Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Analysis: with redistricting Martinez has it best, Brentwood is a close second

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Source: City of Martinez

Both offer a citizen-driven, transparent process; Martinez council has no say, Brentwood council will only make final choice; Antioch and Richmond get honorable mentions for offering online mapping tools

By Allen Payton

Comparing the redistricting process used by the county supervisors, cities, education boards and special districts in Contra Costa County whose members are elected by district, ward or area, it’s clear that just like the slogan they’ve been using for the past few years, it really is better in Brentwood – than most. But Martinez offers the best process in the county. Both have independent redistricting commissions and offer the same, easy-to-use online mapping tool for the public to draw and submit their own maps. While Brentwood’s process ends with the council only choosing from already completed maps, the Martinez council has no say and takes what their commission gives them.

At least Brentwood’s doing it right, this time. That’s because when the initial districts were drawn and approved in 2019 for the 2020 election and based on the 2010 Census, the Brentwood city council map for Districts 2 and 4 was obviously gerrymandered to benefit one if not more incumbents. Just look at the section of District 2 on the southwest side of the BNSF railroad tracks and you’ll see, that’s surrounded on three sides by District 4. But it really had no effect since those two seats aren’t up for election until next November.

Section of current Brentwood City Council Districts 2 and 4.

Besides Martinez and Brentwood, the following cities and school districts elect their members by district and are undergoing a redistricting process:

Antioch City CouncilDistrict Elections – City of Antioch, California ( online mapping tool

Antioch School Board – Post Census Redistricting / 2020 Census Redistricting ( – No online mapping tool.

Concord City CouncilRedistricting | Concord, CA ( – No online mapping tool, yet. Process started Nov. 2.

Richmond City CouncilRedistricting 2020 Census | Richmond, CA – Official Website – For online mapping tools click on “Draw Map”.

San Ramon City CouncilRedistricting 2022 – City of San Ramon (  – No online mapping tool.  The council will consider final redistricting maps on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

Contra Costa Water District – No redistricting page nor online mapping tool. The board was given a redistricting presentation during their Oct. 15 meeting. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 5 with expected completion by March 16.

Contra Costa Community College District – No online mapping tool. See below for process information.

In 2010, both the college board and the Contra Costa County Board of Education adopted the same exact map. But their website doesn’t offer a very detailed map for the public to see in which district they live and which trustee is their representative.

Source: City of Oakley

Oakley Council Converts to District Elections

The Oakley City Council just completed the process of converting to district elections and adopted a five-member map during their meeting on Nov. 9.

Most Gerrymandered Current District Map

So far, the current map in the county with the worst, gerrymandered districts I’ve seen is for the Contra Costa Community College District, and as a result of the above, the county Board of Education, too. It combines Lamorinda with Hercules, Rodeo and Crockett in one ward and all of the San Ramon Valley, sans Alamo, in the same ward as Byron and Discovery Bay. Plus, it splits six cities, as well.  Those trustee ward lines were clearly drawn in 2011 to protect the incumbents, at that time.

This year, the college district staff tried to present their board with only one map to consider – drawn by staff and an attorney, with minor changes to the current map, continuing to protect incumbents. Where the current council or board members live is not a required consideration for redistricting. However, it’s understandable why that it would happen since staff members have a conflict of interest and inherent bias in wanting to please their bosses, instead of drawing maps to serve we the people.  (See related article)

Fortunately, the college board wisely directed staff to open up the process for more public input and offer two more proposed maps and an online survey about those choices, although they aren’t offering an online mapping tool.

Current Contra Costa Community College District ward boundaries map approved in 2011. Source: 4CD

Different Deadlines

While school boards have a deadline of March 1, 2022, to complete the process and submit an approved map, city councils have until April 17. The supervisors had to complete their process sooner, because filing for the June Primary election for Districts 1 and 4 opens mid-February and closes mid-March.

While some cities, like Antioch were trying to complete their process by the end of January – which the council just extended by a month – Brentwood’s process, which began Oct. 14 won’t be completed until March 3 and possibly not until March 10.

While congressional redistricting is the most difficult because it requires no more than a one person difference between districts, all other districts can have a maximum of a five percent population deviation from average, referred to as ideal, to be legally acceptable.

