In testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Thursday, a doctor from the University of Washington said that Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates subjected Americans “to the humiliations of forced medical treatments,” were “scientifically inconsistent and illogical,” and “an insult to our American foundation of freedom.”
Dr. Kevin Bardosh, an affiliate assistant professor, cited an academic paper he published in the BMJ in March of 2023 on COVID-19 vaccine boosters for young adults which found vaccine mandates on college campuses to be inappropriate and unethical because it likely resulted in a net harm to young people.
“In our paper, we combined empirical risk-benefit assessment and ethical analysis,” Bardosh explained. “We estimated that to prevent one COVID-19 hospitalization over a 6-month period, between 31,000–42,000 young adults aged 18–29 years would have to receive a third mRNA vaccine,” he continued. “But this would mean that for each hospitalization prevented with these booster mandates, at least 18.5 serious adverse events from mRNA vaccines would occur, including 1-5 booster-associated myopericarditis cases in males (typically requiring hospitalization).”
Three other witnesses testified before the Committee hearing titled “Examining the Science and Impact of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates,” including Danielle Runyan, the Senior Counsel for First Liberty, a legal organization that is representing many U.S. service members who lawfully objected to the required injections, and Allison Williams, a sports reporter who was fired from ESPN after 10 years of employment because she refused to get the jab. Williams is now a reporter for Fox Sports.
Today, she told us her heartbreaking story👇 pic.twitter.com/fKtSN2JjXr
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) July 27, 2023
Dr. John Lynch, Associate Professor of Medicine and Allergy and Infectious Diseases at University of Washington School of Medicine, defended the jabs as a witness for the House minority. “COVID-19 vaccines provide significant protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death,” Lynch testified, citing CDC data.
Bardosh said his paper concluded that university booster mandates are unethical because the risks outweigh the benefits for young people.
1. Are not based on an updated (Omicron era) stratified risk-benefit
assessment for this age group;
2. May result in a net harm to healthy young adults;
3. Are not proportionate: expected harms do not outweigh their public health
benefits given modest and transient effectiveness of vaccines against
4. Violate the reciprocity principle because serious vaccine-related harms are
not reliably compensated due to gaps in vaccine injury schemes; and
5. May result in wider social harms, such as losing educational opportunities
for those who do not comply.
Bardosh also cited an important and widely read paper from late 2021, also published in BMJ, titled: The unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine policy: why mandates, passports and restrictions may cause more harm than good.
“In the first paper, written in late 2021, I and a group of scholars from Johns Hopkins, Oxford, Harvard and elsewhere outlined a set of 12 reasons why the coercive approach to COVID vaccination policy would ultimately be both counterproductive and damaging to public health and society,” Bardosh testified. “We based these ideas on the existing literature at the time, with nearly 150 citations.”
We divided these 12 reasons into 4 categories:
1. Behavioural psychology: reactance and entrenchment; cognitive dissonance;
stigma and scapegoating; distrust and conspiracy theories.
2. Politics and law: erosion of civil liberties; social polarization, global governance.
3. Socio-economics: disparities and inequalities; reduced health system capacity;
exclusion from work and social life.
4. The integrity of science and public health: erosion of key principles of public
health ethics; and the erosion of trust in regulatory vaccine oversight.
The researchers concluded “that mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies have had damaging effects on public trust, vaccine confidence, political polarization, human rights, inequities and social wellbeing. We question the effectiveness and consequences of coercive vaccination policy in pandemic response and urge the public health community and policymakers to return to non-discriminatory, trust-based public health approaches.”
“It’s important to recognize that individuals who lost their jobs, severely suffered,” the doctor noted later during the hearing. “We’re talking about lost income, lost savings, not being able to pay your mortgage, or rent, having marital stress, and stress on your children.” Bardosh lamented that these social determinants of health were being ignored by public health officials.
“How many people lost their jobs?” he asked. “There’s actually no study telling us, or estimating how many people lost their job despite that fact that billions and billions of dollars have gone into vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, etcetera. Yet we don’t know how many people the mandates harmed and how they were harmed.” The doctor said he was working on a project estimating how many people were harmed and would have the results in about a month.
Bardosh concluded his opening statement by reminding lawmakers about “the higher law, inspired by God, on which this country defines liberty.”
“We consider a deprivation of bodily autonomy to be fundamentally humiliating and associated with a form of mental and physical enslavement. Inherent to human nature is the desire to have self-determination over ones own body and mind,” the doctor said.
“Notice that many American chose to suffer the deprivations of losing their material income rather than be subject to the humiliations of forced medical treatments that would have denied their own medical privacy, physical agency and psychological freedom. The shock and dismay citizens of this country have expressed over these coercive mandate measures makes the situation clear for anyone willing to pay attention- that they are an affront to the God given order of freedom on which American liberty is founded. Never mind that they are scientifically inconsistent and illogical- the mandates are an insult to our American foundation of freedom and I hope we never are reduced to such humiliations again in the future- or we risk demoralizing an already demoralized people further.”
A previous version of this story inaccurately stated that Danielle Runyan, rather than Allison Williams currently works for Fox News. We regret the error.