These GMU Minions Refuse to Bend the Knee

by James A. Bacon

Megan Darling, a 33-year-old George Mason University business school student, received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in March and April and came down with a case of COVID-19 in December 2021, from which she acquired natural immunity as well. Like other students, she has been informed that she must get the booster shot if she wants to continue her studies at GMU.

(As a student, Darling is not affected by Governor Glenn Youngkin’s ban on vaccination mandates for state and public university employees. Attorney General Jason Miyares has issued an advisory opinion stating that public colleges and universities do not have the legal authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students, but there is no indication yet whether GMU will accept his interpretation.)

Darling, a former army medic, is the mother of a three-year-old child and plans to have more children. She experienced menstrual changes after receiving the Pfizer doses, and she’s concerned by the lack of data surrounding the effects of the booster on women’s reproductive systems. She wants to make her own decisions about her medical care.

Robert Fellner is a 37-year-old student at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He was double-vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. On the basis of his personal research, he does not believe that a booster is in his best interests — young men are at modest risk of myocarditis — and he strongly objects to being coerced into receiving one.

Both have appealed to the GMU administration to no effect.

In January, an individual writing on behalf of Rector James W. Hazel dismissed Fellner’s concerns, according to the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), which has taken up their cause. The Hazel letter maintained that the Centers for Disease Control recommends boosters for everyone and admonished him that “you and I are not public health experts.” If Fellner did not like the policy, he had the option of attending law school elsewhere.

The NCLA lays out its legal case in a letter to Hazel, GMU President Gregory Washington, and other GMU officials. The letter cites the growing literature regarding the relative benefits and risks regarding vaccinations, boosters, and acquired immunity. States the letter, dated January 28:

As [Fellner and Darling] are both vaccinated, Mrs. Darling has recently recovered from COVID-19, and the vaccines are ineffective at stopping transmission, GMU has no interest — let alone a compelling one — in coercing them into receiving a booster or expelling them from the university they have invested time and resources….

In a civilized, democratic society, we recognize that individuals possess a right to make cost-benefit analyses for themselves, and not have their lives governed by the ‘recommendations’ of an agency operated by unelected officials, especially when those ‘recommendations’ cannot be challenged in court because they do not carry the force of law.

Bacon’s bottom line:

I haven’t heard of a study published by anyone anywhere that doesn’t acknowledge that COVID vaccination + naturally-acquired immunity is about as good as it gets for conferring resistance to the virus. Now that’s not good enough.

I’ve been a good boy all epidemic long, getting my double vaccination and then getting my booster. But when I see cases like Darling’s — double vaxxed, natural immunity, reasonable concerns about her fertility and still facing the prospect of suspension or expulsion — I conclude that university mandates are not about public health anymore. GMU policy is all about compliance. The minions must bend the knee.

No wonder the minions are rebelling.

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27 responses to “These GMU Minions Refuse to Bend the Knee”

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      I looked. No member of the General Assembly has introduced a single bill to add the vaccine to any of the Code sections where other shots are required. Fascinating oversight. If so vital, why not?

      And the data (that again) is clear that following a case, you need to wait perhaps months if you want an additional dose to do anything. (I know, you think two years later it is unnecessary.) So yes, demanding a booster now is about control and submission.

      1. how_it_works Avatar

        If you think the demands are going to stop with one booster, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I’ll sell you really cheap….

      2. killerhertz Avatar

        Because I would guess it is political suicide at this point. So unelected people are dictating peoples’ health choices.

  1. I imagine this is going to be a moot point as UVA just said that they won’t enforce the disenrolling of any students not vaccinated due to the new AG opinion.

    1. I guess I should say that the disenrollment rule is no longer being enforced, but there’s no explicit statement that says because of the new AG ruling, we are changing our rules.

  2. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    A few hours ago believe I heard on WTOP radio that GMU and some other colleges were complying with Youngkin admin request to stop mandating vaccine. No more mandate.

    1. Both faulty/staff and students are no longer required….but if you want to watch an athletic event you must adhere to that age old order of ‘Papers Please’!

  3. And right on cue there is a new “sub-variant” spreading like wildfire…

    I can’t decide whether to panic or yawn…

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      The people in danger today are the same as two years ago today, and for the rest of us, yawn…..

