An Anti-Vaxxer’s Sad Lament
Note: Dr. Moskowitz has a request for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and President Biden. The depth and breadth of our contributing writers always makes me proud.
By Richard Moskowitz, M. D.
Those of you who know me or are familiar with my work know that I’ve been questioning the scientific basis of vaccinations for over forty years,1 and that my concerns about them go beyond the side effects of this or that vaccine to the nature of the vaccination process per se. In short, I am that rare case of an honest-to-God “anti-vaxxer,” unlike the vast majority of those unjustly stigmatized with that label, such as the parents of vaccine-injured children, whose only mistake was to have done exactly what they were told, and suffered the devastating consequences of it: “ex-vaxxers” would be a more appropriate term for them.
While I’ve always felt for them and advocated for their cause, my problem with vaccines goes beyond the moral and political duty of redressing the harm that they suffered, to the issue of scientific truth, based on 50+ years of experience as a family doctor, and amply supported by articles in the medical literature, albeit largely unread and ignored.2 I am far from claiming that what I’ve come to believe about them is the complete and final truth; but I do think such views deserve serious consideration, rather than the ridicule and censorship that they commonly receive. So I will begin by summarizing my findings here.
The idea of vaccinating sounds attractive, as a way of preventing large populations from coming down with and suffering from acute infectious diseases, especially the most serious ones like smallpox, diphtheria, and polio, which have killed or maimed so many people who came down with them. But vaccines are now so numerous and widely used, even for the common diseases of childhood, that we seldom remember or think to compare how they act with the natural process of coming down with and recovering from the natural diseases, which are acute phenomena of relatively short duration, involving fever and a collaborative effort of various immune mechanisms, and culminating in the expulsion of the offending foreign organism from the body. This result cannot be achieved by any one of these mechanisms operating independently of the others. The natural immunity that results from it is specific, in the familiar sense of protecting the patient against future outbreaks of the same disease, just as vaccines claim to do. Less obvious but even more important is its nonspecific effect, priming the immune system to respond acutely, vigorously, and in concerted fashion to whatever other infections we are exposed to in the future. That wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal, except for research that few doctors or patients are aware of, showing that those who come down with and recover from measles, mumps, chickenpox, influenza, and other common acute diseases of childhood are much less likely to develop chronic, autoimmune diseases and cancer later in life than those who are merely vaccinated against them.3 If true, that tells us that vaccinating is not the way to develop a healthy immune system; and we’re much better off learning how to get sick than vaccinating everybody against everything simply because we have the technical know-how to do so.
In contrast, whatever good vaccines may accomplish depends on one thing only, producing specific antibodies in significant quantities over long periods of time, bypassing if not dysregulating all the other collaborative mechanisms. It thus necessarily falls far short of duplicating the natural immunity that good health depends on. When a vaccine is injected intramuscularly, there is a brief inflammatory reaction at the injection site, but no local sensitization of the nasopharynx and its epithelium, no co-ordinated mobilization of phagocytes, cytokines, and serum complement, no overt illness, and thus, above all, no reliable mechanism or pathway for getting rid of it. After 14 days or so, yes, there are likely to be measurable titers of specific antibodies in the blood; and, yes, the recipients of many though not all vaccines will be somewhat less likely to come down with the corresponding acute disease, at least in the near future, than they were before. But without the acute illness, there is no concerted activation of the cellular system, no priming of the immune mechanism as a whole, no improvement in the general health, no encrypted memory of the infection, and again, no means of expelling the invading viruses, bacteria, or bioengineered fragments derived from them.
Where the vaccine actually goes, how it persuades the antibody-producing cells to continue doing their work over extended periods of time, as it was designed to do, and what price we have to pay for these antibodies and the partial, temporary semblance of immunity that they provide, are questions that it seems we’re not supposed to ask, can expect haughty contempt or righteous indignation if we do, and haven’t been convincingly answered in any way that helps the public to understand.
What continues to haunt me about the vaccination process is the obvious fact that, unlike the diseases it is supposed to prevent, vaccination is and must be a chronic phenomenon, in that its intended result of achieving continuous antibody synthesis for months and years afterward would seem to require that either the vaccine substance itself or at the information that it conveys remain active inside the body for at least that long. It’s worth asking how such long-term carrier states might be achieved, and what effect they might have on the health of vaccine recipients; but for now I’ll just add that it’s dangerously misleading, if not the exact opposite of the truth, to claim that vaccines render us immune to acute diseases, if in fact they merely drive the invading organisms or toxic derivatives of them deep into our vital organs and cause us to harbor them chronically if not permanently instead.
My reluctance to vaccinate originated with a gut feeling that I couldn’t explain, while the hypothesis formulated above was the logical conclusion of a sabbatical year of visiting the immunology that I was never taught in med school. But it didn’t really come alive for me until I began seeing a lot of chronically sick children in my practice.4 With so many vaccines being given, several of them even simultaneously at the same visit, it was practically impossible to identify a specific vaccine or component as the culprit, as doctors are trained to do; and it didn’t immediately occur to me to think about the vaccination process itself. There are a lot of reasons why that link was difficult to see even when I looked for it.
