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Group of professors urge University of California to rescind COVID booster mandate

Nine student newspapers declined to publish professors’ letter  

Nearly a dozen University of California system professors representing a wide variety of fields have signed a letter that calls for the rescinding of the system’s COVID booster mandate.

The scholars sought to have their letter published in nine UC student newspapers, but none of them have agreed to publish it, the professors say.

The massive University of California system, which includes 10 campuses and five medical centers, requires its 280,000 students and 227,000 faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

The professors who signed the letter argue this policy flies in the face of what is now widely known about the vaccines, pointing out they do not protect against infection nor prevent transmission, “a fact acknowledged by the CDC, the FDA, the HHS, the WHO, health ministries and medical researchers around the world, and now, by Pfizer itself.”

“Moreover, more than 150 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that natural immunity acquired by recovering from a COVID-19 infection is equal to if not superior to vaccination, and that paradoxically, over time, COVID-19 shots increase rather than decrease the risk of contracting and spreading the virus,” the letter states.

“…The CDC has ‘recommended’ and not mandated the new booster,” it adds. “The University’s decision to mandate boosters at this time is therefore not in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

The letter was signed by 11 professors, a couple of whom are emeritus, from UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and UC San Francisco. Their fields of specialization include medicine, geography, engineering, English, sociology, black studies, and psychiatry and biobehavioral science.

The scholars challenge policies like the one at UC Berkeley, which states on its website that its vaccine program “requires faculty, staff and students to obtain the latest CDC recommended booster shot as soon as they are eligible.”

In addition, it adds that students who are eligible for a booster but have not yet received one “have an enrollment hold and are not able to register for classes until they have met the COVID-19 booster requirement.”

“Students are reminded that compliance with the vaccination policy is a condition of being physically on campus. Faculty and staff are reminded that compliance is a condition of employment.”

The professors, in their letter, list documented concerns related to adverse vaccine reactions, such as “the elevated risk of myocarditis, pericarditis, and emergency cardiovascular events among those under 40.”

The educators also cite an internal report from Pfizer that referenced “1,246 different adverse effects” of their vaccine, including “cardiac arrest, deep vein thrombosis, immune-mediated hepatitis, myocarditis, brain stem embolism and thrombosis, interstitial lung disease, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, liver injury, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.”

They argue the mandatory booster policy is “coercive,” and called for the right of students and staff to have an “individual choice…made in consultation with one’s physician.”

Among its 11 signers is former University of California Irvine medical ethics Professor Aaron Kheriaty, a leading national proponent for medical freedom for doctors and patients, who chose to be fired rather than get the vaccine. He could not be reached for comment by The College Fix.

The professors, who published their letter on the No College Mandates website, state that the UC system has not responded to it. They also state that their attempts to get the letter published in student newspapers have been unsuccessful.

“[W]e sent the letter to nine UC student newspapers for publication as an Op-Ed. The Op-Ed editors from two of these newspapers, the Daily Bruin (UCLA) and the Daily Cal (UC-Berkeley) initially agreed enthusiastically to publish the letter. However, they subsequently withdrew their decision to publish, we presume in the face of pressure from higher up to censor us,” the professors state.

But an editor at the Daily Bruin told The College Fix the decision was made independently.

“Claims that University of California administrators influenced our editorial decision-making are entirely unfounded. The Daily Bruin is student-run and fully editorially independent,” said in a statement provided to The College Fix.

“It is customary that we respond to submissions notifying we have received them. However, after carefully reviewing the submission on our own, the Daily Bruin determined that it did not meet our standards for publication. We welcome submissions from the campus community but reserve the right to not publish based on factors such as timeliness, newsworthiness or validity of arguments being made.”

Editors for the Daily Californian student newspaper did not respond to a request for comment from The College Fix.

MORE: Nationwide group fights ongoing COVID vaccine, booster mandates on college campuses

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About the Author
Finn McCole -- Trinity College