Tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who played in the 2021 US Open final, will not play in the 2022 U.S. Open, because of a Biden administration rule that bans unvaccinated non-resident foreigners from entering the U.S. Unvaccinated citizens and foreign permanent residents, who are covid-19 positive, are allowed to enter.
CDC now says the unvaccinated should be treated like the vaccinated
The Biden administration’s excuse is that they are just religiously “following the science.” But, that excuse is no longer available as earlier this month the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) altered its covid-19 guidance saying that the unvaccinated should be treated as the vaccinated:
“CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”
Despite this reversal from the CDC, the Biden administration still bans unvaccinated non-resident foreigners, like Novak Djokovic, who test negative for covid-19. Welcome to the anti-science, anti-freedom world of Novak Djokovic Vax Mandate Land.
Even more hypocritical is the Biden administration’s present immigration policy that makes exemptions for foreigners who enter illegally south of the U.S. border. Where does “the science,” say that someone unvaccinated who enters illegally is not a health threat, and a foreigner who attempts to enter legally is? That the Biden administration allows unvaccinated, possibly covid-19 positive (untested) foreigners to enter the country illegally via the Southern border with Mexico, but bans an unvaccinated foreigner that tests negative for covid-19, from entering the country legally is unjust in principle and makes a mockery of the rule of law.
Why doesn’t Novak just get vaccinated?
Before he implemented his diet and lifestyle changes, Djokovic’s body tended to break down in long matches as I saw in his 2005 US Open match. I first saw Djokovic play in the 2005 US Open in the first round against French tennis superstar Gael Monfils, where his body broke down in the 4th set which he lost 0-6. After a medical timeout, he did come back to win in the 5th. His early history of breaking down led former US Open champ, Andy Roddick, to quip about Djokovic: “back and hip injury, cramps, bird flu, common cold, and SARS as well.” Today, Djokovic is recognized as the “iron man of tennis,” thanks to his meticulous attention to how he treats his body.
For people who are young and healthy, and do not have compromised immune systems, covid-19 presents a relatively lower threat to their health. This point is made in the Great Barrington Declaration in 2020:
“We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity….The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”
Covid-19 vaccinations are not the panacea that those who religiously mandate universal vaccinations make them out to be, and are also not without their dangers. In some groups, particularly young athletes they have been correlated with heart issues. Though it is a rare phenomenon, it is one that must be considered.
Given that Djokovic has already recovered from a previous covid-19 natural infection, he has natural immunity which, according to a pivotal Israeli study in 2021, is as good as and even superior to artificial immunity:
“This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech] two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.”
Hundreds of other studies have confirmed similar results of protection from natural immunity over-vaccination alone. So, neither does Djokovic’s status as unvaccinated pose a threat to himself.
Vaccination, like any medical treatment, is a personal decision, to be made by the individual. Given that Djokovic has natural immunity from a previous infection (which is superior in terms of protection to double vaccination), covid-19 is far less dangerous to a younger, healthy athlete (covid-19 primarily affects the elderly with a “more than a thousand-fold difference in covid-19 mortality between older and younger people”), and some athletes have had health issues after injecting the relatively new vaccine, it makes sense that Djokovic chose not to get vaccinated despite what the chattering classes and armchair doctors opine. (As a sidenote Gael Monfils was temporarily sidelined for most of 2022, in part, after significant health issues that appeared after he received his third booster shot.)
If one gains natural immunity from prior infection and thus is “naturally vaccinated” why does the U.S. government not treat such “natural vaccination” the same as “artificial vaccination?” The answer is revealed by Dr. Paul Offit – a member, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the FDA panel that advises the Biden administration on dealing with covid-19 – when he explains how the FDA panel came about the decision to not recognize natural immunity: it was not a scientific decision, but a bureaucratic one.
American Tennis players speak up for Djokovic, as the US Tennis Association (USTA) remains silent
Many American tennis athletes have spoken up for Djokovic including 7-time grand slam champion John McEnroe who voiced his support:
“US Government and USTA must work together to allow him to play. If unvaccinated American players can play, Djokovic as one of the legends of the game must be allowed to play. MAKE IT HAPPEN, USTA!”
Other American players supporting Djokovic, include American number one Taylor Fritz (“So it does seem like, you know, what’s the harm of letting the best player in the world come play the US Open?”), John Isner (the ban is “complete lunacy”), and unvaccinated American tennis player Tennys Sangren (who will be playing in this year’s US Open, unvaccinated), as have American politicians (all Republican).
