In an effort to demand the Biden Administration consider natural immunity acquired from previous COVID-19 infection when issuing regulations related to COVID-19, Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger introduced the "Natural Immunity is Real Act" (H.R.5590) in the House of Representatives. In an Oct. 18, 2021 press release, the Republican congresswoman stated the bill is needed right away as the politicization of COVID-19 persists following Biden's Vaccine Mandates, which are creating deep divides among the American people. She continued:
"I introduced this bill today because the Biden Administration must 'follow the science' and be open, honest, and transparent about the millions of Americans who have natural immunity against the COVID-19 virus. There's ample scientific evidence from numerous peer-reviewed studies that natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection is effective, durable, and long-lasting. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already acknowledged natural immunity for measles, chickenpox, and many other viruses."
Harshbarger, referencing the gravity of the situation when Biden "chillingly said his national vaccine mandate requirements are 'not about freedom or personal choice,' and pointed out that now more than ever, we need to pursue every scientific measure to combat COVID-19. Natural immunity, as reiterated by numerous experts, is a powerful tool against COVID-19 that can help mitigate the pandemic without "threatening people's jobs, our economy, or denying American's access to everyday life activities based on COVID-19 vaccination status."
A pharmacist from Kingsport, Harshbarger will seek her second term in the U.S. House in 2022 and has President Trump's full support. She was the first woman to win her party's nomination for the 1st District seat in 2020. Outspoken against the Biden administration's policies, Harshbarger's H.R.5590 had the initial support of ten co-sponsors, including representatives Daniel Webster (R-FL), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Bill Posey (R-FL), Mary Miller (R-IL), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Chip Roy (R-TX). With the addition of Scott Perry (R-PA), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Pete Stauber (R-MN), the bill now has fourteen co-sponsors.
To date, epidemiologists estimate that over 224 million people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19. Multiple experts agree that those recovered have an exceptionally low likelihood of repeat infection, disease, or death because of natural immunity from prior COVID-19 infection. Research from the National Institute of Health notes long-term immunity involves several components, all of which have been found in individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2:
"This long-term immune protection involves several components. Antibodies—proteins that circulate in the blood—recognize foreign substances like viruses and neutralize them. Different types of T cells help recognize and kill pathogens. B cells make new antibodies when the body needs them."
Echoing the power of the human body's immune system, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a scientific brief on May 10, 2021, confirming natural immunity after having COVID-19. The research affirmed that most people who have recovered from COVID-19 develop a strong protective immune response. Scientists at the WHO concluded that 90% to 99% of those recovered from COVID-19 produce detectable neutralizing antibodies within four weeks of infection. The study further revealed that "the immune response remains strong for at least 6 to 8 months after infection."
When supporting Harshbarger's bill, co-sponsor Rep. Webster expressed frustration over the omission of natural immunity to the scientific discussion about COVID-19. He pointed out that too many medical leaders refuse to publicly recognize that overwhelming data has repeatedly shown "protection afforded to individuals with natural immunity is real, robust and durable." He added:
"Denying science only contributes to existing confusion, misinformation, and mistrust among the American people. This bill helps restore trust and faith in the Public Health system while maintaining our fight against COVID-19."
A companion bill to H.R. 5590, S.2849—Prohibiting Forced Vaccination for COVID-19 Act - —has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Lee of Utah and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. "This bill does not say that vaccines are bad or unhelpful. It merely asks the federal government to respect widely available science," Sen. Lee said. "The bill would allow us to keep Americans employed and help us beat the pandemic in a smart way, in a reasoned, rational way—in a compassionate way."
In a Nov. 1, 2021 op-ed published in Newsweek, epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff describes in great detail how Dr. Anthony Fauci "got major epidemiology and public health questions wrong" in dealing with the pandemic. Indeed, a critical failure in Fauci's guidance to the American people has been his blatant disregard for natural immunity. Highlighting the natural phenomenon, Kulldorff—author of the Great Barrington Declaration—explains, "We have known about natural immunity from disease at least since the Athenian Plague in 430 BC." Writing of Fauci's unfortunate breakdown in addressing the pandemic, Kulldorff said:
"By pushing vaccine mandates, Dr. Fauci ignores naturally acquired immunity among the COVID-recovered, of which there are more than 45 million in the United States. Mounting evidence indicates that natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. In a study from Israel, the vaccinated were 27 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID than the unvaccinated who had recovered from a prior infection."