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“In a few weeks I will begin my 24th year as a law professor at George Mason University. Last year I volunteered to teach in person, even though I’m in my 50s. Teaching law is my job and I owe my students my best. I also knew I could do it safely … During the spring of 2020 I contracted and recovered from Covid-19, which I later confirmed through a positive antibody test.”
Those are the words of Professor Todd Zywicki. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Zywicki explained why he is suing George Mason University over their vaccine mandate, which states that GMU may terminate the employment of any worker who remains unvaccinated.
Skeptics will dismiss Zywicki as a right-wing opportunist looking to get his name out there. However, if they read his piece, they’ll find he’s anything but a professor looking to turn into a right-wing media pundit.
Zywicki worries that the vaccine is potentially dangerous to those who have recovered from COVID, as he has. Zywicki is not what they call an anti-vaxxer. In fact, Zywicki said, “If I were not already naturally immune to Covid, I would have long ago gotten vaccinated at the first opportunity.” Zywicki is speaking solely about those with natural immunity.
“Multiple positive antibody tests have since confirmed that I continue to have a robust level of immune protection,” Zywicki says. Zywicki then reminds readers that vaccine clinical trials have mostly excluded those who have recovered from the virus, saying any claims about the purported safety for the group is “largely speculative.”
Zywicki also cites a study that found that COVID survivors suffer more frequent and serious side effects from vaccination than those who have never been infected.
Finally, Zywicki finds that George Mason University is so fixated on the vaccine they are missing key data points.
“Protection from natural immunity may even exceed that of the less effective Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which according to the CDC demonstrated only 66.3% effectiveness at preventing infection in clinical trials,” Zywicki explains.
“But GMU’s policy is even more bizarre than that. It allows employees to comply by receiving any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, including low-quality Chinese vaccines such as the Sinovac vaccine, which the WHO concluded was only 51% effective at preventing symptomatic disease, and the Sinopharm vaccine, which has performed so poorly that some countries are systematically revaccinating their populations with higher-quality options. Even China is considering the same. Whatever the university’s reasoning for endorsing these low-quality vaccines while slighting natural immunity, it clearly doesn’t stand up on public-health grounds.”
Zywicki raises valid concerns. To be clear, Zywicki’s column alone should not convince COVID-recovered individuals to skip the vaccine — but those who still have questions should read it and consult their doctor.
George Mason University, however, won’t hear any of it.
If Zywicki continues to refuse the vaccine, GMU says he will have to teach remotely or seek a medical exemption, which Zywicki says would entail wearing a mask, remaining socially distanced from faculty and students during office hours, and submit to weekly testing.
“It would be impossible for me to perform my duties to the best of my ability under such conditions,” Zywicki concludes. Thus, this week, the New Civil Liberties Alliance filed suit on his behalf, challenging the university’s mandatory vaccination requirement for employees with naturally acquired immunity.
“This coercive mandate violates my constitutional right to bodily integrity for no compelling reason,” Zywicki goes on.
As I argued last week, people must fight back in arenas where they can win or take a stand, if they want to effect change.
It’s important to know what will and will not make a difference. Last week, three CNN employees showed us what will not make a difference when they protested the network’s vaccine mandate by showing up to work unvaccinated. They didn’t take a public stand or sue their employer. They simply broke the rules. CNN subsequently fired all three individuals, who lost their jobs and added nothing to the conversation about mandatory vaccinations.
Zywicki may not win his suit, but he has still already won to some degree. He has raised awareness and brought attention to valid concerns. He’s fighting a fight worth fighting. If nothing else, Zywicki has spoken up for American employees across the country who share similar concerns and perhaps raised doubt among other employers about the idea of requiring the vaccine to all workers.
Zywicki told Will Cain on Fox & Friends Monday, for him, the vaccination provides none of the benefits with all of the costs.