The following article has been authored by a non-clinician, and is not an attorney.
You may have seen the North Carolina State baseball team get disqualified from the College World Series after nearly a dozen players tested positive for COVID-19.
If you missed that, you may have then run into a story about a PGA player — who was leading going into the final round — being pulled from a major tournament following a positive diagnosis for the same illness.
Being a former collegiate and professional athlete myself at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, I can’t imagine the pain that some of these players experienced after they were forced to forfeit from what will be the pinnacle of their college careers in the sport.
However, as our nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, there needs to be serious discussion about what constitutes immunity from COVID and the potential for infringement upon individual liberties.
Lawmakers in North Carolina were rightfully concerned about the matter and sent a letter addressed to the NCAA President Mark Emmert and other senior officials questioning the organization’s COVID protocols.
Specifically, the letter expressed concern over why the NCAA has decided to test vaccinated players, rather than testing unvaccinated ones.
Moreover, the NCCA seems have to ignored the fact that players who have contracted COVID-19 have antibodies from the virus, as they have begun forcing players to get the vaccine, lest they suddenly find themselves ineligible to play.
Their actions have brought forth a few already burgeoning questions surrounding immunity and whether or not organizations like the NCAA can force athletes to get vaccinated before they can play.
Immunity from COVID-19 may arise from two possible sources: being vaccinated with one of the three vaccines or by contracting coronavirus — thereby garnering a natural immunity from the virus.
I would know given that I contracted COVID over a year ago and, according to my recent Aditx Score test — which examined my immunity after my initial diagnosis — following another exposure 10 months later, I still have and maintain the antibodies necessary to defend my body going forward.
After all, the vaccines are meant to mimic the body’s response, as if one had contracted the virus naturally.
Therefore, there is little evidence to suggest that taking the vaccine after being diagnosed with COVID enhances immunity in any way.
So, while being vaccinated is important, there is little reason to coerce individuals who’ve contracted COVID naturally — to include collegiate and professional athletes — to get vaccinated.
The fact that the NCAA seeminlgy continues to ignore the science is an injustice.
Additionally, requiring vaccinations for players may be illegal.
To understand why, it's important and helpful to review how the vaccines were made available to the public.
The three vaccines were developed under record speed due to efforts of Operation Warp Speed, however it is important to note that none of these vaccines were cleared under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) standard approval process.
To get these vaccines into the arms of millions of Americans, the FDA utilized a process known as Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). By circumventing the lengthy process involved with the standard approval process, the FDA made all three vaccines available to the public "based on the best available evidence, without waiting for all the evidence that would be needed for FDA approval or clearance."
According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which authorizes the FDA to issues EUA’s, it mandates that recipients of EUA products — like the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines — have the option to "accept or refuse administration of the product."
Therefore, according to U.S. law, (21 U.S. Code § 360bbb–3 - Authorization for medical products for use in emergencies; specifically Section E "Conditions of Authorization," subsection II, part III), college athletes have the right to refuse administration of the COVID vaccinations and given that natural immunity can be just as effective as being vaccinated, those players will not be putting others at risk.
However, these rights are not just held by collegiate athletes, they can be exercised by all Americans.
As mandatory vaccinations as a condition of employment continue saturate many parts American society, there is a strong legal case to be made that they are in fact illegal.
Is a national vaccine mandate constitutional?
Should college athletes who have a natural immunity from COVID be forced to take the vaccine? Will COVID mandates effect the upcoming Olympic games? These are all valid questions, however, according to laws already in place — American’s individual liberties are to be protected.
The NCAA should respect their players’ rights and update their COVID-19 protocols to recognize individuals who have naturally contracted coronavirus.
Major athletic conferences have already postponed seasons costing athletes and schools millions of dollars and countless opportunities that they will never get back.
If we are understanding the science correctly, they too have immunity and, according to the law, it would be illegal to coerce them into making such a decision until the vaccines go through the FDA approval process.
Jack Brewer, former NFL, America First Policy Institute’s Chairman of the Center for Opportunity Now, and former White House appointee on the Congressional Commission for the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. Read Jack Brewer's Reports — More Here.
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