What happens when Dr. Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization (WHO) disagree about vaccines? Maybe it’s a sign we can get back to legitimate scientific debate.
During a news briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate.” He appeared to agree with dissident doctors and censored scientists when he said, “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic.”
All of a sudden, the WHO Director-General sounds more like Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, who have been asserting you can’t vaccinate your way out of a pandemic for months. The WHO statements also echo the advice of authors of the Great Barrington Declaration. They believe we should concentrate on giving vaccines to the elderly and at-risk around the globe to reduce severe illness and death before vaccinating and boosting children and healthy younger adults.
Tedros made his comments after both Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins tacitly acknowledged recovered immunity’s protective effects. In recent press appearances, the NIH leaders credited broad exposure to the delta variant in South Africa as one of the factors explaining omicron’s low rates of severe disease. These statements mirror the thoughts of other researchers, like Dr. Michael Mina of Harvard, who talked about layered immunity to SARS-Cov-2. In an interview, Mina explained how it would build through numerous exposures:
I’ve always said that we’re going to age out of this virus. People are going to keep getting exposed. And whether it’s to Delta or to a variant in five months from now, every time you or I or anyone else gets exposed — they’re really building up a decent cushion of immunity with each of those exposures … So it’s only a matter of time before we actually have not only vaccine-derived immunity but natural infection-derived immunity, too.
When you start coupling all that together, you can picture it kind of like a sandwich, just continuing to stack up. Then we can start to say, “okay, now, you know, even if the virus changes a bit, I’ve built up so much protection already. I’ve got all these antibodies that not only recognize the spike proteins from the virus, which is what we see with the vaccines, but I’ve now been exposed three times.”
More than 200 million Americans have already experienced a COVID infection, according to CDC disease burden estimates. Almost 205 million are fully vaccinated. Our public health leaders tell us that vaccines still prevent severe illness and death for most people. There must be a Venn diagram of Americans — those who recovered, who got vaccinated, who recovered then got vaccinated, and who got vaccinated then recovered — that paints an optimistic picture of the coming wave of omicron. It would seem we have accumulated several of the layers Mina predicted.
Yet, on Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told CNN, “We want people to be able to gather [over the holidays]. And safe gathering includes, of course, being vaccinated, ideally being boosted, and making sure that all the people who you gather with are also vaccinated and boosted.” The public health agencies are pushing boosters for everyone over the age of 16 regardless of prior exposure to the virus. Governor Gavin Newsom just announced California would require boosters for healthcare workers, who have one of the highest rates of past exposure. Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. just announced vaccine mandates without recognizing recovered immunity.
Yesterday, the FDA provided emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s outpatient medication to treat mild to moderate COVID. It should work on any variant because it interferes with viral replication. An increasing number of doctors are using other medicines for treatment of symptomatic cases for patients outside the hospital. Research also indicates omicron does not invade the lungs, as prior variants did. Now there are emerging reports that the blood tests of omicron patients are not showing the inflammatory markers present in severe disease during initial waves. It seems like an excellent time to hit the pause button on boosters, as Tedros and many other researchers and doctors advise.