By Dr. Anthony Policastro

New York City had over 12,000 COVID deaths. Hong Kong had 4.

Viruses come in many types. They can be DNA viruses or RNA viruses. They can be single stranded or double stranded. They can have a positive pole or a negative pole.

COVID-19 is a single strand RNA virus with a positive pole. Rubella virus is a single strand RNA virus with a positive pole.

On April 5, I sent an e-mail to the CDC. It discussed the fact that rubella virus and coronaviruses (COVID-19 among the others) are similar in structure.

It asked the question as to whether the reason younger people have lower mortality rates from COVID-19 is that they have all had rubella vaccine.

In 1969 we began using MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. That was 51 years ago. Children were given the vaccine at 15 months of age. That would suggest that everyone 50 years and under should have protection against rubella. The only question is whether there was some crossover immunity to COVID-19.

A related issue is that congenital rubella causes significant morbidity and mortality in infants. For that reason, we check mothers to see if they have rubella immunity.

If they do not, we advise them to get MMR vaccine before their new pregnancy. That might explain why women have less issues with COVID-19 than men.

The fact that older individuals are more at risk could suggest one of two things.

The first is that they may never have had rubella as a child and so have no protection.

The second is that natural immunity might not be as cross reactive as vaccine induced immunity.

For example, we know that measles vaccine immunity protects against non-measles viruses.

This is all theoretical. Therefore, it has no practical value. In addition, given all the MMR that has been issued over the years, there is no possibility of comparing COVID deaths to those who had the vaccine and those who did not.

We are a small state and to the Delaware Division of Public Health’s credit they did look at the immunization records of children in Delaware who developed COVID infections.

There was no difference when comparing their immunizations to the general population. So from the standpoint of preventing infection, there seems to be no relationship.

Fortunately, there were no children’s deaths. So whether the vaccine reduces death rate was not something they had enough data to tell.

However, on May 22 a group of statisticians released the results of a data study that they did.

They looked at MMR immunization rates around the world in various countries. They then looked at COVID deaths in those countries.

It appeared that the countries with the highest death rates had the lowest immunization rates.

An additional finding looked at Hong Kong. In 2018 Hong Kong began a program to give MMR vaccine to adults.

Hong Kong is 500 miles away from Wuhan, China. It has about the same population as New York City. New York City had over 12,000 COVID deaths. Hong Kong had 4.

This is just a statistical analysis. It is not a scientific study. Therefore, it might be off base. However, a CNN report also focused on this possibility in a June 19 article.

One might wonder why the drug companies are not looking harder at this possible relationship.

Moderna has received $483 million to develop its COVID vaccine. Bill Gates has promised a donation of $100 million when a new vaccine is found.

Merck makes MMR vaccine. However, Merck is currently focused on developing two new COVID vaccines.

There appears to be little financial incentive for Big Pharma to look at the possibility of something as simple as MMR vaccine being effective.

I never got an answer from the April 5th e-mail that I sent to the CDC. I don’t expect that I will.

However, if the MMR winds up being effective to lower COVID-19’s death rate among those infected individuals, I want to go on record as saying you heard it here first.


The national news media has made a big thing about the increase in cases throughout the country. It is like a shock that it happened.

Of course it was going to happen when things were relaxed. The  cases have been up with the national numbers in the 40,000 to 49,000 range for the last four days (compared to the previous 20,000 to 30,000 daily).

The goal is to have a low enough number for medical resources to handle them. We are still at that point in most places.

Logic would suggest that there should be in place a nationwide plan to move medical resources from places where there are few infections to places where there are many infections.

As far as masks go, there are many people who are trying to rationalize why they should not wear them.

Anyone who has not self quarantined for the last 14 days needs to wear a mask. They can have an asymptomatic infection or they can be brewing an infection that does not yet have symptoms.

They are contagious. They must wear a mask.

To use an absurd analogy (with tongue firmly in cheek), their droplets are like bullets that they are shooting from their nose and mouth.

If they hit someone with them and that person gets sick, is it attempted murder?

If the person dies is it manslaughter (I didn’t know the gun was loaded)?

If those infected people go on to infect others who die, is the original person a serial killer?

That clearly is an exaggeration. However, if you decide not to wear a mask and infect someone, think of how you would feel if that person died because of your behavior.

We use the fact that we do not know who we infect and what happens to them to insulate ourselves from that.

It is clear and simple. If you go out and are exposed to others, wear a mask.

You don’t want to be responsible for what may happen to them.