Had that messaging been around during lockdowns, the attitude toward the virus would have been very different
Yes, Fauci has never worried about consistency or even contradicting himself one day to the next, often without explanation.
Too often his doling out “the science” has felt like performance art. Still, the record is that Fauci and all his compatriots either downplayed or denied natural immunity for two years. That has been the source of vast confusion.
In fact, this might have been the most egregious science error of the entire pandemic. It amounted to giving the silent treatment to the most well-established point of cell biology that we have. It was taught to every generation from the 1920s until sometime in the new century when people stopped paying attention in 9th-grade biology class.
After the pandemic broke, Fauci said nothing on this topic for a year and a half. The John Snow Memorandum, written to counter the Great Barrington Declaration, claimed “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection.” Mandates and passports have excluded it. Academic, medical, and corporate enforcers have generally refused to recognize it.
When CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked him specifically, September 13, 2021, Fauci quickly demurred.
“I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that. That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response,” Fauci said. “I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously.”
In other words, no one knows!
The HHS head refused to say either way, even when grilled by Rand Paul.
Earlier, the WHO even backed up this denialism, going so far as to change their own definition of immunity in the middle of a pandemic. They eliminated the old sentence on natural immunity and replaced it with a claim that immunity comes from “protecting people from the virus” and not “exposing them to it.” That’s some clever rhetoric right there!
There’s no question that this effort to deny natural immunity was systematic and pushed from the top.
“When you look at the cases they do not appear to be any more severe [than Omicron] and they do not appear to evade immune responses either from vaccine or prior infection.”
What’s critical here is not his debatable claim about vaccines but rather his offhand remark about prior infection. It was tossed off as if: “Everyone knows this.” If so, it is no thanks to him, the CDC, or WHO.
To be sure, everything we’ve known since two years ago – if not 2.5 thousand years – is that immunity from prior Covid infection is real. Vaccines have traditionally been a substitute version of exactly that. Brownstone has assembled fully 150 studies that demonstrate that immunity through infection is effective, broad, and lasting.
Had that messaging been around during lockdowns, the attitude toward the virus would have been very different. We would have clearly seen the present reality from the beginning, namely that endemicity generally arrives in the case of a new virus of this sort due to exposure-induced population immunity. This is how humankind evolved to live in the presence of pathogens.
If we had widespread public awareness of this, the public-health priority would not have been locking down people who can manage exposure but rather alerting those who cannot to be careful until herd immunity in one’s own circle of contacts has been realized via meeting the virus and recovering.
To those who say that is dangerous, consider that mass exposure is precisely what happened in any case, stretched out over two years rather than occurring in a single season. This delaying of the inevitable might be what allowed for variants to emerge and take hold in successive rounds, each new one hitting naive immune systems in ways that were difficult to predict. Flatten the curve amounted to “prolonging the pain,” exactly as Knut Wittkowski predicted in March 2020.
A widespread understanding of natural immunity would have changed the entire calculus of public perception of how to manage one’s life in the face of a new virus. Instead of just running and hiding, people might have considered tradeoffs, as they had always done in the past. What is my risk of infection and under what conditions? If I do get the thing, what happens then? It might also have changed the priorities from disease avoidance and vaccine subsidies and mandates to thinking about the crucial thing: what should people do if they get sick? What should doctors recommend and prescribe?
The neglect of therapeutics figures into this very highly. If people believe that locking down, staying away, masking up, stopping travel, and generally giving up all choices in life were the right way to make a pathogen magically disappear, plus they are under the impression that the risk of severe outcomes is equally distributed across the whole population, plus they believe that 3-4% of the population is going to die from Covid (as was suggested in the early days), you end up with a much more compliant people.
If natural immunity had been rightly seen as the most robust and broad form of immunity from the beginning, and we instead followed the idea of focused protection, the vaccine mandates would have been out of the question.
In other words, the silence of this topic was critical to scaring people all over the world into going along with an unprecedented attack on rights and liberties, thus losing up to two years of childhood education, closing millions of small businesses, and denying people basic religious liberties, in addition to the collapse of public health that resulted in record-breaking alcohol and opioid-related deaths, not to mention lost cancer screenings, childhood vaccinations, and general ill-health both physical and mental.
This stuff is not without consequence. Once might expect some contrition. Instead we get a passing comment and nothing more. After all, frank talk about this subject might be risky: it would imply that their entire mitigation strategy was wrong from the beginning and should never be attempted again.