Process in Martinez Started First, Includes Independent Commission

Martinez, which began their redistricting process way back in January, has a seven-member independent redistricting commission, not chosen by the council. In August four commissioners were randomly drawn by the Deputy City Clerk from different quadrants in the city. Then those commissioners selected three additional commissioners from a designated pool of applicants. Finally, another random draw was undertaken to determine the two alternates from the remaining pool of qualified applicants.

The commissioners are responsible for drawing council districts in Martinez and held their first meeting on Sept. 22. So, the council has no say. They get what the people give them.

Martinez offers residents an online mapping tool to draw and submit alternative maps, just like the county supervisors’ did, and Brentwood and Antioch offer. While the supervisors’ online tool was easy to use, the tool offered by Martinez and Brentwood is easier. Each of the proposed maps and even the draft maps drawn by members of the public are on the site and can be viewed by anyone.

City of Brentwood 2021-22 redistricting schedule.

Redistricting in Brentwood Better Than Most

Brentwood’s redistricting process also offers residents an online mapping tool. Like Martinez, each of the proposed maps and even the draft maps drawn by members of the public are included on the City’s redistricting website for all to see and review to maximize public input.

The Brentwood city council established an independent, citizens redistricting commission, whose five members and four alternates volunteered and were selected by retired Judge Thelton Henderson – not the mayor and council members – following an application process. All but the last step of the redistricting process was transferred to them. The commission is leading the redistricting process by holding public hearings, reviewing all maps submitted by the public and gathering “community input to ensure everyone’s voice is heard”.

When the commission’s part of the process is complete, it will submit two or more potential boundary maps to the City Council and – here’s the best part – the Council must then select one of the submitted maps – wait for it – without modifying!

Interestingly enough, many of the publicly submitted maps in Brentwood look similar in how best to create new, common-sense districts – drawn based on the principals of compactness, Communities of Interest, using natural and man-made barriers for boundary lines and one-person-one-vote, with the smallest population percentage deviation from average as possible. Unfortunately, some of the maps submitted for the Brentwood City Council process don’t follow the aforementioned principles and can’t be considered because they don’t comply with the maximum population deviation percent requirement.

Honorable Mentions

Both Antioch and Richmond also offer online mapping tools and while Antioch’s has had glitches, it appears those have been worked out. Richmond was using the same tool as Martinez and Brentwood, known as DistrictR. But it has been replaced with Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA) because DistrictR uses population estimates while Dave’s Redistricting App uses the official population. Dave’s is difficult to use.

Richmond also offers Maptitude, which is the same software app used by the consultant to the state Citizens Redistricting Commission. But both require someone to sign up in order to use them. People can use Antioch’s online mapping tool as a guest, which requires the map be drawn all in one setting because it can’t be saved without signing up and logging in.

Other Councils and Boards Should Follow Example of Martinez and Brentwood

I can often be pretty tough on candidates and elected officials in my media role and responsibility of holding them accountable. But I also believe it’s good to praise those who are doing it right.

Neither the council members in Martinez nor Brentwood can make any changes to the final maps, thus, they won’t have any ability to gerrymander their districts to benefit themselves. They’ve empowered the people to have control over choosing who they will have represent them instead of the other way around. Representative government in our republic. Hey, what a concept!

Why don’t all the other boards of government agencies in our county do the same? Martinez and Brentwood are the example for the Board of Supervisors, other city councils, school and college boards to follow for the best way to handle the redistricting process.

The Brentwood City Council should be congratulated for doing it right and the best, when it comes to redistricting, this year.

Hopefully, all the other cities and districts, and the supervisors in Contra Costa will duplicate what Brentwood is doing, 10 years from now, the next time they will redistrict. Actually, they don’t have to wait. Once the current process is completed for the 2022 elections, the other councils and districts will have plenty of time for a redo by the 2024 elections.

Unless that happens, then remember, folks, the district lines approved this time will be in place for the next 10 years. So, while the redistricting process may be technical and dry, the decisions made now can and will affect who we have representing us during that time, and making decisions affecting our lives, homes, schools, businesses, and communities. So, stay informed, engaged and give your input on redistricting.


