Federal health officials have been slammed by serval top doctors over allegations the government suppressed scientific evidence on the effectiveness of natural immunity against Covid.
As the impact of pandemic fear-mongering among the public wanes, congressional Democrats are finally beginning to acknowledge that the shots have limitations.
However, Democrats are still refusing to concede that natural immunity is not a slippery slope to Covid infection parties.
The Left is still pushing the narrative that supporting natural immunity amounts to promoting a “dangerous” version of the kid-focused chickenpox parties of prior generations.
During a hearing this week, Democrats and Republicans on the doctor-heavy House Oversight Coronavirus Pandemic Subcommittee invoked dueling studies on the durability of immunity from infection versus vaccination.
The United States is now almost alone in the policy of refusing to recognize natural immunity while subjecting millions of recovered Americans to work and school vaccine mandates.
The hearing saw tempers flaring occasionally.
When a Republican witness said “equitable” mandates would recognize relatively higher natural immunity rates in minority communities, Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) deemed the opinion “biased, xenophobic, and absolutely incorrect,” according to Just the News.
He previously tried to discredit a GOP witness as a “white supremacist.”
🔥@RepMalliotakis: Did @POTUS and other gov officials do a disservice to our country by ignoring natural immunity?
Infectious disease expert Dr. Smelkinson: "Yes…these vaccine passports that were enacted were actually quite inequitable" for low income, minority communities. pic.twitter.com/aBZq55GZlP
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) May 11, 2023
Led by Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY), Republicans cited repeated false or misleading statements by Democrat President Joe Biden, outgoing CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and then-White House COVID adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Biden, Walensky, and Fauci all made public statements declaring that Covid vaccines are a “dead end” for SARS-CoV-2 or at least prevent transmission, hospitalization, and death.
Medical witnesses for Republicans agreed federal officials had no supporting data, contradicted existing evidence, or kept spreading falsehoods after the Delta variant wave of breakthrough infections in the summer of 2021.
Official disregard for natural immunity also meant recovered people were taking full courses of Covid vaccines away from vulnerable uninfected people during the early months of limited supply, Johns Hopkins medical professor Marty Makary said.
“Why would you give two life preservers [vaccine doses] when some people were dying with none?” he asked, noting that doctors “custom tailor” treatments all the time.
The feds instead adopted the “Novak Djokovic doctrine,” a term Makary used several times to refer to the Serbian tennis star whose ban from U.S. competition for refusing vaccination ended Thursday.
Fantastic opening statement from Dr. Makary!
Thank you for speaking the truth at our @COVIDSelect hearing today!! pic.twitter.com/doPI3MIx3Z
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) May 11, 2023
Democrats repeatedly equated risk-stratified vaccination decisions with the “mass infection strategy” they ascribed to then-Trump White House COVID adviser Scott Atlas, who rejects the characterization.
“Nobody is naturally immune” but GOP witnesses seem to have the “subtext” of the “Atlas dogma,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the full committee’s top Democrat.
Makary shot back that Democrats should compare Michigan to Sweden: With comparable population and demographics yet opposing pandemic policies, the latter had half as many COVID deaths.
Democrats insisted infection was inherently dangerous even “for healthy individuals” while claiming vaccines are potent against less severe outcomes such as long COVID and multi-system inflammatory syndrome for children.
“Who wants to get sick and miss work?” said Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), the subcommittee’s top Democrat.
“Who wants to transmit this to your little one or elderly grandparent?
“Let me clear up another misinformation [sic] … vaccines help reduce transmission … it’s not a simple black-or-white, 100% or not” effective.
Trump adviser Scott Atlas, plucked from Fox News, advocated mass infection to combat the virus—a reckless strategy that helped lead to overwhelmed hospitals and increased suffering and death.
Let's learn from this pandemic to make policy based on science, not ideology. pic.twitter.com/T7R6drB6fx
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) May 11, 2023
“Children do serve as a vector of transmission” to high-risk individuals in the same home, said Democrats’ lone witness, Tina Tan, vice president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, who wore a mask when not speaking.
But she agreed that vaccine mandates Ruiz deemed “commonsense” at one time are not supported by data “at this time.”
“Should we have been a bit more nuanced? Of course,” Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) said, regarding possible exceptions for natural immunity, while denying the recovered were categorically excluded in healthcare settings.
A National Academy of Medicine member, Makary coauthored a widely read Journal of the American Medical Association study last year that found antibodies from recovery lasted up to two years, but tech platforms censored it for promoting “vaccine hesitancy,” he said.
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) said she was also censored and “reported to the Board of Medicine” for advocating risk stratification.
Makary blasted the “intellectual dishonesty of public health officials” who ignored the history of natural immunity going back to the 5th-century Athenian plague and assumed COVID, unlike similarly dangerous coronaviruses SARS and MERS, “would break the rule” of recovery protection.
He mocked the quality of evidence the feds use, particularly the CDC’s “joke” of a journal, Morbidity, and Mortality Weekly Report, which is not peer-reviewed. Medical professionals have ripped MMWR’s methodology in several COVID-related studies, including long Covid.
Dr. @MartyMakary reveals @CDCgov, @NIH employees dismissed natural immunity to serve a political agenda.
"Let's not be honest with the public, was that the idea?" pic.twitter.com/2xEeNycSLy
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) May 11, 2023
When Makary noted the CDC doesn’t recommend chickenpox vaccination for recovered kids, Ruiz interrupted to claim Covid was markedly different.
The Johns Hopkins professor told Democrats to consider the “perfect comparison” of Sweden and Michigan.
The feds did not “adjust to emerging data” in the first year of the pandemic, said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases research scientist Margery Smelkinson, speaking for herself.
She has emerged as a vocal critic of U.S. pandemic policy particularly around schools but usually hides her affiliation with the NIAI, which Fauci ran for four decades.
Beyond the experience of schools in other countries that remained open, Smelkinson said U.S. officials ignored research on strong T-cell responses from recovery, negligible reinfection rates following even mild infection, and two-decade antibody protection from Covid predecessor SARS.
US health agencies “chose to disregard natural immunity,” leading to “lost jobs, staffing shortages, children kept out of school, and wasted vaccines,” Margery Smelkinson, a research scientist at @NIH’s NIAID, said in prepared testimony to Congress. https://t.co/QqgKrZNDI7
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) May 11, 2023
Other vaccine rates are falling in part due to “misleading messaging and inflexible policies” on Covid, Smelkinson said.
“Our public health system today should be shouting” to parents the importance of routine vaccinations while emphasizing Covid vaccines are “more of a therapeutic,” subcommittee Chair Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) said.
He faulted Democratic colleagues for making “blanket statements” that Covid shots have no drawbacks.
“We don’t have a five-year study” or longer to demonstrate their long-term safety, and the vaccines are known worldwide for elevated rates of myocarditis in young men, he said, promising the subcommittee will review the integrity of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
One of many subcommittee doctors, Wenstrup said he recommended one Pfizer dose to a father for his healthy son, but the school board required two.
“We can’t have a 5-year-old girl get 77 doses” over her lifetime, Makary said.
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