Thousands of Americans gathered on the national mall Sunday for the “Defeat the Mandates” rally led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose new book, The Real Anthony Fauci, has already sold more than 500,000 copies. The diverse crowd somehow got there despite airline cancellations and how cities including Washington, D.C., require proof of vaccination before customers can be served in restaurants.
The next day, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) courageously convened a panel discussion of some of the world’s most highly credentialed experts on infectious disease. Entitled “Covid-19: A Second Opinion,” the meeting was held in the historic Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building, whose marble columns and heavy red drapes have provided the backdrop to many famous congressional hearings.
Senator Johnson’s convocation may be the most important hearing in the 110 years since the Senate heard from survivors of the Titanic disaster in the very same room. Senators conducted the Titanic hearing in 1912 in order to determine why 1,500 of the Titanic’s 2,200 passengers needlessly perished in that catastrophe.
Among the witnesses this time was Dr. Paul Marik, M.D., a critical care doctor whose 500 peer-reviewed articles have been cited in over 48,000 other peer-reviewed publications. Referring to the 850,000 Americans who have died of Covid, Dr. Marik said bluntly: “These have been unnecessary, needless deaths.”
Dr. Marik was highly critical of the very expensive but “toxic” new drug remdesivir for hospitalized Covid patients, saying “The question is why. Why have cheap, safe, and effective drugs been ignored for the treatment of Covid-19 which could have saved maybe 500,000 lives?”
Another witness was Aaron Kheriaty, M.D., who was fired by the University of California at Irvine for not being vaccinated although his natural immunity provides greater protection to the virus. He said the argument for mandates collapses now that we have “clear evidence that Covid vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of the virus.”
Dr. Kheriaty called attention to the unprecedented 40% increase in all-cause mortality among working-age adults (18-64). The public health establishment has provided no explanation for that shocking rise in mortality, which is not directly related to Covid though it may be due to its vaccines and lockdowns.
Dr. Robert Malone, M.D., testified that the vaccines “do not prevent infection, viral replication, or transmission,” so why are they mandated? They cannot produce herd immunity, Dr. Malone said, even if every man, woman and child in America is vaccinated.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., reiterated the teaching of the Great Barrington Declaration, which he co-authored in October 2020, and testified against the lockdowns. Dr. Richard Urso, M.D., an expert on inflammation which is usually the first symptom of respiratory viruses including Covid, stressed the importance of taking medication in the first few days while the virus is replicating.
Dr. Peter McCullough, M.D., said “there are only two bad outcomes: hospitalization and death,” so the overriding need is for widely available early treatments that can be taken as soon as symptoms appear. Because Covid is “a mass casualty event,” Dr. McCullough said, we can’t afford to wait for randomized trials that are not forthcoming.
Dr. Ryan Cole, M.D., said that vaccinated people are not only getting the Omicron variant, but are getting it at a higher rate than the unvaccinated, especially if they received 2 or 3 shots. “This is why mandates are absolutely moot, irrelevant, and need to go away worldwide,” adding that “we know how to treat an upper respiratory infection” like the common cold.
Dr. Paul Alexander, Ph.D., cited the high risk of vaccinating people who have natural immunity from a previous bout with Covid. “Children should never get these vaccines,” Dr. Alexander said, noting that “properly informed consent has never occurred.”
Dr. Harvey Risch, M.D., the renowned Yale epidemiologist, denounced the mainstream media for failing to report the “very significant evidence of benefit” for both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, shown to reduce hospitalization and death by over 50% when used for early outpatient treatment. Dr. Risch criticized “outright fraud” by the FDA in using data from hospitalized patients to exaggerate the risks of these very safe medications in an outpatient setting.
Dr. Pierre Kory, M.D., a specialist in pulmonary critical care, cited evidence from Mexico, India, Brazil, and elsewhere that Covid was virtually eradicated by the early, widespread use of cheap ivermectin. Dr. Mary Bowden, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist who, unlike Dr. Fauci, has personally treated many Covid patients, told how Houston Methodist Hospital was warehousing Covid patients with ineffective treatment while impeding early treatment.
Sen. Johnson is pivotal to the battleground state of Wisconsin, and is running again for reelection to help the GOP retake the U.S. Senate. His Titanic-like hearing illustrates how essential he is to push back against biased and misguided public health policies.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.