Repost from Virginia Mercury.
As Virginia continues to weather its latest COVID-19 surge, all eyes have been on Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, who’s pledged to end statewide vaccine and mask mandates even while urging individuals to get their shots.
His latest appointment has offered another glimpse into how the incoming governor plans to craft coronavirus policy. In a news release Tuesday, Youngkin announced his medical advisory team, “a group of experts from the medical and public health community that will be providing updates on the pandemic and advice on how to address its ongoing challenges,” he stated.
Some of the appointees have been on the frontlines of Virginia’s response since the start, including Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of Carilion Clinic, and Executive Chairman Alan Levine of Ballad Health, the southwestern hospital system that’s seen some of the state’s highest COVID admissions. Chairing the group, though, is Dr. Marty Makary, a surgical oncologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University who’s become an outspoken medical commentator for Fox News.
According to his professional biography and personal website, Makary is an expert in surgical innovations and health care costs — the subject of his best-selling book, “The Price We Pay.” Over the course of the pandemic, though, he’s weighed in on everything from vaccines to mask-wearing among children, taking stances that have attracted criticism from some of his health care colleagues. As Youngkin prepares to take the helm of Virginia’s COVID-19 response with Makary’s guidance, here are some of the doctor’s most attention-grabbing takes over the course of the pandemic.
Natural immunity reduces the need for vaccination
In the early days of the nation’s vaccine campaign, Makary criticized federal health agencies for their universal approach to the shots. In an editorial for The Washington Post, published last January, he argued that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should stop recommending vaccines to Americans that had already been infected by the virus.