HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher criticized liberal media outlets on his program Friday for not being willing to report on the efficacy of natural immunity from COVID-19.
Maher referred to a study published by The Lancet last week finding, “[O]ur analysis of the available data suggests that the level of protection afforded by previous infection is at least as high, if not higher than that provided by two-dose vaccination using high-quality mRNA vaccines.”
The mRNA COVID vaccines include those produced by Moderna and Pfizer.
“Protection from severe disease [due to prior infection] was high for all variants,” the articles’s authors concluded and should be “weighed alongside protection from vaccination” when crafting public policies regarding vaccine mandates.
The researchers used data from 65 different studies from 19 counties to reach their conclusions.
“I wonder how much it’s going to get covered in the liberal media, because it’s about…natural immunity,” Maher said.
“Natural immunity [is] as good or better than the vaccine. Something I’ve been saying since the beginning, and I get called anti-vaxxer. That’s not an anti-vaxxer,” he asserted.
— Marty Makary MD, MPH (@MartyMakary) February 20, 2023
“My problem with the media from both sides is not that you guys lie, it’s that you tell me your side of the story that you want me to know. You don’t tell me the whole story,” Maher said to his guests MSNBC host Ari Melber and NPR’s “Left, Right & Center” co-cost Sarah Isgur. who is also a senior editor at the right-of-center publication The Dispatch.
“I remember reading…a study of Republicans versus Democrats and the question was — this was like a year-and-a-half ago — ‘What percentage of people who get COVID require hospitalization?’ The answer is less than one percent,” Maher said.
“Almost half of Democrats thought it was over 50 percent. They listen to your network. Where do they get that kind of information?” he asked looking at Melber.
“That’s bad information they have in their head, and it’s from one side,” Maher emphasized.
Melber answered, “You make a very fair point. If the press is hunting a narrative instead of facts, then as you say you can pull even true things into that narrative.”
He continued arguing that MSNBC does “really good journalism,” saying he brought on skeptics on his program about COVID issues, citing a guest from California who was against the lockdowns.
Melber did not mention anything about the COVID vaccines specifically.
Isgur, who served as a spokeswoman in the Justice Department during the Trump administration, said, “This is the structural problem. It’s back to catering to your audience.”
“These media organizations are private corporations,” Isgur noted earlier in the program. “Their business model for a lot of them has changed a lot in the digital era so that they’re very interested in their subscribers in a way that it used to be about ad revenue, for instance.”
“Now, it’s all about the individual subscribers, and that’s why you see this fracturing of news organizations catering to ideological niches.”
On his program in October 2021, Maher said, “The world recognizes natural immunity. We don’t, because everything in this country has to go through the pharmaceutical companies.”
“Natural immunity is the best kind of immunity,” he contended. “We shouldn’t fire people who have natural immunity because they don’t get the vaccine. We should hire them.”
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal published on Jan. 22, 2022, “Politicians and public-health officials owe an apology to Americans who lost their jobs on the false premises that only unvaccinated people could spread the virus and only vaccination could prevent its spread.”
“Soldiers who have been dishonorably discharged should be restored their rank. Teachers, first responders, and others who have been denied their livelihood should be reinstated.”
Military.com reported last month that congressional Republicans are pushing to get troops reinstated who were kicked out of the military for declining to take the vaccine.
Last year, Republican lawmakers were able to remove the vaccine mandate for those serving in the military.