COVID-19 Headlines: Why Is Dr Fauci Now Distancing Himself From An Earlier T-Cell Immunity Hypothesis He Was Previously Peddling?
: In late July this year, Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 was busy touting to the media and numerous health agencies while it was becoming clear that antibodies in some cases were not working and also has a short lifespan coupled with the fact that antibody resistant strains of the SARS-CoV-2 was emerging, a new hypothesis that T-Cell Immunity was the answer and also that that significant numbers of the population are more or less immune or largely resistant to SARS-Cov-2 due to the presence of certain "T cells," a critical component of a body's immune response.
Senator Rand Paul And Dr Anthony Fauci At A Senate
Hearing Last Week.
Some scientists have claimed that possibly a majority of the population has "some degree" of immunity to COVID-19 due to T cells developed from earlier, milder coronaviruses and Dr Fauci also supported this hypothesis then.
Dr Faucis’s own National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) partly funded a study to collaborate his hypothesis. https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0092-8674%2820%2930610-3
And he even brought the hypothesis and research up while testifying on July 31 before a House coronavirus response committee and stressed the importance of pursuing that research further and also the allocation of more funding towards that focus. https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4897789/user-clip-fauci-lajolla-paper
He told the committee, "T cells have the capability of essentially suppressing or killing cells that are infected and preventing the cells that are infected from making new viruses."
Dr Anthony Fauci said that early evidence indicates that "maybe there's some memory from other coronaviruses that are benign, cold viruses that can help individuals avoid getting seriously ill from COVID-19.”
He stressed that, "This is work that we really need to pursue We are just at the cusp of understanding the importance of this kind of response in COVID-19."
He further added that scientists had found that "variegated T cell memory to coronaviruses that cause the common cold may underlie at least some of the extensive heterogeneity observed in COVID-19 disease."
However strangely last week when Dr Fauci who has played a pivotal role in the federal response to the coronavirus, was appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, he downplayed T cell theory.
To everybody’s surprise, in a testy exchange with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul at a Senate hearing last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci distanced himself from his earlier support of an encouraging COVID-19 immunity theory.
It was reported that at the hearing last Wednesday, Dr Fauci at one point got into an argument with Paul, who argued in part that New York City had developed a degree of herd immunity sufficient to prevent another explosion of COVID-19 cases there.
Dr Fauci replied to Paul, "In New York, it's about a 22% infection rate. If you believe 22% is herd immunity, I believe you're alone in that."
Paul countered, "There's also the preexisting immunity of those who have cross-reactivity, which is about a third of the public in many estimates which would actually get you to about two-thirds."
Dr Fauci evasively answered, "I'd like to talk to you about that also because there was a study that recently came out indicating that preexisting immunity to coronaviruses that are common cold do not cross-react with the COVID-19."
Many were puzzled and it is not clear what motivated Dr Fauci's more pessimistic tone on Wednesday. Neither the NIAID nor contacts in Fauci's office returned requests for comment on the matter.
However, a NIAID spokesperson told NBC News that the study which DrFauci referenced on Wednesday was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases earlier this month. That study, in contrast to earlier findings, determined that past coronaviruses do not confer preexisting immunity to COVID-19.
The T cell theory has emerged over the last few months as a promising, though still preliminary, explanation for why such a significant percentage of infections may be essentially harmless.
Research into the matter has continued steadily since the earlier days of the pandemic. A study published in the journal Science in early August, for instance, suggests that "variegated T cell memory to coronaviruses that cause the common cold may underlie at least some of the extensive heterogeneity observed in COVID-19 disease." https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32753554/
No one knows why Dr Fauci is now backpedalling on the T Cell Immunity hypothesis but Thailand Medical News has already been giving hints since April based on some of the articles we published and research we covered. Those interested can perused through the following articles.
There is a lot brewing and emerging of late with regards to protective immunity for COVID-19, antibodies, T-Cells, ADE or antibody-dependent enhancement phenomenon and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody-resistant strains and the implications of all these on the current COVID-19 vaccines under development that Is not being made public. Thailand Medical News will be doing a scoop on all this the next few days.
For more on COVID-19 Headlines
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News