As it turns out, even some of the experts at the NIH oppose Dr. Anthony Fauci's push for mass forced vaccination that President Biden recently codified by expanding his vaccine mandate to affect some 80MM working Americans - including health-care workers, who must choose to either accept the jab, or leave their jobs, despite a shortage of medical workers.
WSJ reported Tuesday that vaccine mandates are sparking debates and controversy within the NIH, which has scheduled a Dec. 1 live-streamed roundtable session over "the ethics of mandates". The seminar is one of four ethics debates to be held this year. These debates will be accessible to all of the NIH's 20K staff, along with patients and the public.
The Dec. 1 ethics debate was set up after a senior infectious-disease researcher pushed back against the growing drive for mandates. Dr. Matthew Memoli, who runs the clinical studies unit within the Dr. Fauci-controlled NIAID, both opposes vaccine mandates and has declined the vaccine himself, arguing that jabs should be reserved for the vulnerable, the elderly and obese Americans.
Memoli, who has served at the agency for 16 years and recently received an NIH director's award, even pushed back against the mandates in an email to Dr. Fauci.
"I think the way we are using the vaccines is wrong," he said to Dr. Fauci in an email on July 30.
Memoli argues that "blanket vaccination of people at low risk of severe illness could hamper the development of more-robust immunity gained across a population from infection," per the WSJ.
It's not like he's just making this stuff up. At least one major study conducted by Israel showed that immunity produced by natural infection is more effective, and longer lasting, than vaccine-induced immunity.
At least one senior bioethicist at the NIH acknowledged that there's "a lot of debate" about vaccines.
"There’s a lot of debate within the NIH about whether [a vaccine mandate] is appropriate," said David Wendler, the senior NIH bioethicist who is in charge of planning the Dec. 1 session. "It’s an important, hot topic."
Current data shows that nearly 90% of the NIH's federal employees "were fully vaccinated at the end of October."
Memoli's detractors assert that pushing natural immunity over vaccination is a "terrible idea."
“That’s a terrible idea if we have a vaccine that prevents serious disease,” said Timothy Schacker, vice dean for research and an infectious-disease physician at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
The president's mandate has already faced enough resistance from conservative-leaning states as the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court issued a temporary stay blocking the mandate as it weighs a permanent injunction. The ruling from a three-judge panel on Saturday resulted from a stay sought by the states of Texas, Utah, Mississippi, and South Carolina, along with businesses that oppose the Biden plan. Both the states and businesses filed a petition of review of the agency action, which goes directly to a federal appeals court instead of a one-judge federal district court.
During the December roundtable, Memoli will make his case for a different approach to vaccinations to anybody who wants to listen.
NIH bioethics head Christine Grady signed off on the Dec. 1 seminar, which they're calling “Grand Rounds," saying via email that she believes there is interest in the topic across the agency.
"Our hope is that the December Grand Rounds will be relevant to the debates that are going on around the country regarding vaccine mandates,” an agency spokeswoman said on her behalf.
It's just another reminder: when it comes to "the science", there isn't a consensus - more like a handful of opposing views, all of which should be carefully considered and discussed.