Harvard Medical Professor Fired for Not Complying with Covid Vaccine Mandate

A prominent Harvard Medical School professor has been fired for not being vaccinated for Covid.

Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University since 2003, announced on social media Monday that he was “fired” by the prestigious university.

“I am no longer a professor of medicine at Harvard,” Kulldorff wrote in a lengthy essay in the City Journal, also posting the news on his X account.

“The Harvard motto is Veritas, Latin for truth.

“But, as I discovered, truth can get you fired.”

Kulldorff was a prominent opponent of vaccine mandates and school closures during the Covid-era debate about the regulation of schools and businesses.

Along with Professor Sunetra Gupta at Oxford University and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya, Kulldorff released the Great Barrington Declaration in 2020.

The document “argues for age-based focused protection instead of universal lockdowns, with specific suggestions for how better to protect the elderly, while letting children and young adults live close to normal lives.”

“The declaration made clear that no scientific consensus existed for school closures and many other lockdown measures,” Kulldorff wrote,

“In response, though, the attacks intensified—and even grew slanderous,” he added, recounting criticism against him and other professors for refusing to say that lockdown measures were a scientifically guided measure.

Kulldorff wrote that “[b[odily autonomy” was an argument against COVID vaccine mandates, calling those measures “unscientific and unethical” and restating his support for natural immunity from Covid and other diseases.

“The beauty of our immune system is that those who recover from an infection are protected if and when they are re-exposed,” Kulldorff explained, also referencing a controversial “consensus” memorandum released by three members of Harvard’s faculty for The Lancet, a prestigious scientific journal.

That memo “question[ed] the existence of COVID-acquired immunity.”

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Kulldorff concluded that while most of Harvard’s faculty still “diligently pursue truth in a wide variety of fields,” truth has “not been the guiding principle of Harvard leaders.”

“Nor have academic freedom, intellectual curiosity, independence from external forces, or concern for ordinary people guided their decisions,” he added.

He wrote that Harvard must bring back “academic freedom” and stop “cancel culture” if it wanted “to deserve and regain public trust.”

“When scientists have different takes on topics of public importance, universities should organize open and civilized debates to pursue the truth,” Kulldorff argued.

Harvard could have done that—and it still can, if it chooses.”

“Almost everyone now realizes that school closures and other lockdowns were a colossal mistake,” the renowned scientist continued.

“Francis Collins has acknowledged his error of singularly focusing on Covid without considering collateral damage to education and non-Covid health outcomes.

“That’s the honest thing to do, and I hope this honesty will reach Harvard.

“The public deserves it, and academia needs it to restore its credibility.”

“My hope is that someday, Harvard will find its way back to academic freedom and independence,” he wrote.

Kulldorff was fired by Mass General Brigham in November 2021 over noncompliance with the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate after his requests for exemptions from the mandate were denied.

He was also placed on leave by Harvard Medical School (HMS) because his appointment as professor of medicine there “depends upon” holding a position at the hospital, another document stated.

Kulldorff asked HMS in late 2023 how he could return to his position and was told he was being fired.

“You would need to hold an eligible appointment with a Harvard-affiliated institution for your HMS academic appointment to continue,” Dr. Grace Huang, dean for faculty affairs, told the epidemiologist and biostatistician.

She said the lack of an appointment, combined with college rules that cap leaves of absence at two years, meant he was being terminated.

Mass General Brigham granted just 234 exemption requests out of 2,402 received, according to court filings in an ongoing case that alleges discrimination.

The disclosure of the firing has drawn criticism of Harvard and support for Kulldorff.

The termination “is a massive and incomprehensible injustice,” Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, an ethics expert who was fired from the University of California–Irvine School of Medicine for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine because he had natural immunity, said on X.

“The academy is full of people who declined vaccines—mostly with dubious exemptions—and yet Harvard fires the one professor who happens to speak out against government policies.” Dr. Vinay Prasad, an epidemiologist at the University of California–San Francisco, wrote in a blog post.

“It looks like Harvard has weaponized its policies and selectively enforces them.”

petition to reinstate Kulldorff has garnered more than 1,800 signatures.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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