get the vaccine in time to save their life (The vaccine, even a single dose, was highly protective against the circulating strains at that time). Tragically, during that same time period, millions of vaccines were given to those who already had natural immunity because the allocation priority list ignored natural immunity. Public health officials should give us an answer:
Why were life-saving vaccines being used for second doses in those who already had natural immunity when they could have been used as a first dose to save the life of someone with no immunity?
In other words, why give 2 life preservers to some when others are drowning with none?
Catastrophic Collateral Damage
Increased health insurance premiums
Health care costs are crushing everyday Americans today. Medical bills will be higher this year and health insurance premiums will be higher next year because of the many nurses with natural immunity who left the profession. Today’s nursing shortage was exacerbated by the mass exodus of nurses that had natural immunity and chose not get the full vaccine series. In New York state alone, 34,000 nurses left due to a vaccine mandate that ignored natural immunity.
In the end, over a hundred thousand nurses were fired or left ahead of the requirement—a requirement the Biden administration fought all the way to the Supreme Court, ignoring not just natural immunity but also the clear scientific data that vaccines do not stop transmission.
Many Americans who were fired from their jobs had antibodies that neutralize the virus but were antibodies that the government did not recognize. Hospitals dealing with worsening nursing staff shortages (that continue to this day), were forced to hire traveling nurses for double or triple the cost—a cost passed on to everyday Americans in the form of higher medical bills. And now higher health insurance costs for American workers and businesses.
A Domino Effect
In addition, as supply chain workers left, we saw shortages of chemotherapy. 911 calls had longer response times after many police and first responders with natural immunity quit or were fired when forced to get 2 doses of the vaccine. Tens of thousands of young healthy military personnel quit or were fired for having natural immunity and declining to accept the myocarditis risk of the second vaccine dose—a risk of roughly 1 in six thousand young males—a risk so high, many parts of Europe restricted the Moderna vaccine in people under age 30. In one round of firing alone last year, 81,000 military personnel were fired (The military vaccine mandate was subsequently reversed by an act of congress).
Overall, over a million Americans who wanted to work left the workforce. Was that good for public health?
Giving a healthy child with natural immunity a 2nd vaccine dose also carries a risk of heart damage. There have even been deaths in healthy young people due to myocarditis, which is why many pediatricians did not recommend Covid vaccination in healthy children who recovered from Covid, or modified their recommendations to just one dose, or to forego the booster shot. This was labeled misinformation by the medical establishment thought-crime police, but it was good medicine.
Tragically, in the U.S. we gave thousands of healthy children myocarditis for no good reason—they were already immune. This was avoidable.
Hurting a generation of children
Ignoring natural immunity also resulted in generational learning loss (and still does) because of the many teachers with natural immunity who quit or were fired because of vaccine mandates—mandates that the Biden administration will finally ended today, May 11, 2023. Just in time! A report this week found a 31% increase in schools going to a 4-day school week because of the teacher shortage. Nearly a thousand schools are currently on a 4-day school week to cope with the national teacher shortage. In Missouri alone, more than 160 school districts (out of 518) will be forced to have a four-day school week next year.
Wealthy children in private schools sustained far less learning loss, as poor and minority children were hit hardest. In Baltimore, many children have never returned to school after a near 2-year hiatus.
What have public health politicos done to this country?
These are self-inflicted wounds.
The Straw Poll
After many downstream consequences of ignoring natural immunity, public outcry, and a government’s struggle to implement vaccine mandates, finally in early 2022, Dr. Fauci along with Biden administration officials considered if they should reverse their position on natural immunity and give vaccine credit for natural immunity, as Europe was doing.
So they called 4 friends of theirs—loyal friends in the scientific community who were supportive of Biden’s unpopular mandates and other Covid restrictions. On that famous call, Fauci and Biden administration officials put the matter to a vote. The vote was 2-2. After that vote, Fauci decided to simply continue ignoring natural immunity. Some government doctors privately told me that the public was too stupid to understand natural immunity. But the American people are not stupid, they are forgiving if you are honest.
How could Dr. Fauci and the Biden administration put such a critical policy decision before straw poll of a few friends??
It would have been better if they reviewed the approximately 200 studies on the topic rather than used groupthink.
The Djokovic Doctrine
The insanity is not over. Just last month, tennis player Novak Djokovic was not allowed to enter the U.S. to play tennis outdoors at the Miami open. He had Covid but was unvaccinated. The Biden administration’s Djokovic Doctrine, created by public health officials, says that society must be segregated by vaccinated and unvaccinated regardless of natural immunity. Just last week a parent hoping to send their child to Johns Hopkins undergraduate school was denied because they did not get the full vaccine series. The continued absolutism and arrogance of public health officials using dogma in lieu of data has significantly damaged public trust.
It's time we restore public health integrity by using evidence and scientific objectivity, not political badges and censorship in debating public health policy. Public health officials lied to us and destroyed the careers of over a million Americans as a result. They also damaged centuries of public trust in the medical profession. Americans who were wrongly fired should be re-hired with backpay as some locales have already done. Children who had natural immunity and then were forced to get the vaccine and developed heart injury from the vaccine deserve an apology.