Let Novak Play

by | Jul 21, 2022 | LAW

Banning uninfected foreigners, like Novak Djokovic, from the US because they are unvaccinated is anti-science as vaccination does not stop the spread of covid-19, and anti-American as it violates the principles of individual freedom & choice that America was founded upon.

Tennis player Novak Djokovic, who earlier this month won his 7th Wimbledon title and 21st grand slam title, is arguably one of the best, if not the best, tennis players in history (and I say this as a tennis fan who prefers watching Roger Federer) is being banned by the Biden administration from entering the United States due to Djokovic’s status as being unvaccinated.[1]

This will prevent him from competing in the 2022 US Open in Flushing Meadow, New York, and potentially matching Rafael Nadal’s 22 grand slam titles. American citizens and foreign residents who are unvaccinated are permitted to play.[2]

Banning foreigners
from entering the US because of their covid-19 vaccination status is anti-science because vaccination does not stop the spread of covid-19

Contrary to the alleged “scientific” basis for the covid-19 immigration rules put in place by the Biden administration those who are unvaccinated pose a health threat to no one.

Much of the false information surrounding vaccines is the result of statements by President Biden, the CDC director, and their parrots in the press who stated that the covid-19 vaccinations prevent the spread of covid-19. They do not prevent one from getting infected or spreading covid-19.

According to Joe Biden, people vaccinated for covid-19 “do not spread the disease to anyone else.”[3] This is not true.

According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow:

“A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them, the virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else.” [4]

This is not true.

According to CDC chief Rochelle Walensky:

“Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick…And that it’s not just in the clinical trials, it’s also in real-world data.” [5]

There is no such data in “clinical trials” or in the “real world.”

These statements were all known to be untrue “disinformation” for those who were actually “following the science.” [6]

What prevents the spread of covid-19 is not having the virus, or not having it in sufficient amounts to be infectious, and if you are infectious quarantine yourself until you are no longer infectious. Such an infectious status is not established by determining if one is vaccinated for covid-19, but can only be determined by testing for the virus.

If the covid-19 vaccine does not prevent one from getting infected and spreading the virus, what is it good for? The covid-19 vaccines were designed to reduce hospitalizations and major symptoms from covid-19 infections. For those in groups that are elderly (typically 65 and older), or have weak immune systems the present generation of covid-19 vaccinations – along with improved drugs and treatments – have saved many lives. The cost of acquiring covid-19 immunity from natural infection for some elderly people or those with weak immune systems is death, which is a poor bargain.[7]

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.” [8]

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.[9]

Given Djokovic’s history with health issues earlier in his career (resolved through a very strict diet and lifestyle), and his immunity from a prior infection, his taking the vaccine “to make a statement supporting government policies” was not in his rational self-interest. In an interview with the BBC, Djokovic said:

“I was never against vaccination,” he told the BBC, confirming he’d had vaccines as a child, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.… “Because the principles of decision-making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.”

…fluent in six languages, arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a racket; and – most pertinently – a deeply committed libertarian who believes strongly in individual autonomy. I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus…”[10]

(The point here is that being against a specific vaccination for oneself does not mean one is an “anti-vaxxer” as such).

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:[11]

“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.”[12]

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.[13]

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:[14]

Banning foreigners who test negative for covid-19 from entering the country, because they are unvaccinated, is unjust and anti-American

From the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) website:

“If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country.”[15]

If American citizens and permanent residents who are unvaccinated may enter and leave the country, why not foreigners? Does the “science” change for those who do not have an American passport or green card?

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.

America is 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 foreigner.

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 on the needs not of government bureaucrats and their political interests, but in the self-interest (pursuit of happiness) and political rights of the individual.

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. If anything, the fully vaccinated and double-boosted President Biden, who has just tested positive for covid-19 is a far greater health threat to his fellow Americans than Novak Djokovic.

To loosely paraphrase American Founding father, Thomas Jefferson, in today’s context:

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor” to be vaccinated for covid-19 or not. “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

It was the anti-freedom, anti-science Australian federal government which harassed, imprisoned, and ceremoniously deported Djokovic 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 Wimbledon (which he won).[16]

Whose example will the Biden administration follow: “vaccine apartheid” fascism or “my body, my choice” freedom?

“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, including the choice to be vaccinated or not. As long as the decision does not violate the rights of others – and refusing covid-19 vaccine violates the rights of no one – the government of a capitalist, free country’s policy should be laissez-faire (hands-off!): to be left alone.