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Editorial: Where’s Ellie? Antioch City Clerk failing to do her job, keeping public uninformed, lacks transparency

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

From the Antioch City Council 2021 Agendas and Minutes page on the City of Antioch website.

Hasn’t posted council meeting minutes since June 22; council not holding her accountable; if Householder can’t handle the job she should resign and save the voters the hassle of a recall

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder. Official photo by City of Antioch.

By Allen Payton

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder is failing to completely do her job and as a result the public is not being provided with the information they seek and deserve to know in a transparent manner. As one example, the minutes from the past 12 council meetings have not yet been posted on the City Council’s Agendas and Minutes page on the City’s website. As of Thursday, December 9, 2021, the most recent minutes posted there are for the council’s June 22, 2021 meeting.

While the minutes for previous meetings are supposed to be included in the next council meeting’s agenda, until that is posted on the City’s website, members of the public and media must watch the council meeting video of the previous meeting to learn what was said and done for any particular agenda item during.

While the annotated agendas, which are on that webpage, show what the total votes were, they don’t show how each council member voted.

Worse, in the past few months, the minutes for several previous council meetings are being lumped in with the current meeting agenda and/or they’re being forwarded to a future council meeting.

For example, on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 9th council meeting, the council was asked to approve the minutes from the meetings on Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 16 and Oct. 26. Each of them were, on 5-0 votes. Yet none of the minutes from those meetings have been added to the webpage.

Then on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 23rd council meeting the minutes for the Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 council meetings all show, “It is recommended that the City Council continue the Meeting Minutes” and the council approved each of them on 5-0 votes.

Householder is making it difficult for the council, public and media to know what the council members said during previous council meetings and requiring them to spend more of their time searching for the information.

Why aren’t the minutes being included in the following council meeting agendas? If the minutes for a previous council meeting are already included in the next meeting’s agenda, what is so difficult for Householder to ensure a copy of them is posted on the council’s Agendas and Minutes page, especially now that the clerk’s office has added another staff member? Plus, the city clerk doesn’t even type up the minutes from each meeting. She has a minutes clerk handle that!

Another example is instead of Householder attending the City Clerk’s conference, this week – in her first year in the position – she sent Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia, to learn about any new laws, rules or procedures for doing her job.

Also, while it is a part-time position, Householder doesn’t work in her office at City Hall but chooses to work remotely, so she’s not available to answer her taxpayer funded phoneline nor readily available to meet with members of the public who she was elected to serve.

Another example has been Householder taking the full 10 days – each time – to respond to the recall petitions for Mayor Thorpe submitted by the organizers, when it only took the County Clerk two days to do the same for the organizers of the recall to remove Householder from her position as Antioch School Board trustee. While it’s believed she did that intentionally to delay the signature gathering, Householder has yet to answer the repeated question why it took her so long, each time.

Finally, after a call to the clerk’s office, a call to Householder’s cell phone and sending two emails – one to her and Garcia at 11:31 AM and another one to the email address used by the clerk’s administrative assistant at 11:33 AM, today, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 asking for a copy of the Nov. 9th council meeting minutes or where they could be found on the City’s website, as of 7:00 p.m. there was no response.

If Householder is too busy to fulfill the duties of her job and both of her elected positions of Antioch School Board trustee and City Clerk, then she should resign from the city clerk’s position – the duties for which she’s clearly dropping the ball on – and save the voters from having to go through the process to remove her via a recall.

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Letters: Antioch recall proponent felt pressured to stop signature gathering during Holiday Delites event

Monday, December 6th, 2021

Dear Editor:

After an over two-month limbo period, the proponents for the recall Lamar Thorpe campaign received the news we have all been waiting for on December 2nd, 2021. We finally had the go-ahead to begin gathering signatures to start the process to recall Lamar Thorpe.

The Holiday Delites event seemed a perfect fit to have our first signature gathering event. We knew so many of our fellow residents who support this cause would be in attendance. So, image our surprise when Joy Motts, candidate for District 1 in the 2022 elections and president of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation, attempted to halt our signature gathering and interfered with local businesses obtaining new clientele.

