George Mason University Professor Speaks Out After Challenging Anti-Science Vaccine Mandate

George Mason University Professor Speaks Out After Challenging Anti-Science Vaccine Mandate

George Mason University tried to penalize Zywicki for possessing the 'wrong type' of COVID immunity, but he just wasn’t having it.
Audrey Unverferth
By

George Mason University Professor Todd Zywicki isn’t a pushover to anti-science COVID-19 policies. Zywicki has natural immunity to the virus, and thanks to his own hard work and that of his legal team, Zywicki has been granted a medical exemption from his employer’s vaccine mandate. He’s also created a blueprint for others to potentially follow suit.

Zywicki Fought Back and Was Rewarded

George Mason University (GMU) tried to penalize Zywicki for possessing the “wrong type” of COVID immunity, but he wasn’t having it. As a law professor beginning his 24th year teaching at Virginia’s largest four-year public university, Zywicki enjoys well-documented, robust natural immunity from COVID because he already contracted and fully recovered from the virus last year. 

“My immunologist says that my antibody level is comparable to somebody who’s been vaccinated,” Zywicki told The Federalist. “The science is quite clear that … natural immunity is at least as effective as the most effective vaccines, meaning 90-95 percent, which the Pfizer and Moderna claim they have, clearly more effective than a less effective vaccine like Johnson & Johson, which is only 66 percent. And it’s not even … a serious discussion whether it’s more protective than Sinovac and Sinopharm.” 

Clinical studies from the Cleveland Clinic, Israel, and England support these assertions. Natural immunity is a powerful, long-lasting defense against COVID, and Zywicki said it “protects against a greater array of variants” than the vaccines on the market. The protection afforded by vaccines is reportedly waning, and breakthrough infections are spreading globally. 

When GMU tried to coerce Zywicki into getting vaccinated anyway, he had his lawyers at the New Civil Liberties Alliance file suit against GMU on his behalf. Zywicki also slammed his employer’s broad vaccine mandate via a Wall Street Journal op-ed, in which he argued that “there’s no justification for a coercive violation of [his] bodily autonomy.”

Thanks to his willingness to stand up for his convictions, Zywicki himself won’t have to get vaccinated this fall, he won’t be subject to disciplinary action, and he’ll be able to hold office hours and attend in-person events. Zywicki must maintain six feet of distance from others and get tested for COVID on a weekly basis, however, meaning there are still strings attached to his “medical exemption.” 

GMU Forces Those with Natural Immunity to Get the Jab

For some reason, the science isn’t enough for GMU. “Strangely, despite solid scientific evidence, GMU continues to refuse to recognize that Covid-19 vaccination is medically unnecessary for ALL students, faculty, and staff with naturally acquired immunity demonstrated with antibody testing,” Zywicki’s legal team said in a press release. 

Zywicki said that according to his employer’s blanket policy, employees who don’t receive religious or medical exemptions must get injected with a vaccine that’s been approved by the World Health Organization. 

As Zywicki put it, employees who receive the “low-quality Chinese vaccines such as the Sinovac vaccine, which the WHO concluded was only 51 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease, and the Sinopharm vaccine, which has performed so poorly that some countries are systematically revaccinating their populations with higher-quality options,” meet GMU’s vaccine requirements. But unless they receive an exemption, GMU employees with natural immunity do not meet such requirements. 

This Isn’t Rocket Science

After Zywicki got shingles this spring, he had an epiphany. “When I recovered … I said to my doctor … OK, now that I’ve recovered from shingles, should I get the shingles vaccine?” he recollected. “[My doctor] looked at me, and … he was kind of thinking, How could somebody as stupid as you possibly be a professor of anything? … He said, like he was talking to a kindergartener, ‘Well, no, you obviously don’t get vaccinated for a virus right after you’ve recovered from the virus.’”

“He says, ‘Look, here’s your antibody levels [for] the shingles virus. You are protected from getting reinfected by the shingles virus for a long time.’ And then he said, ‘And if you get vaccinated, you have a really high risk of hyper-inflaming your immune system,’” Zywicki continued. “I walked out of his office and I said to myself, COVID is also a virus. And I’ve had COVID. I should find out what my antibodies levels are. … I should find out whether it’s necessary and safe for me to get vaccinated.” 

Zywicki quickly concluded that he shouldn’t get the COVID vaccine. “It’s really not that complicated. … So what’s the counterargument? … [T]here is no counterargument,” Zywicki said.