What started me thinking about it was seeing so many kids given vaccines on the approved schedule who were reacting nonspecifically to them, by developing a more intense or prolonged version of whatever chronic diseases they were already bothered by. What still threw me off, even then, was that they all reacted in a characteristic manner that was peculiar to them, no matter which vaccine was given, which disease they had, or how severely they suffered from it. Eventually I discovered that any vaccine would do, and that several different ones would have the same effect for that child, while the diseases involved ran the whole gamut of pediatric practice, might also attack the unvaccinated, and be brought on by environmental toxins and pollutants as well.
Another source of confusion was simply that chronic diseases tend to wax and wane idiosyncratically, not on any preformed or regular schedule. The only way to see the causal role of vaccines was to treat the children with herbs, acupuncture, or homeopathy until they recovered and were essentially symptom-free for several months. Then and only then, consistently enough to be the rule, their old disease pattern would recur promptly and dramatically after their next vaccination, whatever it was, such that its causal role became obvious to the parents and anyone else paying attention. Suppressing the main symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs didn’t clean the slate sufficiently to achieve that clarity.
With the specific effects of each individual vaccine thus essentially hidden, and doctors distracted from considering the generic effect of the vaccination process, they readily fall into line with the industry’s agenda of piling on as many vaccines as we see fit. Yet investigating the safety of vaccinating against everything, of the process itself, would require nothing more elaborate than comparing the all-cause morbidity and mortality, the overall rate of death and chronic disease, in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. The public surely deserves to be told, if only to discredit nay-sayers like me, why our nation, which yields to none in its professed commitment to science, has never seen fit to undertake such an obvious study, even though if not precisely because it could resolve the issue once and for all.
To summarize, then, my clinical experience strongly suggests that all vaccines, whatever benefits may be ascribed to them, are regularly and significantly implicated in initiating, exacerbating, and reactivating the innumerable chronic diseases of our time. If that much is true, it follows as night from day that subjecting whole populations to repeated doses of more and more of them, with no end in sight, is adding continuously and exponentially to the crushing burden of chronic diseases that we already bear, not as rare coincidences, aberrations, or side effects, but as a built-in feature of their design.
Gripped by the urgency of that realization, and unnerved by our obstinate inability and unwillingness to recognize it, I began combing through the scientific literature, and uncovered a substantial body of reputable, published research along the same lines,5 studies ignored by most practicing physicians, because they directly contradict what we are authoritatively taught, fondly believe, and seldom bother to question.
Since well before the COVID, thinking it a scientific and moral issue of vital importance, I began emailing leading progressive legislators, pointing out that simply ending the mandates would significantly improve the health of the nation; but not one ever acknowledged even receiving them. During the 2016 Presidential election season, the drug companies launched a campaign to convince the blue states to eliminate their philosophical and personal-belief exemptions from the vaccines they were requiring, especially measles, because of a few modest outbreaks of the disease that belied the CDC’s claim to have eliminated it from the country. I reached out to Bernie Sanders, because he’d been railing against the greed and corruption of the drug industry for decades; but his office never wrote back, and in one campaign speech after another he echoed the official CDC line, blaming the unvaccinated for spreading the disease, and thus putting their fellow-citizens at risk.6 Similar attempts to inform Liz Warren, AOC, and a few others also failed, leaving me to own up to the fact that vaccination had become essentially a sacred cow, beyond question or doubt, for the public at large. Nor could I blame them entirely, since their only mistake was having trusted the medical profession and the CDC to tell us the truth about matters of health that they presumably understand better than anyone.