I, along with several other proponents for both Recall Lamar Thorpe and Recall Ellie Householder (AUSD), spent Saturday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM in front of both Rivertown Treasure Chest on G St. and RiverTown Sweets on 2nd Street with the blessing from both owners.

We were informed that day that Motts made multiple attempts to contact business owners and asked other individuals to contact us to say we either must move inside or stop the signature gathering. Motts eventually approached me herself around 2:00 pm and asked that I move inside the already crowded bakery which I was in front. I responded that it was our plan to be off the street before the start of the parade. Motts continue to ask that we immediately vacate.

Crystal Philbrook, owner of RiverTown Sweets advised Motts that every time there was a recall signature gathering new customer business was up over 50% and with that kind of statistics, she advised Joy that we would be welcome to be in front of her location anytime as we brought in business. The same sentiment was echoed by the owner of Rivertown Treasure Chest. Being true to our word we vacated the 2nd Street location – which was the Holiday Delites parade route at 4 pm for a parade that started at 5 pm.

Joy Motts being part of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation (a local nonprofit) and a District 1 2022 candidate was completely out of line to make such a request. Joy Motts’ bullying tactics will not be tolerated, nor will it deter us from the mission of gathering the required signatures. Businesses giving permission to us to gather signatures in front of their stores have seen increased foot traffic and sales when having the signature gathering events in front of their storefront, something that Motts and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation doesn’t seem to care about.

If Joy Motts and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation were concerned that the signature gathering tables brought a negative political aspect to the Holiday Delites event, then why are political floats allowed in the parade?

It appears she wanted us off the street as her friend, the mayor, was going to be in the parade with Householder. Yet another example of dirty underhanded politics at play in the City of Antioch.

It makes me wonder, what truly were Ms. Motts’ motives by all her behind the scenes activity to stop us?

Kathy Cabrera

Recall Lamar Thorpe proponent

Publisher’s Note: Asked when an organization is granted a street closure by the City if that means they also control the sidewalks, Motts said she didn’t think so. She shared that the concern of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation leadership was there would be a perception the non-profit organization, which works with the City, was taking sides in a political issue and that they stay out of politics. Motts also said they were informed the signature gathering would occur inside the businesses and wanted to ensure the table on W. Second Street wouldn’t be there during the parade for the public to be able to use the sidewalk. 

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Candidate for Contra Costa DA, Mary Knox offers three-point plan to prevent smash-and-grab retail theft

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Sources: (Left) Herald file photo and (Right) Mary Knox for DA campaign.

The current DA has been slow to respond to flash mob robberies, and once she responds, she’s ineffective. Given my 36 years of experience as a Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney, I know the District Attorney can do more. We need to implement these three steps immediately:

  1. Convene a Bay Area-wide law enforcement response to track and apprehend suspects 

Contra Costa law enforcement agencies are partnered to provide mutual aid during emergency situations.  This “mutual aid” concept should be employed throughout the Bay Area to strategically shut down access routes for potential retail targets to intervene and prevent crime before it happens.

The investigative and technological expertise of this team will:

  • Identify the criminal syndicates who organize the smash-and-grab robberies
  • Intercept the “chatter” on social media planning these events
  • Share information between law enforcement agencies to quickly locate and arrest perpetrators

The ideal team to coordinate this activity is the DA/FBI Safe Streets Task Force, comprised of local, state, and federal task force agents who are partnered with prosecutors assigned to the Community Violence Reduction Unit (a unit that I created in the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office).

Given the violence involved and the value of the merchandise being stolen, the Task Force will collaborate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to charge qualifying cases under the Hobbs Act and prosecute them in federal court.

The criminal syndicates committing the smash-and-grab robberies, as well as strings of residential burglaries in Contra Costa, are mobile and active in surrounding counties.  During the past four years, regional law enforcement agencies have done an impressive job of sharing information to identify the true scope of the criminality of these crews and to provide investigative support.  The information supplied by this well-coordinated network provided me with the evidence required to file multiple counts following very significant organized retail theft and residential robberies.  I worked with the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill Police Departments through the investigative challenges of the looting in 2020 and filed charges on a number of suspects.  As District Attorney, I will continue to support this allied inter-county effort.

