A Daily Mail op-ed arguing that U.S. President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates are unjustified and discriminatory was published on Monday and then taken down by the outlet without explanation.
Conservative commentator Jedediah Bilah, a former Fox News host, said Tuesday that the Daily Mail solicited an op-ed from her on how vaccine mandates are facing resistance. After writing an article that got approved and was published, she said the outlet pulled it down without notifying her.
"I was approached by the Daily Mail to write an opinion piece on how Covid-19 vaccine mandates are facing resistance from freedom advocates, pushback by courts and companies, and non-compliance. I was asked to discuss my opposition to the mandates and why I believe they're ineffective. I agreed to the topic and wrote a column," Bilah said in a statement.
"The column was approved, published online, then pulled down overnight without notification," she said, providing a link to an Internet Archive snapshot of her op-ed taken while it was still live.
In her lengthy op-ed, Bilah called Biden a "cowardly president" and accused him of using "unhinged, increasingly divisive rhetoric because coercion wasn't getting the compliance he had hope for."
She also criticized use of the term "anti-vaxxer" to describe anyone opposed to regulations mandating vaccination, noting that many people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 nevertheless support the rights of unvaccinated people to refuse vaccination.
"Good faith objections to vaccine mandates are met with unscientific ridicule," Bilah observed, noting that in a recent appearance on "The View" to promote her new book, she was accused of spreading "misinformation" after stating that the vaccines do not prevent COVID-19 transmission, though she said it was "created to prevent severity of disease and to prevent hospitalization."
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance warns that the "risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.”
"Early data suggest infections in fully vaccinated persons are more commonly observed with the Delta variant than with other SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, data show fully vaccinated persons are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire SARS-CoV-2, and infections with the Delta variant in fully vaccinated persons are associated with less severe clinical outcomes," the CDC states.
"Infections with the Delta variant in vaccinated persons potentially have reduced transmissibility than infections in unvaccinated persons, although additional studies are needed," the agency adds.
Last August, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told CNN that fully vaccinated people who get a COVID-19 breakthrough infection can still spread the virus to others, even if they do not show symptoms.
"I am not anti-vaxx," Bilah wrote.
"I am fighting for each of us, with our unique medical histories, risk factors, and beliefs, to have the chance to make the best decision for ourselves," she argued.
"Because both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can get and transmit the disease, vaccine mandates are not only unjustified, but also promote active discrimination."
The Daily Mail did not immediately respond when asked why Bilah's op-ed was removed.