The Federally Funded Takedown of Natural Immunity - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Federally Funded Takedown of Natural Immunity

CDC head Rochelle Walensky recently said that “education” is needed to better inform unvaccinated Americans of their ignorance. That would include the unvaccinated who already have immunity, and who certainly aren’t ignorant of it. They are painfully aware of it, having suffered to get it, and regularly consult with their doctors and read information regarding their immunity and best healthcare choices. For most of us in that category, we choose not to get vaccinated because we have antibodies, typically in higher levels and longer lasting than the vaccinated. Many of our physicians strongly advise against vaccination because it could be hazardous in light of our previous infection, not to mention wholly unnecessary anyway.

In a recent column, I questioned what such “education” by Walensky’s CDC would look like, especially given the federal government’s nationalization of COVID healthcare policy with a shockingly myopic one-size-fits-all response of 100% vaccination, including for those with natural/herd immunity.

Well, now we see another disturbing manifestation of what this CDC “education” looks like.

The CDC recently released a study contending that COVID artificial immunity is superior to natural immunity, which on its face obviously goes against common sense and science. Given that COVID has become politicized, the liberal media that walks in lockstep with the governing Democrats immediately touted the study and turned it against conservatives. An egregious piece by Yahoo News did just that, weaponizing the study against Ron DeSantis, Dennis Prager, and conservative talk-radio in particular. It was a crass display of partisan political reporting rather than neutral science reporting. But given the politicization of vaxxing and masking, it was no surprise. This one study will become holy writ to anti-science vaxxers in the liberal media. In fact, given the study’s conclusion, liberals can now finally start talking about natural immunity — but only to argue against it.

The study was first flagged for me by a reader (Jeff) with a subject head, “Do you believe this study? I don’t.” The study’s astonishing claim of five times greater immunity among artificial recipients immediately strikes one as unbelievable. One might imagine a number, say, 1.2 times greater (if that). But five times? Impossible. In fact, on its face, the study’s conclusion is obviously unsupportable in light of current realities, given that Pfizer and Moderna and Dr. Fauci and the CDC itself are all recommending boosters for the vaccinated, given that the efficacy of the vaccines wanes terribly after merely six months.

Nonetheless, I certainly wouldn’t ignore the study. Yes, it’s the first I’ve seen that argues that artificial immunity is better, and a total outlier. Still, we must take these things seriously.

I immediately started framing up a piece for The American Spectator, but the more I stared at the study’s data, digging in and double checking, it not only didn’t make sense, but was downright confusing if not angering. The data seem to show the exact opposite of what the study concludes. At best, the data are indecipherable and the whole mess of a study probably not repeatable. I began running the study by colleagues for their assessment. I couldn’t believe that it could be this seemingly wrong.

After telling my editors I’d have a piece ready that weekend, I emailed with apologies that I needed to wait. I was sure others were having the same reaction. They were indeed.

The rebukes were swift. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) immediately called on CDC head Rochelle Walensky to resign. A number of scientists and researchers quickly spoke up.

“As I read the CDC’s latest study on natural immunity,” responded Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, “I felt I was no longer reading a scientific paper but a chapter out of Alice in Wonderland. The CDC just squandered its last shred of credibility.”

Dr. Andrew Bostom called it “scam research” that “(undoubtedly) pruned data that ignore vaccine waning, as authors concede.” He keenly underscored that the host website for the study is a “non-peer reviewed house organ of CDC which exists, openly, to promote CDC policy.”

Another source called it “an embarrassing” display “of “innumeracy or intentional obfuscation.”

As for colleagues I consulted, one (who I’ll leave nameless) observed: “The study does admit to at least 7 limitations. These numbers could have easily been reported as, ‘There were 4 times more hospitalized patients with COVID-19 re-infections amongst previously vaccinated patients compared to unvaccinated.’”

That was likewise the conclusion of COVID-watcher Alex Berenson, who stated: “The CDC used some magic statistical analysis to turn inside raw data that actually showed almost four times as many fully vaccinated people being hospitalized with Covid as those with natural immunity — and FIFTEEN TIMES as many over the summer. I kid you not.”

Martin Kulldorff, senior scientific director of the Brownstone Institute, who’s an epidemiologist and biostatistician specializing in infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety, and a former professor at Harvard Medical School, has published a comparative analysis of the CDC study versus the well-known Israeli study that showed the superiority of natural immunity. Kulldorff observed:

I have worked on vaccine epidemiology since I joined the Harvard faculty almost two decades ago as a biostatistician. I have never before seen such a large discrepancy between studies that are supposed to answer the same question. In this article, I carefully dissect both studies, describe how the analyses differ, and explain why the Israeli study is more reliable.

Kulldorff’s analysis is very technical, but his conclusion is easy to understand:

Based on the solid evidence from the Israeli study, the Covid recovered have stronger and longer-lasting immunity against Covid disease than the vaccinated. Hence, there is no reason to prevent them from activities that are permitted to the vaccinated. In fact, it is discriminatory.

Many of the Covid recovered were exposed to the virus as essential workers during the height of the pandemic before vaccines were available. They kept the rest of society afloat, processing food, delivering goods, unloading ships, picking up garbage, policing the streets, maintaining the electricity network, putting out fires, and caring for the old and sick, to name a few.

They are now being fired and excluded despite having stronger immunity than the vaccinated work-from-home administrators that are firing them.

That is precisely what is happening. It’s unjust, an outrage — a thankless outrage from those displaying an ignorant ingratitude.

Okay, so what does the CDC study maintain? Here is the report summary, which is done in a question-answer format:

What is already known about this topic?

Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 vaccination can provide immunity and protection against subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection and illness.

What is added by this report?