The world’s number one tennis player, and the reigning men’s US Open champion, Daniel Medvedev has also spoken out saying that Novak should be allowed to play.
USTA should have asked for a “national interest” exemption for Djokovic
The “US Open” is named after the United States of America, a country founded on the idea of the individual’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Inalienable means that such rights do not come from the government, but are inherent in the individual by their status as a human being. One does not gain rights by being a U.S. citizen/permanent resident; one does not lose rights by being a non-resident foreigner. The Biden administration’s treatment of Novak Djokovic is a clear violation of those principles.
Given that Djokovic’s immunization status poses a health threat to no one, his presence on U.S. soil violates the rights of no one. Given that the CDC has said it is safe for Novak to play, he should be allowed to play. There were several ways this could have happened; the easiest way was for the Biden administration to “follow the science” that it claims to follow and repeal the vaccine mandate requirement entirely that targets non-resident foreigners. This did not happen for Djokovic.
The USTA could have asked for a “national interest” exemption for Djokovic given his status as a professional athlete and the given circumstances. Given the CDC has said the unvaccinated should be treated the same as the vaccinated, the USTA should have asked Mr. Biden to give Djokovic an exemption to enter the US legally, as Biden does for diplomats, refugees, and hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated illegal immigrants.
Sadly, the USTA refused to make any effort to speak up for Djokovic, as has its figurehead “woman’s rights advocate” Billie Jean King, for whom the US Open tennis center is named. (Sadly, for Djokovic, he both “identifies” as and is biologically a “man.”) Would Billie Jean King, and her virtue-signaling bureaucrats at the USTA be silent if such treatment was fostered on Serena Williams?
“My body, my choice” doesn’t only apply to women when pregnant (as in the case of abortion), but applies to all individuals, in all matters, regardless of sex, including the choice to be vaccinated or not. It appears that the USTA, being staffed by Democrats, does not wish to offend the unpopular Biden as if their lack of criticism would improve his popularity.
As a lifetime member of the USTA, I find their inaction toward the injustice towards Novak Djokovic a moral disgrace. The USTA should consider removing “US” from their name and moving the tournament from the city symbolized by the Statue of Liberty or renaming their tournament “US Closed” to immigrants and foreigners who do not genuflect to the whims of their leader. So much for the nation of “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The United State Tennis Association’s refusal to speak against Biden’s anti-science, anti-freedom ban of Novak Djokovic from playing in the 2022 US Open is a disgrace.
Novak Djokovic is an international symbol for “my body, my choice”
Djokovic’s unjust treatment by the US government is an imitation of the Australian federal government banning him from playing in the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, which demonstrated the ban against Djokovic and foreigners like him has nothing to do with science but is purely political. Djokovic was allowed to play in the 2022 French Open and 2022 Wimbledon as the French and British governments have repealed their vaccine mandate policies. Do science and the laws of reality change when one travels to a different country? No, only politics does.
Early this year, it was the anti-freedom, anti-science Australian federal government which harassed, imprisoned, and ceremoniously deported Djokovic (who had a legal travel VISA issued by the Australian government) from Australia preventing him from winning the title on his favorite surface on the hard courts of Melbourne; it was the relatively more freedom-loving, more pro-science British government that allowed Djokovic to enter the UK and win his 7th Wimbledon crown. In the Australian Open’s defense, at least Tennis Australia fought the federal government to get Novak to play. No such effort is being made by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which is hypocritically silent on the case of the 21-time grand slam champion.
Despite CDC change in guidance to treat the unvaccinated as the vaccinated, the Biden administration has chosen to follow “vaccine apartheid” fascism over “my body, my choice” freedom.
Vaccinations, like any medical treatment, have their pros and cons and must be considered in the full context, in line with other treatments available, based not on the utilitarian needs of government bureaucrats and their political interests, but on the self-interest (pursuit of happiness) and political rights of the individual.
As a world-class male athlete, Novak Djokovic’s example shows that an unvaccinated individual can be a model of health and sports excellence, and survive a covid-19 infection thus gaining natural immunity, all without being vaccinated for covid-19. Such an example is something no vaccine mandate/freedom-hating government official can tolerate.
Novak Djokovic symbolizes the countless number of individuals whose rights are violated because of unscientific and anti-freedom vaccine mandates. Novak Djokovic is not the villain in this story, he is the hero.
This article has been updated given Djokovic’s withdrawal from the 2022 US Open.
Reprinted from Capitalism Magazine.