Among the mainstream health experts perplexed about the Biden administration’s disregard in its COVID-19 policies for the power of natural immunity is Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In a guest op-ed for the Washington Post, he wrote that “many elected leaders and public health officials have held on far too long to the hypothesis that natural immunity offers unreliable protection against covid-19 — a contention that is being rapidly debunked by science.”
“It’s okay to have an incorrect scientific hypothesis. But when new data proves it wrong, you have to adapt,” he argued.
Makary pointed to 15 studies that demonstrate the power of immunity acquired by previously having the novel coronavirus.
Among them is a 700,000-person study from Israel released earlier this month that found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic COVID-19 infection than those who were vaccinated.
The finding affirmed a study published in June by the Cleveland Clinic of health-care workers, who are often exposed to the virus. None of the workers who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.” In May, a Washington University study found that even a mild COVID infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.
Meanwhile, the top White House coronavirus adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently told CNN health correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta he didn’t have a “firm answer” when asked to make the case for previously infected people needing to get an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, CNN’s Jake Tapper posed a similar question to Fauci, asking why the vaccine mandate applies to people who have had COVID-19.
Fauci said the “durability” of natural infection is unknown, including how it will handle the variants that have emerged. What is clear, however, is that Fauci’s push for the booster shots shows the vaccines don’t have the desired “durability,” and the many “breakthrough” cases demonstrates their vulnerability to the delta variant.
Meanwhile, researchers have found that as many as 50% of people with no known exposure to the novel coronavirus have an effective response to the virus from their T cells, the part of the immune system that attacks foreign particles. Further, many studies forecast long-term immunity for people who have had COVID-19. A study published in February by Science magazine found “substantial immune memory is generated after COVID-19.” And an article in Nature magazine in May reported researchers believe “people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 will probably make antibodies against the virus for most of their lives.” A study by Emory University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that was funded by the National Institutes of Health – for which Fauci works – predicted “long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection.”
1/ Fauci is 100% wrong on both of his claims that natural immunity is not durable and getting vaxx’d with natural immunity offers “dramatically increased protection.”
Fauci needs to spend more time reading and less time on TV.pic.twitter.com/0qPcWtW4ee
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) September 20, 2021
“So, the emerging science suggests that natural immunity is as good as or better than vaccine-induced immunity,” Makary wrote.
“That’s why it’s so frustrating that the Biden administration has repeatedly argued that immunity conferred by vaccines is preferable to immunity caused by natural infection, as NIH director Francis Collins told Fox News host told Bret Baier a few weeks ago,” he said.
Makary noted the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention position on vaccinating children dismisses the benefits of natural immunity, ignoring the fact that young people are less likely to suffer severe or long-lasting symptoms from COVID-19 than adults. At the same time, young people have experienced rare heart complications from the vaccines.
Makary, who also is the editor-in-chief of Medpage Today, said that “rigid adherence to an outdated theory” is also reflected in President Biden’s vaccine mandate requiring large companies to vaccinate all of their workers.
He said the “incorrect hypothesis that natural immunity is unreliable has resulted in the loss of thousands of American lives, avoidable vaccine complications, and damaged the credibility of public health officials.”
In light of Biden’s mandate, he said, “it would be good for our public health leaders to show humility by acknowledging that the hypothesis they repeatedly trumpeted was not only wrong, but it may be harmful.”
A bright spot, he said, is the decision of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to recognize natural immunity for their vaccine requirements. And Republican governors “have picked up on public frustration over how the scientific guidance is inconsistent with the data, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accusing the Biden administration of ‘not following science’ by crafting its vaccine mandate without taking into consideration ‘infection-conferred immunity.'”
“Let’s all come together around the mounting body of scientific literature and real-world clinical experience that is telling us not to require the full vaccine regimen in people who recovered from covid in the past,” Makary concluded.
“Public health officials changing their position on natural immunity, after so much hostility toward the idea, would go a long way in rebuilding the public trust.”
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