By 2019, as the outbreaks continued, editorials in the New York Times and other mainstream media were openly castigating “anti-vaxxers,”7 with Congressman Adam Schiff, an avowed champion of civil rights, explicitly ordering Facebook and Google to suppress all content questioning the vaccine mandates as “disinformation,” and thus violating the First Amendment in the name of a public health emergency that he was doing his level best to create, with every righteous intention, to be sure.8
With the COVID pandemic in 2020, the censorship looked to become permanent, as the economy and almost all daily activities were locked down, against the advice of leading epidemiologists.9 In 2021, when the vaccines finally became available, the whole population was threatened with loss of jobs and forbidden to travel for refusing them, as the unvaccinated were blamed once again for spreading the virus, even though the vaccine was later admitted to be ineffective in preventing it.10 Meanwhile, Biden had become President, and the Democrats, abandoning their concern for civil rights in the teeth of the emergency, enforced the mandate more strictly than the Republicans, and did everything possible to discredit the “anti-vaxxers” who resisted or even doubted the need for it, and to silence or punish those who dared to question its safety or tried to publicize its adverse effects. In addition to the growing number of doctors who began speaking out against these policies, a number of actors, writers, and politicians, mostly conservative Republicans and libertarians who detested the Biden Administration and government interventions of any kind, were raising their voices as well. One of the leading dissidents was Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who carries on the name and legacy of his still prominent family, especially his uncle, a beloved former President, and his father, who was also assassinated while running for President himself. A successful environmental lawyer who won major judgments against polluters and the government agencies colluding with them, this younger Kennedy also created and led a nonprofit public-interest group, Children’s Health Defense, which publicizes current health issues, including how the drug industry deceives the public about vaccines, and ends up controlling the government agencies meant to regulate them.11 In short, he sounded like a classic New Deal Democrat, championing many of the same values that led me to study and write about this issue in the first place. For all of these reasons, he became a hero to me and so many others, for taking on these powerful interests and exposing them with passion and eloquence, not least for doing so as a Democrat, at a time when most mainstream Democrats and party leaders were either clueless about the dangers of vaccines, reluctant to speak out against them, or committed to the pro-vaccine agenda now prevailing because their GOP opponents had begun to attack it, largely on libertarian grounds. In the run-up to the 2024 Presidential election, when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, RFK Jr. soon attracted a huge following from among the growing multitudes harmed by vaccines, or disenchanted with the censorship and emergency measures imposed under the pandemic. In particular, for the minority of liberal and progressive Democrats like myself who felt the same way, he seemed like our only hope of bringing the vaccine issue into the mainstream of political discourse, as the signature and indeed winning issue for the left that I’ve always thought it was, and now more than ever.
But even at this early stage in the campaign, with the Democratic Convention still a year away, it is already clear that he cannot possibly win the nomination, because the party leadership and their activists at the state and district level are firmly committed to defeating him by any means necessary, so that there is no realistic possibility that he will succeed in bringing the vaccine issue front and center before the electorate and the general public at this time. If that is true, then the only possible result of his candidacy going forward will be to dissuade the 20% of normally Democratic voters who now support him from voting for Biden, the presumptive nominee, and thus quite possibly help to re-elect Trump, who has explicitly and for once truthfully pledged to end our already frail democratic experiment once and for all. Preventing that result, at once too horrible to contemplate yet suddenly within reach, must take precedence over the vanishingly unlikely prospect that Kennedy will be allowed to represent the party, when it refuses even to give him the same Secret Service protection it has always allowed its sworn enemies. It saddens me to have to say this, since it will also mean weakening and burying yet again the cause that I’ve spent the last forty years trying to publicize. So this is my plea to RFK Jr., which I can only hope he’ll take to heart:
Please arrange a private meeting with Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders, and announce your intention to suspend your candidacy for the sake of party unity against Trump.
Please ask them to give serious attention to your work at Children’s Health Defense, exposing the malfeasance of the vaccine manufacturers in corrupting the CDC and other government agencies that were created to regulate and restrain them.
Please promise to be a loyal Democrat, to work hard to help re-elect Biden or the party nominee, whoever it turns out to be.
And this is my plea to President Biden and the Democratic Party leaders, which I hope they will heed as well:
Please listen carefully to what RFK Jr. and various doctors and scientists have to say about the dangers of vaccines and the successful tactics of the CDC and
other agencies to keep them hidden from the public.
Please appoint him to the Platform Committee, to make use of his research and expertise about vaccines and public health to help formulate party policy about
these important issues.
Richard Moskowitz, M. D.
- Moskowitz, R., “The Case against Immunizations,” Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy 76:7, March 1983.
- Moskowitz, Vaccines: a Reappraisal, Skyhorse, New York, 2017, Chapters 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, passim.
- , for example, Albonico, H., et al., “Febrile Infectious Childhood Diseases in the History of Cancer Patients and Matched Controls,” Medical Hypotheses 51:315, 1998.
- Moskowitz, 2017, cit., Chapter 4, pp. 57-69.
- Vide supra, note 1.
- Pollack, H., “All Our Politicians Should Join to End the Dangerous Anti-Vaccination Madness,” Washington Post, February 4, 2015.
- “How to Inoculate against Anti-Vaxxers,” Editorial, New York Times, January 20, 2019.
- Rodrigo, C., “Schiff Calls out Facebook, Google over Anti-Vaccination Information,” The Hill, February 14, 2019.
- , for example, “Perspectives on the Pandemic: a Conversation with Dr. Knut Wittkowski,” The Press and the Public Project, thepressandthepublic.com, April 2, 2020; Prof. David Katz, “Is Our Fight against Coronavirus Worse than the Disease?,” New York Times, March 20, 2020; and Michael Osterholm, M.D., “Facing COVID-19 Reality: a National Lockdown Is No Cure,” Washington Post, March 21, 2020.
- President Biden, the White House, September 9, 2021: “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated . . . ,” vs. Rochelle Walensky, M.D., CNN Interview with Wolf Blitzer, You Tube, August 8, 2021.
- , for example, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: a Win-Win for Big Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination,” childrenshealthdefense.org, April 9, 2020.
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