Among COVID-19–like illness hospitalizations among adults aged ≥18 years whose previous infection or vaccination occurred 90–179 days earlier, the adjusted odds of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among unvaccinated adults with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection were 5.49-fold higher than the odds among fully vaccinated recipients of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine who had no previous documented infection (95% confidence interval = 2.75–10.99).

What are the implications for public health practice?

All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.

To repeat what I said at the outset, on its face, and given current CDC policy prescriptions, this conclusion is obvious nonsense. Consider, after all, that the very same CDC (and Anthony Fauci) are pushing for boosters for people who have already been vaccinated. Why? Because the vaccines lose their effectiveness within six months at best.

The Pfizer efficacy dwindles down to 40% (if not lower) after six months among fully vaccinated individuals. Some studies claim that Pfizer’s effectiveness after six months drops to 39%, and still others claim it has plummeted to as low 22%. And Pfizer is far from alone. An important study by Mayo Clinic back in August had Pfizer’s efficacy already down to 42% and Moderna’s down to 76%, and that was over three months ago. More recently, a research team based in Oakland, California now lists all three major vaccines under 50%, with Johnson & Johnson collapsing to a horrific 13% efficacy. Overall, the three vaccines’ effectiveness fell from 88% in March to 48% in September (and now, in November, is surely lower still).

As everyone knows, the efficacy levels among vaccines continues to fall. The two dominant “vaccines” (they are technically experimental gene therapies that use mRNA, and not traditional vaccines), Pfizer and Moderna, began with initial self-reported efficacy rates of 95%, but a half-year later, that efficacy wanes terribly.

By contrast, no one, including the researchers involved in the current CDC study, claims that COVID survivors have an immune resistance that low.

What data does the study show? It is a mess, almost indecipherable and even seemingly contradictory. Here’s the heart of the data set:

During January 1–September 2, 2021, a total of 201,269 hospitalizations for COVID-19–like illness were identified; 139,655 (69.4%) patients were hospitalized after COVID-19 vaccines were generally available to persons in their age group within their geographic region. Molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 was performed for 94,264 (67.5%) patients with COVID-19–like illness hospitalizations. Among these patients, 7,348 (7.8%) had at least one other SARS-CoV-2 test result ≥14 days before hospitalization and met criteria for either of the two exposure categories: 1,020 hospitalizations were among previously infected and unvaccinated persons, and 6,328 were among fully vaccinated and previously uninfected patients (Table 1).

Laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection was identified among 324 (5.1%) of 6,328 fully vaccinated persons and among 89 of 1,020 (8.7%) unvaccinated, previously infected persons.

From this, the study concludes that “unvaccinated people with a previous infection were 5x more likely to have a positive COVID test compared to vaccinated people.”

I don’t see that in the data, which may be a result of my own inabilities. For the record, I am confident in asserting that the study’s sample size of those with previous COVID infection seems very low. I doubt it’s a statistically significant sample size, though I’ll leave that judgment to statisticians.

But again, the most fatal flaw is this burning question that begs to be asked of the CDC study: How in the world can vaccines whose efficacy wanes to under 50% within six months be considered better than natural immunity? One might try to argue that the vaccines had better efficacy in the initial days after they were administered, but they obviously don’t after six months.

The flaw is obvious from the study’s timeframe. The CDC study was conducted on patients during the period of January 1–September 2, 2021, which is prior to the crucial recent period when the vaccine makers themselves have publicly acknowledged that their efficacy rate does not hold anywhere near the 90%-plus range after a half year.

In other words, this study absolutely does not have an adequate or accurate timeframe to fully assess the efficacy of vaccine-induced artificial immunity. This itself undermines the entire study.

Moreover, the study is also suspect precisely because it is done by the CDC, which has an extreme bias in favor of mass vaccination. In fact, look again at how this study ends with a statement of outright advocacy in the final line:

All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Everyone knows that this was the CDC’s bias before the study, and now the CDC has released a study that confirms it. We call this confirmation bias. The report is an advocacy piece. That is not to assume that the conclusions would be hence inaccurate, but the host source went into it with blatant prejudices. Given the CDC’s clear bias in favor of artificial immunity, this study should be given no more credibility than if had been done by Pfizer.

And it is done with your money. Behold, your tax dollars at work.

I warned in my column two weeks ago about the dangers of Big Government nationalizing healthcare policy, as its advocates are doing with COVID in an unprecedented and dangerous way. Now, Big Government has funded a study that affirms its own policy bias.

Big Government seizes a health issue. Big Government makes its position national policy. Big Government tries to force those who disagree to comply. Big Government then funds and releases a study to support its mandate.

Big Government wants literally everyone vaccinated, period. The mandaters now have a tool at their disposal, funded by your tax dollars, to continue their aggressive push for 100% mass vaccination without exception.

This study will be a weapon in the hands of the Biden administration. As the Biden vax-mandate deadline in January approaches, this study will be its hammer against those pleading for exemptions (with their doctors) based on legitimate medical reasoning — i.e., they had COVID and have antibodies (natural ones).

In fact, just this past week, the federal government, predictably, seized upon its study as support for pushing for vaccination for everyone by the time of the OSHA deadline.

Vax extremists have themselves a study, and you can be sure they will accept its conclusions as sacrosanct gospel-truth to hereafter reject every study to the contrary. This will be the New York Times’ and mainstream media’s study of record, etched in stone, the study of all studies, the Mother of Studies, the Eternal Study, coexistent with God from the dawn of time. Every left-wing “fact check” site now has its study of record. All other studies will pale in comparison.

The feds conveniently funded themselves a takedown of natural immunity. Beware not only of its conclusions but especially its implications.

Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is Editor of The American Spectator. Dr. Kengor is also a professor of political science at Grove City College, a senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values, and the author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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