According to the US Open:

“The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.” [17]

As a lifetime USTA member, who is a vaccinated, Federer fan, I say Novak Djokovic should be allowed to play in this year’s US Open because the Biden administration’s covid-19 immigration policies are anti-science and anti-American. It is an embarrassment that the USTA and US Open refuse to stand up for pro-freedom American principles and speak out against the Biden administration’s anti-science and anti-American freedom policy. Perhaps, the USTA and US Open should consider removing US from their names?

Biden administration should repeal the immigration ban targeting all unvaccinated foreigners

Djokovic symbolizes the countless number of people whose rights are violated because of unscientific and anti-freedom vaccine mandates. The Biden administration should not merely make an exemption specifically for Djokovic but should repeal the vaccine mandate targeted against foreigners entirely, and replace it with one similar to foreigners with resident visas (which requires proof of being covid-19 negative for entry to the U.S.).

What Djokovic’s example shows is that an unvaccinated individual can be a model of health and sports excellence, and survive a covid-19 infection without being vaccinated. Djokovic’s example is something no freedom-hating government official can tolerate, especially the despots in the CDC, FDA, and white house. Djokovic is not the villain in this story, he is the hero.

Let Novak Djokovic play tennis in the U.S. Open: the science supports it, and justice demands it. Let Novak play.


[1] Djokovic is thought of by the majority of his fellow tennis players as the best tennis player in the world (the exception being RAFA on clay, where Novak ranks second).

Ironically, Djokovic lost his number one ranking to a Russian tennis player when the British government banned Russian nationals from playing in the 2022 Wimbledon, making Wimbledon a non-Open tournament, and thus not eligible for Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) ranking points, causing Djokovic to lose 2,000 ATP ranking points for successfully defending his Wimbledon title. The “virtue signaling” ban also did nothing to hurt Putin’s unjust war against Ukraine.

Earlier this year, Djokovic was not allowed to defend his Australian title (leaving an opening for Rafael Nadal, who up to the time only won the Australian grand slam title once, to claim his 22nd grand slam title), by the federal Australian government which targeted the covid-19 negative player because he was seen as a threat not to the health of anyone but to their draconian lockdown and mandate political policies.

[2] Comments John McEnroe on the latter point:

“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!”

An online petition echoing McEnroe’s comments has already been signed by over 15,000 people.

[3] https://twitter.com/RNCResearch/status/1471600971755274245

[4] https://twitter.com/aginnt/status/1475193955704881152

[5] https://nypost.com/2021/04/02/cdc-walks-back-claim-that-vaccinated-people-cant-carry-covid/


[6] That the Biden administration wanted to create an Orwellian minister of disinformation to combat actual information (not approved by the government) is all the more appalling.

[7] It was known by the FDA that the vaccinations reduced severe symptoms and hospitalizations in the elderly before the U.S. 2020 Presidential election, but the FDA delayed approval until after the election, resulting in the deaths of many Americans (presumably to not help Trump win the election).

[8] The Declaration was written by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff who argue for focused protection as opposed to universal lockdowns and vaccine mandates in their https://gbdeclaration.org/
“While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in covid-19 mortality between older and younger people.” – “The Triumph of Natural Immunity” by Martin Kulldorff, https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2022/05/the-triumph-of-natural-immunity/

[9] https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2022/07/are-the-covid-mrna-vaccines-safe/

[10] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60354068

[11] One of the world’s leading experts on vaccines, and a member of the FDA panel for approving covid-19 vaccines, Paul A. Orfit M.D., explains the difference between natural immunity and artificial vaccination, using his own personal example of Measles[11]:

This same principle applies to covid-19 vaccines. Also see: https://brownstone.org/articles/79-research-studies-affirm-naturally-acquired-immunity-to-covid-19-documented-linked-and-quoted/

[12] “Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections,” Sivan Gazit, Roei Shlezinger, Galit Perez, Roni Lotan, Asaf Peretz, Amir Ben-Tov, Dani Cohen, Khitam Muhsen, Gabriel Chodick, Tal Patalon (https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415

[13] https://brownstone.org/articles/79-research-studies-affirm-naturally-acquired-immunity-to-covid-19-documented-linked-and-quoted/

[14] https://youtu.be/MO0MJ25Nipg

[15] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html

[16] https://www.capitalismreview.com/2022/01/novak-djokovic-global-standard-bearer-for-body-autonomy/
See Novak Djokovic: Global Standard Bearer for Body Autonomy
See Novak Djokovic: Deported for ‘Thought Crimes’ in Australia

[17] https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/62248745

Mark Da Cunha is the editor of Capitalism Magazine and creator of capitalism.org. Twitter: @capitalismorg

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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