An unvaccinated senior doctor at the National Institute of Health is questioning the ethics of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Matthew Memoli, a 16-year NIH veteran who runs a clinical studies unit within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a July 30 email to NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and two lieutenants, wrote that he found mandated vaccinations "extraordinarily problematic."
"I think the way we are using the vaccines is wrong," he added.
Memoli will argue against vaccine mandates in a Dec. 1 live-streamed roundtable session on the ethics of mandates, WSJ reports.
The 48-year-old Memoli, who applied for a vaccine exemption on religious grounds, favors vaccinations in vulnerable populations but argues population-level vaccination could hinder the development of a natural, robust immunity gained through infection, WSJ reports.
"I do vaccine trials. I, in fact, help create vaccines," Memoli told WSJ. "Part of my career is to share my expert opinions, right or wrong … I mean, if they all end up saying I’m wrong, that’s fine. I want to have the discussion."
Memoli told WSJ that one of Dr. Fauci’s colleagues thanked him for his email. Fauci and an NIAID spokeswoman declined to comment, WSJ reported.
A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Memoli has said his children received their childhood vaccinations.
He was selected this month for a 2021 NIH director’s award, a top recognition from the head of the agency, for his supervision of a national study into undiagnosed COVID-19 cases early in the pandemic.
The Dec. 1 roundtable will be open for viewing within the agency, to patients and to the public.
"There’s a lot of debate within the NIH about whether [a vaccine mandate] is appropriate," said David Wendler, the senior NIH bioethicist who’s in charge of planning the roundtable session. "It's an important, hot topic."
A U.S. federal appeals court issued a stay Saturday freezing the Biden administration's efforts to require workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly, citing "grave statutory and constitutional" issues with the rule.
Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said in a statement that the Labor Department was "confident in its legal authority" to issue the rule, which will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The NIH said that more than 88 percent of its federal employees had been fully vaccinated at the end of October.
A study released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that COVID-19 was more than five times more common among hospitalized people who were unvaccinated and had a previous infection, compared with those who were fully vaccinated and hadn’t had COVID-19.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.