Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is requesting information about the Biden administration’s vaccine guidance for individuals who have received some form of immunity from COVID-19 via prior infection.
“This administration’s decision to disregard the effectiveness of natural immunity and demand vaccination ignores current data and is an assault on all Americans’ civil liberties,” he wrote to three top public health officials in a Thursday letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.
President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 9 that he would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all companies that have more than 100 employees to implement vaccine mandates or a weekly COVID-19 testing regime.
Although the rule has not yet been made public, Biden did not mention carve-outs for individuals previously infected with COVID-19 in his speech. (RELATED: Nearly 60% Of Americans Support Biden’s Vaccine Mandates, Poll Shows)
Johnson cited multiple studies conducted in Israel, and one from La Jolla, California, that “appear to show that natural immunity may provide similar or even better protection than vaccines in the fight against COVID-19.”
Johnson noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor, couldn’t answer questions on CNN about the strength of natural immunity in the wake of Biden’s mandate, saying that he did not have a “firm answer.” Johnson described Fauci’s inability to respond as “shocking.” Fauci, who also directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is a recipient of the letter, as are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.
A study conducted in May by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that natural immunity may last as long as a year, with cells retaining a memory of the virus that allows them to generate antibodies. However, some scientists caution that natural immunity is not as strong against other forms of COVID-19, such as the Delta variant, and still recommend vaccines.
“People who were infected and get vaccinated really have a terrific response, a terrific set of antibodies, because they continue to evolve their antibodies,” Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, who conducted a study on the impact of post-infection vaccination, told The New York Times in May.
Johnson revealed that he received a COVID-19 antibodies test seven months after testing positive for the virus.
“My serology is positive for antibodies against SARS-COV-2 at roughly the same level as an individual that has received the Moderna vaccine,” he wrote.
“The Biden administration’s decision to mandate vaccines for working Americans, without recognizing natural immunity and making exceptions for it, is an outrageous trampling of civil liberties,” Johnson told the Daily Caller. “I’ve received a growing number of emails and other communications from individuals who are highly concerned about the pressure, coercion, and reprisals they will face if they do not comply with these vaccine mandates. Many of these individuals are first responders and health care professionals already concerned about worker shortages in their industries, and they fear mandates will make matters worse.”
“The administration and these federal health agencies owe the American people answers about why they have made the decision to disregard the effectiveness of natural immunity and ignore current data,” he continued.
The state of Arizona announced a lawsuit challenging the order Tuesday.
“Our lawsuit basically says, that even to that executive order, even before OSHA promulgates the rules, they have violated essential constitutional principles because it violates traditional notions of federalism, that is the states were supposed to take care of public safety and welfare, not the federal government,” state Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.
Read the letter here: