Letter to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow on revised CDC Guidelines


August 25, 2022

Dr. Lawrence Bacow, President
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Dear Dr. Bacow,

On August 11, 2022, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance. In light of this new guidance, we are writing to urge you to immediately remove your vaccine/booster mandate and all other restrictions that differentiate between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated members of your community.

The CDC has acknowledged that its public health recommendations “change in response to evolving science, the availability of biomedical and public health tools, and changes in context, such as levels of immunity in the population and currently circulating variants”. Given that Harvard used CDC guidance as one of the primary tenets in establishing its COVID-19 protocols, and given that CDC public health recommendations now “represent an increasing focus on individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk”(1), it is incumbent upon Harvard to update COVID-19 community response measures accordingly.

The CDC has finally recognized that natural immunity confers some protection against COVID-19. Their revised guidelines state the “CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection. In addition to strategies recommended at all COVID-19 Community Levels, education and messaging to help individual persons understand their risk for medically significant illness complements recommendations for prevention strategies based on risk”.

The CDC and other public health authorities have known since August 2021 that the vaccines do not prevent transmission (they previously claimed that if you got vaccinated, you wouldn’t get the virus). The CDC approved booster vaccines overriding an FDA panel of experts that voted 16-2 against boosters for anyone except those 65 or older and those who run a high risk of severe disease (resulting in the resignation of two highly ranked FDA officials). Even though there was widespread uptake of vaccines, when students arrived on campus in fall of 2021 COVID-19 cases were on the rise. Colleges announced booster mandates in December, based on the CDC recommendation, knowing full well that the virus could pass between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

In exchange for normalcy, many college students complied with vaccine and booster mandates against their will, feeling they had no choice. College students who refused to take an experimental medical treatment were disenrolled, refused housing, locked out of student accounts, put in isolation, discriminated against, and ostracized. Traditions across college campuses were cancelled, dreams were destroyed, and lives were lost. None of it was necessary as was precisely outlined by the authors of The Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020 (2). The declaration advised concentrated protection for the elderly and fewer restrictions on all others. Nearly two years later, the CDC has essentially agreed with the principles of the Great Barrington Declaration by closely aligning its new recommendations with the principles outlined therein.

“Based on the latest … data, [population immunity is] around 95% of the population,” said Greta Massetti, lead author on the new CDC guidelines, “and so it really makes the most sense to not differentiate,” since many people have some protection against severe disease (1).

Updated CDC guidance also makes it clear we are at a point of “living with COVID” and each individual needs to do their own risk assessment. Collective policies to achieve “zero COVID” have always been and remain futile. It is time to call it; enough is enough.

There are ample and escalating reasons to question the value of the CDC’s recommendations (3). But even if an institution continues to unquestioningly adhere to CDC guidelines, now that COVID-19 guidelines have dramatically changed, that institution must adjust its own policies. Not to do so would be morally and ethically bankrupt and could expose that institution to significant legal liability.

Once again, we request that Harvard immediately update its COVID-19 policies to eliminate all current and future COVID-19 vaccine/booster requirements and to remove any protocols, such as forced testing, that treat unvaccinated students differently than vaccinated students. By doing so, we hope that–true to your mission statement of equal opportunity and access for all–you will restore a learning environment where students can once again turn primary attention to their studies and social activities without restrictions or judgment.

We look forward to your response and your updated guidance.

Yours truly,

No College Mandates is a coalition of thousands of concerned students, parents, professors, staff, and community members working to end college Covid-19 vaccination mandates and restore medical choice on college campuses.

Barnes Law, LLP is a practice specializing in constitutional and civil rights law that has been on the front lines fighting for citizens who have lost their access to basic constitutional rights, advocating for informed consent and bodily autonomy, pushing back against government overreach, and challenging the COVID-19 tyranny. 

FACTS | LAW | TRUTH | JUSTICE |

Facts Law Truth Justice Facts Law Truth Justice, LLP is a civil rights litigation practice focused primarily on medical freedom, informed consent, parental rights, and children’s health. Our firm is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides legal support for Californians and organizations fighting against illegal COVID-19 mandates and associated policies. 

Health Freedom Counsel believes in the right to medical choice and provides clients with the resources to stand up to mandates that infringe upon medical freedom.(HealthFreedomCounsel.com)

Health Freedom Defense Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which seeks to protect and advance health freedom, educate Americans on informed consent, advocate for human rights and bodily autonomy for all people, and legally challenge unethical mandates, laws, and policies when necessary. (HealthFreedomDefense.org)

James G. Mermigis, Esq.
The Mermigis Law Group, P.C. 
MermigisLaw@GMail.com

The Mermigis Law Group has been leading the fight against the tyrannical measures taken in the state of New York  and New York City.  The firm has also assisted thousands of clients in obtaining religious exemptions for employment and colleges all over the country. The principle of the firm, James Mermigis, has been dubbed “The Anti-Shutdown Lawyer” by the New Yorker for his work in opening up businesses in the State of New York during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

cc:       Diane Lopez, Vice President and General Counsel

Alan Garber, Provost

Paul Choi, President Harvard University Board of Overseers

Erin McDermott, Director of Athletes

Michael Monahan, Director of Risk Management Audits

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