The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown's musings about COVID, he was giving anti-vaxxers a pass for spreading misinformation because holding misinformers accountable is worse than the information (or something like that) while denying that he's an anti-vaxxer but refusing to say whether he was vaccinated. That wishi-washiness would be put to the test, as he explained in a Jan. 4 column matter-of-factly headlined "So, I finally got COVID."
Brown admittted that he and his wife, who also caught it, "have been far sicker at other times in our lives, and compared to how others have suffered over these last two years, our cases appear to be fairly mild." He still wouldn't disclose whether he was vaccinated, howver; his silence could arguably be an admission that he wasn't -- that and his ivermectin stash, along with his need to bolster the credentials of the doctor who prescribed it to him:
On a more practical note, my personal doctor, Mark Stengler, who in October 2020 was given the "Doctor of the Decade" award by the International Association of Top Professionals, wanted me to have ivermectin on hand in case I came down with COVID.
So, he wrote a prescription for me, but I could not get it filled in North Carolina. That's because Dr. Stengler is a naturopathic doctor, and by law in N.C., pharmacies do not fill prescriptions written by naturopaths. Talk about being behind the times.
As the International Association of Top Professionals noted, "Dr. Stengler's impressive repertoire of roles have included his activities as a medical expert on several television shows as well as his own weekly television show. Dr. Stengler was the host of a PBS educational and fundraising show, 'A to Z Guide to Healing Yourself.' He was also the host of the highly successful 'Beyond Chemo' documentary. Dr. Stengler also served on a medical advisory committee for the Yale University Complementary Medicine Outcomes Research Project."
Yet he cannot write a simple prescription in North Carolina. Wow.
Despite expressing sympathy for COVID victims, he seemed to draw no insight from his illness beyond "May the politicizing of COVID (from all sides) finally come to an end."
Brown spent his Jan. 12 column lamenting the death of a friend from COVID:
I have no positive spin to put on this, no spiritual sounding platitude to soften the blow. This is a loss, a terrible, tragic loss. And I believe God Himself grieves over it. Evil COVID has killed again.
I first met Brad Kauffman in the mid-1980s while teaching at a Bible school on Long Island. He was just 17, and I was only 28. He would sometimes babysit for our two daughters.
Brad had a very tender heart and was a tremendously gifted worship leader, piano player, singer and songwriter. And as the years went on, he would sometimes travel with me, ministering in music before and after I spoke. What beautiful times those were!
Instead of calling his followers to do what the can to fight this "evil" -- you know, with things like getting vaccinated and behaving responsibly in public -- Brown went biblical, stating that "I do know that God remains trustworthy and that soon enough, we will all be rejoicing before His throne, perhaps with Brad leading us in worship. What a day that will be!"
Brown finally answered the vaccination question in his Jan. 14 column: "Although I myself have not been vaccinated (more on that shortly), I have never been remotely anti-vax, nor have I ever downplayed the lethal nature of the coronavirus. Not for a second." From there, he went on to admit "how virulent this coronavirus is," criticized people who "mock its reality" and noted that nearly all of the people he knew who died of COVID were unvaccinated.He then repeated his own split-the-difference approach:
And as I write these words, another colleague is fighting for his life, now on a ventilator and needing a miracle. He was a very strong anti-vaxxer but told his wife before being sedated that he now wished he had been vaccinated. How many similar stories have we heard?
On the other hand, there remain many serious concerns with the vaccines, concerns raised by leading scientists and doctors. Do we simply dismiss them out of hand, especially when they have nothing to gain by raising their concerns?
And what are we to think when social media bans their material? Doesn't this only underscore the warnings they are bringing?
Added to this is the draconian nature of the vaccine mandates, not to mention their apparent illegality, and everything becomes more complex still.
And what about those documented cases where otherwise healthy people have died of blood clots (or related conditions) within hours or days of getting vaccinated? Why so little reporting on this?
Brown then turned the issue to his own experience:
As to why I was not vaccinated before, I weighed the issues carefully, as did my wife, Nancy. I also consulted my primary care physician and got advice from some other top doctors. And I watched how a large number of my friends and co-workers contracted COVID and were back to normal in a matter of days or weeks.
In the end, because of my 100% commitment to healthy living and eating, dating back to Aug. 24, 2014 (without any deviation from that healthy routine for a single day since then), I was advised not to be vaccinated given the strength of my immune system and my overall vibrant health. (The blood tests for my annual physical can be as many as 35 pages long, so my health is very carefully analyzed.)
And, during these last two years, I have been in many crowds of multiple thousands, standing together in close quarters. It appears that my immune system had been doing quite well. Plus, my doctor had already prescribed ivermectin for me, along with some other recommended supplements, in the event that I did contract COVID. So, I was prepared in the event of getting sick.
That being said, watching other friends die over these months and now having to recover from COVID myself, I continue to wrestle with the question of vaccination. (Thankfully, I have finally developed natural immunity.)
Of course, he could have saved himself some agony by getting vaccinated, the protection from which is equivalent to "natural immunity."Brown continued to agonize:
Yet I am terribly grieved over the divisions in the Body of Christ over the vaccines, with some accusing the vaccinated of lacking faith or branding mask-wearers as spiritual wimps. What kind of madness is this?
To those who mock, I ask, "Who appointed you God and Lord? Who anointed you the arbiter and judge of the faith of others? Who gave you the right to criticize those who feel it is important to act with extreme care and caution?"
But I am also grieved at those who pass judgment on the unvaccinated rather than recognizing that these are complex and difficult issues.
And I know pastors who felt that the Lord told them not to yield to fear but to go on with their public services, and in two years, they have not had a significant COVID outbreak of any kind. Shall we tell them their own faith is not real?
Yet there are pro-vaxxers who use reports of the latest COVID death as their personal bully pulpit, with posts like, "Well, your friend wouldn't have died if he had been vaccinated!" And they do this in Jesus' name, at that. What a cruel game to play!
Right now, America and the nations are hurting. The death toll continues to rise. Confusion continues to dominate. And human suffering continues to increase.
Let us, at least, walk with respect and grace toward those who hold to different perspectives. And let us be vigilant and diligent to preserve our own health.
And rather than throwing stones at others, let's offer a helping hand. If we ever needed to work together, it is now.
The problem with Brown's approach is that outside of legitimate medical issues, there's no real reason not to get vaccinated. COVID vaccines are as safe and effective as any other vaccines, and Brown could have shortened his suffering though a COVID infection by getting vaccinated. Most of the arguments anti-vaxxers use to defend their views really are misinformation, and it's not a terrible thing for that misinformation to be exposed fprwhat it is. This is not an agree-to-disagree issue -- one side of the issue is a threat to public health.