- THE FEDERALIST - Harvey Risch, Robert W. Malone, and Byram Bridle - DEC 14, 2021 -
Now more than ever we need substantive debate about decisions that affect the health of hundreds of millions of people, including views counter to official positions.
The attacks on free speech and science are unrelenting. Academic publisher Elsevier’s suppression of an article documenting the myocarditis risk of the COVID-19 vaccines, with no excuse or pretext offered, is incredible enough. Viewed alongside Twitter’s censorship of the American Heart Association, YouTube’s suppression of a panel discussion of vaccine mandates on Capitol Hill, and the Orwellian call by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins for critics of the government’s COVID-19 policies to be “brought to justice,” the trend is positively chilling.
Now more than ever, we need substantive debate about decisions that affect the health of hundreds of millions of people, including views counter to official positions. Instead, we have National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci’s absurd claim “I represent science” as proof of how one-dimensional our COVID-19 policymaking has become.
These are just a few examples of the wave of censorship that has accompanied COVID-19, uniting government bureaucracies with obedient news media, academia, scientific publishing, and powerful Big Tech companies. Above all, this concerted campaign suppresses all disagreement about topics including potential early treatments, the natural immunity of recovered individuals, and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Differing viewpoints on these topics are swiftly labeled “disinformation,” but in fact represent principled dissent based on a large and growing body of scientific evidence.
Universal Vaccination Based on False Premise
In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the censorship aims to stamp out any questions about a universal vaccination program that, it is now clear, was based on the false premise that low-risk individuals must get vaccinated to halt the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic. Almost a year into the global vaccination campaign – and starting long before omicron arrived – all the data stand in stark opposition to this belief.
Rapidly waning vaccine efficacy and COVID-19 surges in countries and regions with high vaccination rates – including Israel, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and now Europe, as well as high-vaccination U.S. states like Vermont – are evidence that vaccinated individuals can spread COVID-19 at rates comparable to the unvaccinated. Multiple studies have shown that viral load in vaccinated individuals with COVID-19 is the same as in the unvaccinated.
Most damning, reports regularly published by the British government show that for every age group from 30 years and up, vaccinated individuals are now actually more likely to test positive for COVID-19. In the case of the 40-59-year-old age group, in the latest report the rate is twice as high among the vaccinated.
Whether this is due to the physiological effects of the vaccines or to social factors – for example freer socializing by the vaccinated – the United Kingdom’s record-breaking surge across a mostly vaccinated population makes one thing clear: mass vaccination will not stop the pandemic. Similar surges fueled by breakthrough cases around the world tell the same story.
This is not disinformation but simply data, which everyone should be free to consider and discuss – even more so as it bears critically on the cost-benefit analysis individuals must make as they decide whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent boosters.
That’s because, whatever vaccine makers and government agencies may say, it is also clear that the COVID-19 vaccines are not without risks, which for some individuals extend to permanent life-altering injuries and even death. For individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease, the risks posed by vaccines may make sense, but for low-risk individuals, such as the vast majority of children, adolescents, and young adults of child-bearing age, the calculation is very different.
Discussing Risks Is not Disinformation
Any discussion of vaccine-related injuries and mortality is immediately labeled disinformation because it necessarily relies on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), an imperfect legacy institution that allows anyone to file a report, conveniently enabling skeptics to dismiss the entire issue of vaccine risks as unfounded anecdote and fabrication. However, any responsible public health program should not take as its starting (and ending) point the assumption that the reports are all false, but instead consider the opposite: what if the numbers on VAERS are real – or even worse, represent substantial underreporting?