By Benjamin Barnwell
The European Conservative recently caught up with Dr. Robert Malone, whose name is floated as a contender for the Nobel Prize for Medicine as the father of mRNA vaccine technology, to talk about his concerns about the risks associated with mass vaccination programmes.
This Summit is really the first international meeting of physicians and scientists to discuss early treatment protocols and reach consensus. There’s never been an opportunity before for physicians and scientists to come together during this outbreak. We’ve all been head-buriers, unwilling to travel. In virtually every continent small numbers of physicians have started treating patients with existing drugs, for the most part, early in their disease course, and the results have really been phenomenal, but have largely been ignored by authorities. And yet, the patient results for morbidity and mortality show that we can clearly change the course of the death and disease associated with this pandemic, whether or not you’re vaccinated, by beginning early treatment with these existing agents.
Let’s not say “equally likely,” because to say “equally likely” suggests that we have some statistics behind it, and I don’t know that those studies have been done yet. What we do know is that the vaccine does not fully protect you from infection. It also does not fully protect you from replication, the replication in the nose and in the mouth. And virus levels for the vaccinated and unvaccinated are about the same, at least, if not higher for the former, and the vaccine does not completely prevent you from transmitting the virus. So, we don’t know if the vaccinated and unvaccinated are equally likely to transmit the virus, but we do know that the measure of the virus in the nose and in the mouth is at least equal. So, it’s at least reasonably likely that the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, when infected, will be equally able to transmit the virus.
I share that concern. That’s one of my fundamental points. I believe strongly in the right of individuals to elect whether to accept or reject medical procedures. I believe this is basically the sanctity of life, that individuals have the right to control their own bodies.
I think this is a simple thing. It goes to the fundamentals of the Nuremberg Code, the Helsinki Accord, and common principles of bioethics for medical research and for medical treatment. As a physician, I believe that there is a sanctity of life. I’ve been trained to understand that there is a sanctity to the rights of individuals to accept or reject medical treatment, and that there is a requirement for full disclosure of risks associated with any treatment, as well as the benefits.
Obviously, the counter point that’s made is, basically, the benefits to society, the benefits to the community, the rights of the community, and how these outweigh the rights of the individual—certainly in the case of vaccination. That one’s failure to be vaccinated puts at risk other members of society. Now, that might be the case in a situation where vaccines are limited, but here in the west we don’t have that situation. Unfortunately, in most of the world we do have that situation, but not here in the West. We have plenty of vaccines. Some countries would argue that we’re hoarding vaccines.
But my argument is that if an individual is at high risk of grave sickness or even death from COVID-19, for instance let’s imagine a hypothetical 70-year-old man, it’s still that person’s right to accept or reject the vaccine, and whether or not he takes it is his personal choice. If he decided not to accept vaccine and then became infected, then that was his choice, and he accepted that risk. In general, I hold that it is not appropriate for the state to make vaccines obligatory.
The argument that I hear being made is that universal vaccination is necessary to protect those at high risk. But my opinion is that those at high risk can elect to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine; that’s their right and that’s their risk, that they take personally. It’s not the role of the state to determine whether someone is going to take the vaccine. Of course, the counter argument is that the spread of the disease impacts the state, impacts it financially, it impacts the population, it impacts hospitals, and public services might be overloaded.
I agree. The phrase that’s used is the “Nanny State.” This is my objection. It may be a libertarian argument, but I believe that we must have the freedom even to fail. If we seek a world in which the state assumes complete responsibility for our actions, then we lose our freedom. I believe that if we lose that, we will lose motivation, and we move towards the socialist situation in which people can stop accepting responsibility for their actions. So I do have a libertarian perspective on this, but it’s coming from a place of conviction about fundamental human rights, and medical rights, which is that the state does not have the right to control my body, or to demand that you accept treatment that you, right or wrong, believe is not in your best interests.
That is a fundamentally authoritarian position, but it’s also not grounded in solid science. We have a situation of imperfect vaccines. Of course, we rarely, if ever, have a perfect vaccine, but these are especially imperfect. They don’t provide us with very robust protection against infection, they don’t provide us with very robust protection against virus replication, and they don’t protect us from virus-shredding or spreading it to others. So, the argument that one must get vaccinated in order to prevent further spreading is not valid. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
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