CDC Director Rochelle Walensky testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Wednesday.
She was in virtual attendance to discuss the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, immunizations, boosters, and allegations the CDC allowed a teachers’ union to dictate guidance on reopening schools in early 2021.
At the hearing, CDC Director Walensky admitted that natural immunity is real and that it does confer some protection to Covid-19. Watch:
“So, let’s just talk about where we are with the variant,” Walensky said. “This is the most recent variant that causes up to a million cases in the middle of January, every single day. What we know specifically about this Omicron variant, in contrast to what we saw with both Delta and Alpha, is this more transmissible.”
“But we also know that it tends to cause less severe disease correcting for comorbidities, correcting for vaccine status and booster status,” she said. “We have seen that Omicron specifically causes less severe disease, less hospitalizations, less ICU stays and less death correcting for all of those things. So that is true of Omicron. Specifically.”
She did not mention that natural immunity is a massive factor in the risk calculus for patients, a fact that the CDC’s data showed in January. But she did acknowledge that in part because of prior infections, 95% of Americans have at least “some” protection against Covid.
“We also know that in this country because of vaccines because of boosters and because of protection from prior disease, infection-induced immunity (natural immunity) that about 95% of people in this country have some level of protection,” she said.
Of course, Walensky continued to tout vaccination, but the acknowledgment of natural immunity, which she refers to as “infection-induced immunity,” is an important one.
So, just to be clear: 95% of Americans now have “some protection,” due to natural immunity, Covid vaccination, and boosters combined. If you are not in the risk profile of being obese, immunocompromised, or elderly, the already miniscule chance of dying from the Omicron variant plummets to almost nil with natural immunity protection.
The CDC released a study in January called “COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations by COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis — California and New York, May–November 2021.” The findings that natural immunity provided protection superior to vaccinated immunity were reported by Agence France-Presse.
“During America’s last surge of the coronavirus driven by the Delta variant, people who were unvaccinated but survived Covid were better protected than those who were vaccinated and not previously infected,” AFP reported.
“The finding is the latest to weigh in on a debate on the relative strengths of natural versus vaccine-acquired immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but comes this time with the imprimatur of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” AFP added.
The CDC claimed there were 146.6 million prior infections in the United States as of September 2020. Based on its calculation of four infections for every reported case, and the currently reported 80 million “cases,” this would put prior infections and natural immunity potentially as high as 320 million people.
Johns Hopkins University found in a landmark study published in January that 99% of unvaccinated people who had Covid infections gained robust “natural immunity” that did not diminish for at least 650 days.
The chart shows that prior infections gave rise to three different types of important antibodies; about 95% of people with prior infections retained all three.
As Becker News exclusively reported, a CDC-sponsored database in partnership with Yale, Harvard, and Stanford universities showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans had natural immunity from prior infections.
The great majority of U.S. states had prior infections ranging between 70% and 94%. Only Hawaii had prior infections data that fell below 50%. The prior infections average for all U.S. states was an incredible 78%.
CDC Director Walensky’s admission that 95% of Americans now have some form of Covid protection is ample supplementary evidence that the nation possesses “herd immunity.”
"*" indicates required fields
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.