    2. killerhertz Avatar

      They really need to engineer an even more dangerous variant that has spikes and horns. Then EVERYONE can get really scared again.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Since most here are convinced that it was created there then one might assume they know more about it than we. Apparently, they agree with you about surgical masks, but differ a bit on mandates…,1200&w=600

    Go on pretending.

    1. Mark O Flaherty Avatar
      Mark O Flaherty

      Pretending what precisely? Masks work, vaccines work, convalescent immunity does not provide protection, mandates work?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        That vaccine mandates are Holocaust equivalent?

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Had the same thought when I saw the hazmat suits….Agreed, those probably will stop the bug! It also makes the point about herd immunity, shaky as that is the Chinese got damn near none of it due to their zero-COVID policy. When it does start to spread…..

      The games are a great opportunity to pivot. The kids should be allowed to compete as long as they have no symptoms. Positive tests shouldn’t force them out. See where we are at the end — easily the healthiest group of people gathered anywhere at this time.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        I get the whole my rights end where your rights begin argument, but this ain’t that. Our lives are rights. Our deaths are obligations. Our rights trump your obligations every time.

        Were it my decision, every anti-vaxxer would be dragged to the pillory, depants, and pop-pop right in the cheeks. The 2nd pop is 5cc of penicillin to get any VD floating around in there.

        1. Merchantseamen Avatar

          So…with that being said. You would be the first one putting Star of David on the Jews as you herd them onto the trains. Would you stoop so low to harvest the gold from their teeth as you pull them from the ovens? I think you would.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Ah, the whole “vaccines are Holocaust” thing. Your mama must be proud and Joe Rogan thanks you.

            You are aware that the typhus vaccine was developed by Jews in a concentration camp, right? And that they then had the courage to adulterate it before giving it to their German masters. Masters? Say, ain’t that what they called American slavers? Too bad you can’t learn that in Va K-12 anymore.

  5. tmtfairfax Avatar

    The effects of a vaccine or other medical treatment on pregnancy shouldn’t be ignored. Remember Thalidomide. And almost every TV ad for medicines and injections includes a warning that if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant, consult your doctor before using X.

  6. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Sadly, such compliance commences with the authority of the Commonwealth’s AG to appoint the institution’s counsel opening the path to compromise academic freedom. The NCLA objection is specious in that GMU may, in fact, have a compelling interest in requiring vaccination as a matter of the health and welfare of all other students. Whether expulsion or suspension is warranted is another matter. NCLA’s recitation of individual “cost-benefit” freedom versus the interests of society is specious in the face of a pandemic.

    But, Virginia’s higher education establishment has already yielded any institutional academic freedom to the AG as noted. Sympathies are with the two students in the face of political and university minions who have the power.

    1. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      “But, Virginia’s higher education establishment has already yielded any institutional academic freedom to the AG as noted. Sympathies are with the two students in the face of political and university minions who have the power.”

      They don’t have the power, it has been incorrectly asserted to them. All vaccine mandates derive from law passed via the General Assembly, until a bill is passed adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list required, there is no legal weight to the Universities mandates.

    2. tmtfairfax Avatar

      This has nothing to do with academic freedom. That relates to the right of a scholar, which includes both instructors and students to express ideas without official interference or professional disadvantage. The concept traditionally applies at the higher education level with more restrictions applicable at primary and secondary education levels. See Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

      While that case struck down a prohibition against public high school students wearing armbands to protest the War in Vietnam, Justice Fortas wrote “the Court
      has repeatedly emphasized the need for affirming the comprehensive authority of the States and of school officials, consistent with fundamental constitutional safeguards, to prescribe and control conduct in the schools.”

  7. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    Exactly 2-years ago (30-Jan-2020) I was at GMU for a all-day seminar with mixed attendance (students+public). The next day, the mass media announced a GMU student was being tested for COVID. So that was my first brush with it. Took about a week of presumably repeat testing of the student, but they finally said the student tested negative.

    Well I can say that annual event has not been held again for 2 years now.

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Uh oh, you’ve got SSS again, James. Stuck Story Syndrome. This is currently the lead on BR site, and there are two above it on Disqus.

    1. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

      Yes I have been getting stuck with no new articles.

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