On the September 23 edition of his radio show, Fox’s Sean Hannity continued his string of attacks against COVID-19 vaccines by hosting Dr. Robert Malone, who devoted most of his appearance to undermining confidence in mRNA vaccine technology.
Malone’s penchant for spreading vaccine misinformation was previously documented by The Atlantic’s Tom Bartlett, who noted, “On show after show, Malone, who has quickly amassed more than 200,000 Twitter followers, casts doubt on the safety of the vaccines while decrying what he sees as attempts to censor dissent.”
Additionally, Malone has recently used the sizable reach of his Twitter account to praise Hannity’s favorite anti-vax conspiracy theorists, promote an article titled “Serious Group of Scientists Declare COVID-19 Vaccine Risks Too High to Ignore,” and wrote that a substack post arguing “the current surge in covid deaths is caused by the vaccinated” “makes sense” to him.
During his interview with Hannity, Malone claimed COVID-19 variants are “evolving to escape the vaccines, and it will continue to do so, particularly if we have a universal vaccination policy,” and he denied that “it’s the unvaccinated that are creating risk for the vaccinated.”
Malone additionally derided those who have received COVID-19 vaccines as “a whole huge bunch of super spreaders” and declared, “The truth is, it's the unvaccinated that are at risk from the vaccinated”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask it in these terms, because, OK, people, you know, we have seen the results and the efficacy, you know, early efficacy was in the high 90s for both Moderna and Pfizer. I think it was 74, 77% for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Now we have the Delta variant and behind that, the Peruvian lambda variant. Then this new Mu variant, and there's a new variant, I don't know how to actually pronounce it. It's R dot1 or R point 1 or whatever they're calling it, that infected 45 residents, it seems that the greatest fear now surrounds this one in a Kentucky nursing home where all the patients were fully vaccinated and they have — every one of them was a breakout case.
DR. ROBERT MALONE: Yep. So, what — what we're — so, well, how — what's your question? How — let me focus on —
HANNITY: So, my question is, we didn't — we knew there'd be variations. I mean, people study viruses their whole life. Obviously, you have spent and devoted a long period of your life doing this. We're now — we didn't expect breakout cases, you know, and then people now are talking about boosters, and people are talking about what the efficacy of Moderna, Pfizer, J&J is over time and that the efficacy lessens. What is natural immunity? How does natural immunity impact the decision to get the vaccine?
MALONE: That's -- let's stop there. That's a good — that's a goodly amount of stuff just to talk about right there.
MALONE: So, let's start with efficacy. So, there's the language you'll hear is efficacy and effectiveness. Efficacy is something that's measured in a clinical trial, which often will overrepresent how good something is because of the controlled nature of doing a clinical trial. Effectiveness is how good does it work in the field, in the real world, OK. So those are two key words.
And the efficacy that you're talking about from these relatively modest, very brief initial clinical trials that they rushed, was efficacy. You're studying the numbers for death and disease, protection against death and disease. That's different from protection against infection, or replication, or spread.
OK, so it turns out that even back in the day when we were dealing with the original strains that are the ones that are matched to these vaccines, because now we got different viruses basically that aren't matched to these current vaccines. But back in the day, what they didn't disclose, you know, wasn't in the press, and you're no stranger to the, let's say, legacy media just basically regurgitating whatever pablum the government gives them and the pharmaceutical companies give them — so that's what we had. They just kind of regurgitated it to us. They didn't ask questions.
But in fact, the ability of the vaccines to block infection was not anywhere near 90%. Now, what we have is evolved strains. So this is, you know, fundamental Darwinian evolution kind of stuff where you have selective pressure imposed by the vaccines. And no surprise, because you only have a single antigen, a single protein from the virus that's being produced in the vaccinated — no surprise that the virus is evolving to escape that immune pressure caused by those vaccines. Now, there's another wrinkle to this in that generally we use vaccines before we have a pandemic, right? That's how we need to try to get them out. And that's a different situation.
Vaccinating into an ongoing pandemic when there's a whole lot of virus circulating is a whole different kettle of fish. And what happens then is you really do have a setup for development of these escape mutes, which is what you're seeing. The virus is evolving to escape the vaccines, and it will continue to do so, particularly if we have a universal vaccination policy.
You know, you give somebody cool new tech that's really powerful and they think that they can just drive all their problems home with that tech. But it's not that simple.
And what — what we're at risk for with this universal policy is we're going to continue to generate escaped mutants, and they will converge on escape mutants that — and this is happening, we can see it. And if you follow the genetics, it's kind of complex stuff, but it's for sure happening. It will drive toward some common set of variants that's really good at replicating and escaping the vaccine. And then what happens?
Oh, the people that really needed the vaccine the most, the elderly, the obese, the immunosuppressed, they're no longer going to have first-line protection. They're going to be back where they were before, only with viruses that are even more highly replication competent, because that's the other thing that's happened is these new variants replicate at much higher levels, whether you're vaccinated or not.
So if you get infected, if you're vaccinated, here's the paradox. That it's just — a lot of people are waking up to this, OK? That there's all this talk that it's the unvaccinated that are creating risk for the vaccinated. Now, that just doesn't make sense when you think it through if these vaccines are worth a grain of salt.
HANNITY: In other words, you're saying if you got the vaccine, you should be protected regardless, is what the — how the logic would go, right?
MALONE: Precisely. Yeah, right. OK, so how how does it make any sense at all that the unvaccinated are the ones that are the problem? In fact, what's happening is that the vaccinated are, when they are infected, and these — we now know with these new strains that they're, the protection against infection is something like 40-60%. OK, so it's really not that great. And if you do get infected, your chance of having severe disease is lower. Well, that sounds good, right? That's a good thing.
HANNITY: Well, that's what the science has showed us. You're right. And risk of hospitalization and death is lower. You're right.
MALONE: Here's -- here's -- here's the wrinkle in that, OK, is that what that means is the folks that are vaccinated are still getting infected. They're replicating virus in their bodies at the same or higher levels than they were before. They're shedding virus at the same or higher levels than they were before. Remember, at the beginning of the outbreak, when we talked about super spreaders? We've created a whole huge bunch of super spreaders. So the truth is, it's the unvaccinated that are at risk from the vaccinated. Does that make sense?
HANNITY: It does and it doesn't, because they're also at risk of just getting it also, especially the more highly contagious variants, no? If you're unvaccinated.
MALONE: Yes, it's true. But the difference is that now we have folks walking around who think they're perfectly healthy, but in fact are making a lot of virus, and we have a lot of those people doing that. So, that's the difference. You look at it sideways, different from what you're being told. You know, it should be that the vaccinated are protected, they're not at risk from the unvaccinated. That should be the way it is.