In late January, the CDC published a report that made what might have been regarded as a shocking claim. If you have had Covid, the CDC demonstrated in a chart, you gain robust immunity that is better than that of vaccination, especially concerning duration.
That should be nothing surprising.
Brownstone has chronicled 150 studies making that point. What made this new chart different was that it came from the CDC, which has buried the point so deeply for so long as to amount to a near denial.
So there: the CDC says it. So nonchalant! So uneventful!
If people had understood this two years ago, plus been made more completely aware of the dramatic risk gradient by age and health, lockdowns would have been completely untenable.
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The society-wide mandates and lockdowns depended on keeping the public ignorant on settled points of cell biology and immunology, plus pressuring social media companies to censor anyone who didn’t fall in line. Here we are all this time later and the truth is coming out.
Had the knowledge of risk gradients and immunities been in the forefront of policy makers’ minds – instead of wild fear and obsequious deference to Fauci – we would have focused on protecting the vulnerable and otherwise allowed society to function normally so that the virus would become endemic. We would not only have saved thousands of lives; we could have avoided the vast economic, educational, cultural, and public-health wreckage all around us.
Somehow at the time, that point was made unsayable for reasons on which we can only speculate. And yet today, the New York Times had said exactly this. In a piece by David Leonhardt called Protecting the Vulnerable, he writes:
With the Omicron wave receding, many places are starting to remove at least some of their remaining pandemic restrictions. This shift could have large benefits. It could reduce the isolation and disruption that have contributed to a long list of societal ills, like rising mental-health problems, drug overdoses, violent crime and, as Substack’s Matthew Yglesias has written, “all kinds of bad behavior.”
At the same time, there remain those who are vulnerable and they deserve protection: “They include the elderly and people with immunodeficiencies that put them at greater Covid risk. According to the C.D.C., more than 75 percent of vaccinated people who have died from Covid had at least four medical risk factors.”
You can read that again: unhealthy but vaccinated people still die. What these people need is to enjoy the protection of herd immunity, the point at which the virus exhausts itself in the face of widespread immunity.
If you have followed this debate, you know exactly the origin of that precise idea now being pushed in part by Leonhardt: The Great Barrington Declaration. This is the document on which Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci ordered a media hit back in October 2020. It advocated nothing more than traditional public health measures as a moderate solution between lockdowns and complete negligence of the virus threat.
As decent as this article is, it overlooks a huge issue, namely why would non-vulnerable populations be forced to get a non-durable vaccine with risks when natural immunity is a known option? Leonhardt doesn’t go there but he should have.
Today, even Anthony Fauci is singing a different tune. He told the Financial Times:
“There is no way we are going to eradicate this virus,” he said. “But I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the Covid restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.”
As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of Covid-19, which we are certainly heading out of, these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated. There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus.”
Again, this is straight out of the Great Barrington Declaration, almost to a word, but without acknowledgement.
There can be no question that early on in lockdowns, Fauci, the CDC, and the WHO all decided to bury the point that we would get to endemicity the same way we always have.
How did that happen? Paul Allan Offit is an epidemiologist who advises (or did advise) the Biden administration in the early days. He is not my favorite guy but, as things go, he is no Anthony Fauci. He seems sincere and intelligent.
Offit variously appears on podcasts. Last week, he let slip an astonishing thing. He said that early on in the pandemic, he met at the White House with Walensky, Fauci, Collins, and one other person. The topic was whether the Biden administration should recognize natural immunity to Covid — the most well-established fact about cell biology. He and one other person said absolutely. The rest said no.
Here is the remarkable clip.
Offit is fascinating in this interview because it was pretty clear to him that he was revealing something very important but he did not know whether this was going to be some kind of problem. He then proceeded to tell the story. He did not speculate about the reasons. He was smiling and laughing throughout the interview.
The immunity passports in place in three of the biggest American cities (though DC just repealed its own), the entire public sector, plus the attempt to impose them on the whole of the private sector, probably constitute the most invasive, aggressive, and controversial public policy since the Vietnam War draft. It all could have been fixed by a recognition of the immunological reality: the exposed and recovered are protected. That point of science was rejected by Fauci, Collins, and Walensky. The whole Biden administration went along.
We didn’t know until last week that this Offit meeting had even occurred. And surely this is just the tip of the iceberg. The more that time goes on, the more questions are piling up about this gang that wrecked liberty in the US after Inauguration Day 2021, a time when they could have reversed all the restrictions but instead went the other way.
Central to the concern here is what precisely happened in February 2020 to cause Fauci to forge plans to lock down the entire American economy for a virus that he previously said repeatedly could not be stopped. Why did he change his mind? We have plenty of evidence that his change of mind was related to his fear — real or imagined — that the pathogen was made in a lab and was leaked either deliberately or accidentally and that he would likely bear responsibility. Fauci and his friends were on burner phones for weeks and holding secret meetings. The HHS document ordering lockdowns were all forged in these weeks.
If the Republicans take back Congress, they are going to have a real time discovering the inner workings of the deep state here, if they find the courage to look deeply enough. That such an obvious and settled point of science became taboo for a time is truly a scandal for the ages. Now we know that it was a deliberate decision. Why? And why are we only now hearing about it, long after knowing this truth might have saved so much destruction?
Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. This article was originally published on the Brownstone Institute.