Not Vaccinated? Here’s How You Could Kill Someone’s Father: Faye Flam

Misinformation, or even mere scientific confusion, can cause a lot of trouble when it appears to come out of the Centers for Disease Control. That is what happened when a leaked CDC document helped send a misleading message that vaccinated people spread the new delta variant as readily as the unvaccinated.

This nugget quickly became ammunition for vaccine skeptics and was used against people like Art Krieg, a rheumatologist and biotech founder who has been passionate about promoting vaccines — even more so after his vaccinated 90-year-old father died on July 30 from Covid-19.

Krieg’s specialty, rheumatology, deals with autoimmune diseases, and the immune system, and his company, Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, specializes in a product he discovered, called CpG DNA, which can be used in vaccines. I’ve spoken with him a number of times through the pandemic to understand the nuts and bolts of vaccine science.

Krieg took to Twitter to tell people of his father’s death and plead the case that people should get vaccinated to protect others by lowering the amount of virus in circulation. He believes his vaccinated father might not have died if more people had accepted the shots.

Comments followed — mostly supportive ones, he told me. “But I had several people who said, ‘dude, vaccinated people spread the infection just as much … learn the facts.’”

And this time the facts appeared to come from the CDC and not some conspiracy theorist’s website.