Who Are These COVID-19 Vaccine Skeptics and What Do They Believe?

Commentary, COVID-19, Healthcare & Welfare, Lawrence Solomon, Patricia Adams

Vaccine skeptics, vaccine refusers, vaccine deniers—these anti-vaxxers are scourges whose ignorance and misinformation are responsible for countless COVID-19 deaths, our public health authorities attest. Stamping their message out is so important that those with the biggest megaphones are being outed, threatened, and fired from their academic and medical posts, and wherever else they might be found.

So, who are these health heretics whose dangerous rhetoric is questioning prestigious public bodies such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blue-chip pharma companies such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, and the great majority of governments?

Dr. Peter McCullough, author of over 1,000 publications with over 500 citations in the National Library of Medicine, is one of the most outspoken critics of government COVID policies. He testified to the Texas Senate HHS Committee that his treatment protocol including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin led to an 85 percent reduction in mortality. He has also been critical of mass COVID-19 vaccination, in part given safety concerns about the vaccines.

“Today we have 800 cases of young people developing myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart,” McCullough, a cardiologist and internal medicine physician, said in a webinar in June. “I’m going to opine that because there is no clinical benefit whatsoever in young people to get the vaccine that even one case is too many.”

McCullough’s past positions include membership on President Bill Clinton’s advisory panel to health care and chair of over 24 data safety monitoring boards for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Following his criticisms of COVID policies, McCullough lost his positions (pdf) as vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center and chief of cardiovascular research at the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute. He has been stripped of his editorship of Cardiorenal Medicine, and he expects to be stripped of all eight of his professional accreditations.

Dr. Byram W. Bridle, an award-winning associate professor of viral immunology at the University of Guelph’s Department of Pathobiology, headed an advanced lab whose vaccine platform was funded by the Ontario government to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

An expert in vaccinology, he states (pdf), “There is a plethora of scientific literature demonstrating that naturally acquired immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is likely superior to that conferred by vaccination only.”

He adds that “research from three independent groups has now demonstrated that those with naturally acquired immunity experience more severe side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines than those who were immunologically naïve prior to vaccination. In other words, for those with natural immunity, vaccination is not only unnecessary, but it would put them at enhanced risk of harm. Knowing this, nobody should ever mandate COVID-19 vaccination.”

Bridle, who has natural immunity but is now banned from the university campus for not complying with the university’s vaccine mandate (pdf), believes that his workplace became “a poisoned environment where the bullying, harassment, and hatred against me have been incessant,” and states his life has been “destroyed.”

Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccines while at the Salk Institute in 1988, is also an inventor of DNA vaccines. He has some 100 peer-reviewed publications and published abstracts and 11,477 citations of his peer-reviewed publications. Malone believes that for “high risk populations, the risk/benefit ratio for the USA vaccines seem to make sense,” but that it is “demonstrably false” to claim that “these genetic vaccines are the only path available to herd immunity” or “perfectly safe.”

Malone, who is now allegedly subject to death threats, has become one of the most vilified scientists on earth, his accomplishments denigrated in magazines such as The Atlantic and throughout the mainstream and social media.

Others who have been vilified in the mainstream and social media include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, who stated that COVID-19 vaccination should be a matter of personal health and that “There’s no public health reason for a mandate;” Dr. Sunetra Gupta, infectious disease epidemiologist and professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, who stated that “it is really not logical to use vaccines to protect other people. … The bottom line is that these vaccines do not prevent transmission;” and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who stated that “Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking nobody should. COVID vaccines are important for older high-risk people, and their care-takers. Those with prior natural infection do not need it. Nor children.”

Many more eminent COVID-19 vaccine skeptics have remained silent, for fear of being punished. In the United States, the Federation of State Medical Boards warned that “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license,” a warning repeated in Canada by provincial licensing bodies such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

The ranks of the so-called vaccine skeptics include a Who’s Who of the world’s leading scientists. Few in the public know of them because they’ve been silenced, censored, and sidelined. Public health authorities may brand them as unscientific COVID kooks, but McCullough, Bridle, Malone et al. haven’t been the ones acting as snake oil salesmen, offering instant cures to anyone in the crowd willing to chance their medicine.

The hard sell, and sweeping claims, have been coming from the public health officials, most of whom have far fewer scientific accomplishments, and are far less knowledgeable, than the vaccine skeptics they cavalierly dismiss.  


Patricia Adams is an economist and the President of the Energy Probe Research Foundation and Probe International, an independent think tank in Canada and around the world. 

 Lawrence Solomon is executive director of the Toronto-based Consumer Policy Institute.

(originally appeared October 14, 2021 in the Epoch Times)