One-Size-Fits-All Policies Are ‘Vicious’

Zywicki said that those who possess natural immunity have been largely excluded from vaccine clinical trials, meaning that any claims about the safety of vaccinating people with natural immunity are predominantly speculative. Zywicki also said, “Clinical evidence has suggested that COVID survivors suffer more frequent and more serious side effects from vaccination than those who have never been infected,” presumably because their healthy immune systems are prone to hyper-inflammation.

“It is irresponsible, it is vicious, to force college students who have recovered from COVID to then go get vaccinated,” Zywicki said. “We know the baseline risk is really, really low. … It’s already an open question as to whether … the risk-benefit for a younger person even makes sense, considering their low baseline risk. … Now add to that, they not only have the baseline risk, they’ve actually gotten COVID and recovered and they have natural immunity. That is as close to bulletproof as you are ever going to find.” 

Moreover, Zywicki said that “the younger you are, the more likely … to have a severe adverse reaction to vaccination.”

“And so the lesson here is clear,” Zywicki continued. “It’s completely wrong for somebody like me to get vaccinated … after [developing] natural immunity. … My immunity is durable [and] more resistant,” he emphasized. “[And] with respect to college kids … it’s literally just sick to do this to college kids who have natural immunity to make them … get vaccinated indiscriminately.” 

The Establishment Has Its Own Agenda

“The American establishment has decided, for whatever reason, [that] this is the agenda they want to push. And they are going to force it on people, the corporations, the universities — the Democratic politicians are going to do it,” Zywicki reflected.

As Democrats continue to push vaccine mandates, more than 700 American colleges and universities have already taken that step. The University of Virginia disenrolled 238 of its students days before classes resumed because they weren’t in compliance with the university’s vaccine requirements. Meanwhile, countless corporations are similarly coercing their employees into getting the jab. Thanks to Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City recently became the first major U.S. city to announce plans for medical segregation via vaccine passports.

“The public health community now has become completely compromised,” Zywicki lamented. “In terms of pushing bogus information designed to do this, we all know about the ongoing censorship of people who want to talk about vaccine side effects. … People feel crushed under the wheel, [they feel] that the entire machine is just grinding over them.”

“The medical journals are now suppressing and refusing to publish very, very high-quality studies that do not comport with the narrative that they want to push, which is indiscriminate mass vaccinations,” Zywicki argued. “The medical societies and establishment are now threatening to take away the licenses of doctors who they deem to be spreading misinformation about vaccines. … We’re talking about a system of control and censorship that all of these institutions have just fallen in line with.”

The Biden administration is also in on it. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently released a report encouraging Facebook, Twitter, and others to penalize, censor, and surveil COVID dissidents who promote commentary that the establishment deems to be “misinformation.”

Earlier this year, Facebook was reportedly suppressing posts and comments expressing doubts about the coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, Twitter silenced a video showing a mom discussing her daughter’s adverse reactions to the Pfizer shot.

Consequently, it’s difficult for people to get correct information. Confronted by a machine that censors scientific inquiry and incessantly promotes vaccines, Zywicki said, “Most people just don’t have the wherewithal to understand this.”

Americans are starved for the truth and suffering. “There are millions of Americans right now … with natural immunity [who] are basically being forced to choose between an unnecessary medical procedure, with elevated risk, that will give them no benefit versus … losing their job,” Zywicki said. “And I think that is really tragic and outrageous that there are so many people who are so callous and cavalier about other people’s health and well-being, that they won’t even look at the science, the completely compelling science here and treat their employees, their students, whoever they are, with dignity and respect, and allow those people to consult with their doctors like I did, and decide what the right thing is when it’s clear that natural immunity is as good as vaccine immunity.” 

The Struggle for Science-Based Policies Isn’t Over

Zywicki is relieved by his medical exemption, but he argues the struggle isn’t over. Meanwhile, the New Civil Liberties Alliance “continues to explore litigation against GMU.” And it welcomes input “from others on public-university campuses in Virginia — particularly tenured faculty — who have naturally acquired immunity backed by antibody testing and whose schools are similarly disregarding the scientific facts surrounding naturally acquired immunity.” 

“I speak for tens of millions of Americans in the same circumstances I am in, and I call on leaders across the country to develop humane and science-based approaches as opposed to one-size-fits-all policies,” Zywicki emphasized.

Audrey Unverferth is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at the University of Chicago, where she studies Law, Letters, and Society and Russian and East European Studies. She is also the co-founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Thinker. Follow her on Twitter @audrey__unver or email [email protected]

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