In a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now admits that it recommended COVID-19 vaccines for people who had recovered from COVID-19 despite the fact that CDC subject matter experts didn’t have access to the underlying data.
The stunning disclosure came in reply to a FOIA request for information on the CDC’s claim, first made on Oct. 29, 2021, that unvaccinated people with previous infection were five times more likely to get COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
The CDC’s claim was based on a CDC study published in the Nov. 9, 2021, edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The conflicts-of-interest section of the study had noted that a number of the study’s authors were being sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline. At least four of the listed pharmaceutical companies were involved in the manufacturing and sale of COVID-19 vaccines.
Given that the conflict-of-interest disclosures were made at the time the study was first published, the CDC would have been aware of the heightened need to scrutinize its findings. However, this appears not to have happened. Notably, the CDC’s public pronouncement about unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors being five times more likely to get reinfected was made on the same day that the study was released as a preprint. This would have left no time for any review.
A lawyer who specializes in FOIA cases subsequently made a formal request for the data underlying the study. Last week, the CDC replied by admitting that the CDC didn’t have this data. According to the CDC, the data was held by an “external partner organization and was maintained by a contractor.” Notably, the CDC also acknowledged that “CDC subject matter experts didn’t receive copies of the raw data prior to the contract termination.”
Put another way, the CDC made its vaccination recommendation for people who already had COVID-19 without ever seeing or having had access to the underlying data. Furthermore, that data is now no longer available, meaning that neither the CDC, nor the general public, may ever know what it said.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) had previously pointed out problems with the CDC’s study. He further highlighted the fact that the study’s authors had conflicts of interest. Mr. Massie’s concerns have now not only been confirmed but have also been aggravated by the fact that the CDC never reviewed or audited the study.
The CDC’s failure to scrutinize the study before making sweeping recommendations to the public is exacerbated by the fact that the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines specifically excepted people who had previously been infected with COVID-19.
Pfizer’s emergency use authorization specifically stated that the “available data are insufficient to determine whether such individuals could benefit from vaccination.” Moderna’s emergency use authorization acknowledged that its vaccine study “was not designed to assess the benefit in individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.” Johnson and Johnson’s emergency use authorization used similar wording.
When it was pointed out in 2021 that the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines didn’t account for people who had already had the disease, Twitter (now known as X) promptly marked this fact as misinformation.
The existence of natural immunity, meaning that the human body remembers how to fight off diseases that it has previously been afflicted with, has been known since ancient Greek times. When the plague tore through ancient Athens in 430 B.C., Thucydides noted that those who had been previously afflicted weren’t getting sick. He stated that “the same man was never attacked twice–never at least fatally.” However, when COVID-19 broke out, the CDC appears to have cast aside 2,500 years’ worth of medical wisdom. As we now know, the CDC did this without accessing or analyzing the underlying data.