No More “Medical Bandwagon Thinking” for Virginia

Dr. Marty Makary

by Kerry Dougherty

For the past several weeks, Glenn Youngkin has been busy appointing top members of his administration.

One of the most exciting announcements came this week when we learned that Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon and public policy researcher with a dazzling resume at Johns Hopkins University, agreed to chair Youngkin’s COVID advisory team.

In other words, he’ll be Youngkin’s Fauci. Only Makary appears to be a lot smarter than Fauci and is unafraid to question the groupthink that forms many of America’s ineffective COVID policies.

Makary’s written two best-selling books and more than 250 articles on public health for publications that include The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He’s also a frequent contributor to Fox News, the only cable network that seems to allow dissenting views about Washington’s response to COVID-19 and Biden administration edicts.

Like Youngkin, Makary supports the COVID-19 vaccines but not vaccine mandates. Early on he urged public health officials to explore the role natural immunity plays during a pandemic, but establishment types resolutely refused, focusing instead on vaccines exclusively. He’s also been critical of the media for its lack of rigor in reporting about the pandemic.

In a recent Wall Street Journal piece headlined, “The Dangerous Push To Give Boosters To Teens,” Makary accused the medical establishment of reckless behavior by trying to get young people boostered.

The U.S. government is pushing Covid-19 vaccine boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds without supporting clinical data. A large Israeli population study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month, found that the risk of Covid death in people under 30 with two vaccine shots was zero.

Booster mandates for healthy young people, which some colleges are imposing, will cause medical harm for the sake of transient reductions in mild and asymptomatic infections. In a study of 438,511 males 16 to 24, 56 developed myocarditis after their second Pfizer dose (or 1 in 7,830, at least seven times the usual rate). True, most cases were mild, but in the broader group of 136 people (including older and female patients) who developed myocarditis after the vaccine, seven had a “complicated course,” and one 22-year-old died. Moderna’s vaccine carries an even higher rate of heart complications, which is why some European countries have restricted it for people under 30. But in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indiscriminately push for boosters for all young people.

Those recommendations came over the objections of the agencies’ own experts. The last vote by FDA advisers, in September, rejected the proposal 16-2. FDA leaders revisited the proposal in November and simply bypassed the experts. So did the CDC, whose advisers had rejected boosters for people not at high risk. Two top FDA scientists, including the head of the agency’s vaccine efforts, quit around the time of the September vote over White House pressure to authorize boosters for all. They wrote in detail about their concerns and criticized the push to administer Covid booster shots to teenagers.

It seems that instead of the Northam administration’s slavish adherence to the CDC’s capricious recommendations, the new governor is likely to get clear-eyed original thinking that will liberate Virginians from the endless and ineffective cycles of lockdowns, masks and mandates.

Last week I testified before Congress that many Covid policies are no longer driven by science. Data is being cherry-picked to support predetermined agendas, while the roles of natural immunity and life-saving therapeutics are being sidelined.

We’ve seen medical bandwagon thinking hurt the country before. The false assumption that Covid spreads by surface transmission still has Americans engaging in futile disinfection rituals. We’ve suffered from barbaric policies that prohibited people from saying goodbye to, or holding hands with, loved ones who were dying. Children were shut out of school for a less contagious variant. Our public health leaders are making critical mistakes and affirming each other with groupthink, while journalists forfeit their duty to ask key questions.

Real scientists tend to be skeptics without agendas who ask tough questions and refuse to engage in “medical bandwagon thinking.”

Looks like we finally have a critical thinker advising COVID policy in Virginia.

Bring on Dr. Makary. We need him.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.