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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, answers questions at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Republican U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky challenged Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky for insisting that her numerous COVID-19 vaccines made her recent bout with the virus milder than it would have otherwise been, suggesting instead that her case illustrated the failure of the shots.

Walensky tested positive for COVID twice last month, first on October 21 and then on October 30 after testing negative following a course of the government-recommended therapeutic Paxlovid.

“Thank you to my family and CDC staff for support while I recovered from COVID-19,” she tweeted Tuesday. “I am fortunate to have only had mild symptoms, which I credit to being up to date on my #COVID19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent every infection, but they do provide us important protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. My updated #COVID19 vaccine helped ensure my immune system was equipped to protect me against severe illness.”

Massie, a consistent critic of the federal COVID response, responded by noting that the director had been “sidelined for three whole weeks,” and that COVID is “a simple cold for most unvaxxed people her age and weight who contract COVID these days.”

Walensky is the latest in a series of prominent figures to have contracted COVID-19 (some multiple times) despite vaccination, including President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Democrat Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, six Texas Democrats who fled the state last year in hopes of blocking a vote on an election security bill, left-wing activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, liberal HBO comedian and pundit Bill Maher, CNBC financial host Jim Cramer, and Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla.

Many harbor moral and practical reservations about the COVID-19 vaccines, given the use of aborted fetal cells in their development, the superiority of natural immunity, COVID’s low risk to most otherwise-healthy individuals, the vaccines’ failure to prevent infection, their accelerated development under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative giving them only a fraction of the evaluation and development time vaccines normally take, the lack of transparency from their manufacturers, and mounting evidence of serious adverse effects.

In March, it was found that 11,289 cases of pericarditis/myocarditis after COVID vaccination were reported to the U.S. government’s federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) between January 1 and February 25, which was already 47% of the 24,177 reports for the same submitted in all of 2021. An April study out of Israel indicates that COVID infection alone cannot account for such cases, despite claims to the contrary.

COVID shot defenders claim that VAERS offers an exaggerated view of a vaccine’s potential risks, as anyone can submit a report without vetting it, but CDC researchers have acknowledged “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than over-reporting.

Further, VAERS is not the only data source indicating cause for concern. Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) has been similarly alarming, showing that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, (487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).

In September, the Japanese Society for Vaccinology published a peer-reviewed study conducted by researchers from Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Maryland, which found that the “Pfizer trial exhibited a 36% higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group” while the “Moderna trial exhibited a 6% higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group,” for a combined “16% higher risk of serious adverse events in mRNA vaccine recipients.”

As for Paxlovid, which is acknowledged to cause “rebound” cases in a minority of users, The Blaze senior editor Daniel Horowitz writes that, “because it’s mixed with AIDS drug ritonavir, it is contraindicated with 32 entire classes of drugs, many of which are universal to those at risk for COVID because of other underlying conditions,” and notes that possible side effects acknowledged by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration include liver problems and high blood pressure.