August 17, 2021


Washington, DC (August 17, 2021) – The New Civil Liberties Alliance is pleased to announce today that George Mason University (GMU) has granted a medical exemption from its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy to NCLA client Todd Zywicki, George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School. NCLA is delighted with Prof. Zywicki’s victory for freedom. His brave determination to fight the university’s misguided and scientifically unsound vaccination mandate has garnered nationwide attention. GMU and other universities must stop ignoring science and cease forcing mandatory vaccines on even those with naturally acquired immunity (especially if only approved under a federal Emergency Use Authorization statute).

Strangely, despite solid scientific evidence, GMU continues to refuse to recognize that Covid-19 vaccination is medically unnecessary for ALL students, faculty, and staff with naturally acquired immunity demonstrated with antibody testing. At times GMU officials have appeared to deny that such a thing as naturally acquired immunity exists. This refusal is particularly odd, as the efficacy of the very vaccines GMU wishes to mandate are measured against levels of natural immunity acquired by those who have recovered from Covid-19. For this reason, NCLA continues to explore litigation against GMU. We also welcome hearing from others on public-university campuses in Virginia—particularly tenured faculty—who have naturally acquired immunity backed by antibody testing and whose schools are similarly disregarding the scientific facts surrounding naturally acquired immunity.

NCLA filed Professor Zywicki’s complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia on August 3, 2021, challenging GMU’s “reopening policy.” The policy, announced June 28, requires all faculty and staff members, including those who can demonstrate natural immunity through recovery from a prior Covid-19 infection, to disclose their vaccination status as “a prerequisite for eligibility for any merit pay increases,” unless they obtain a religious or medical exemption. On July 22, GMU emailed the policy to students and employees and threatened disciplinary action—including termination of employment—against any who do not comply with the vaccine mandate. The university’s website describing its vaccination policy reiterated this threat.

Prof. Zywicki has already contracted and fully recovered from Covid-19. As a result, he has acquired robust natural immunity, confirmed unequivocally by multiple positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests conducted over the past year. In fact, Prof. Zywicki’s immunologist, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, has advised him that, based on his personal health and immunity status, it is medically unnecessary to get a Covid-19 vaccine—and that it violates medical ethics to order unnecessary procedures.

Good. FYI, I’m on the board of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a public-interest legal group opposing intrusive bureaucratic pecksniffery.

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