  1. Prevent the use of our freeways as crime corridors, deploy cameras 

Organized shoplifting gangs have been using the regional freeway system to quickly move between targets in neighboring law enforcement jurisdictions.  By the time an investigation starts at the first crime, the gang has moved on to loot another store in the next county.

Contra Costa’s Freeway Security Network has the technological capability to combat organized retail theft.  The Allied Freeway Agencies have received additional funding for the Network and direction to develop a plan to augment and expand the Network county-wide in order to provide technological leads in preventing and investigating criminal syndicates involved in the violent organized retail theft.

I am proud to have originated the creation of this freeway camera system to combat freeway shootings.  Since the network was installed, freeway shootings have been reduced by 90% in Contra Costa while remaining all too frequent in neighboring counties. I continue to work with law enforcement and elected leaders to propose that additional funding that Governor Newsom included in the state budget be used to incorporate additional technology to target organized retail theft into the Freeway Security Network.

  1. Disrupt the use of social media as a key enabler of looting 

Organized retail theft would not exist without social media, which is the key element to planning and profiting from these crimes.

Looting is coordinated through social media 

Social media platforms provide the means of communication which allows criminals to conspire to commit take-over robberies. These platforms are directly aiding and abetting the commission of large-scale crimes, which may result in criminal liability for the social media platforms.  I will call on the social media platforms, as well as private communication platforms, to monitor and immediately report to law enforcement any communications planning a smash-and-grab robbery or the “fencing” of stolen property.

We must make it clear to technology companies that failure to monitor and report the coordination of criminal enterprise should not be a protected business activity and should instead be considered as aiding and abetting that crime.

Stolen goods are sold via online marketplaces 

If a market for the merchandise that is being stolen did not exist, the criminal syndicates would have no motive to steal.  While I am out talking with community members, most are surprised to learn that the merchandise that is stolen from CVS, Walgreens, Lululemon and the high-end retailers is often sold on the internet via OfferUp, LetGo, and the Facebook and Amazon Market Places.

As District Attorney, I will actively engage and educate our community members about the crime occurring in our county and ways we can work together to combat it, such as not buying merchandise off the internet that does not have a means of guaranteeing that it is not stolen merchandise.  I will also work with retail stores to modify their return/exchange policies to ensure that they are not accepting the return of their own stolen merchandise.


About Mary Knox: Mary Knox was born and raised in Walnut Creek and has 36 years of experience advocating and fighting for victims, their families, and the larger community. She is a lead prosecutor in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office, who has prosecuted and won high profile cases against some of the most notorious criminals in county history. She has broken the chokehold that criminal gangs have had on the most disadvantaged communities and has engaged in meaningful violence reduction by instituting effective strategies to reduce crime and prosecute violent criminals. Learn more about Mary at


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Analysis: Antioch Council to go for “woke” during special meeting Tuesday at 5:30 pm

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Only 28 evictions of renter households out of 13,221 in Antioch during COVID-19 moratorium. Yet, council members call for rent control and anti-tenant harassment ordinances.

By Allen Payton

During a special meeting Tuesday evening (today) at 5:30 pm – when most residents who commute to work aren’t yet home – the Antioch City Council will discuss several issues that will be sure to please those who claim to be “woke”, or rather progressive and champions of “equity”, who pursue equality of result rather than equality of opportunity, aka SJW’s meaning “social justice warriors”. It’s a Far-Left Wing wish list of ways to reshape Antioch’s society, and not for the better.

Two agenda items that don’t fit that description include the first one, which is about the celebration of Antioch’s 150th anniversary of cityhood, next year, known as the Sesquicentennial. Say it slowly and pronounce it: “sess”, “qui” (as in quick), and end with “centennial”, you know like bicentennial, which is a 200-year anniversary.

The council has already allocated $100,000 toward the estimated $201,500 in costs for the 2022 Sesquicentennial Celebration. Now, council members have to decide if they want to continue to work with the Celebrate Antioch Foundation to put on the various events proposed for next year, send out a request for proposal (RFP) for other groups that might be interested, hire an outside contractor or additional staff to plan the events, or just use existing City staff to handle it all. Sesquicentennial Celebration Next Steps ACC111621

They should go with the first choice, since the first event is on February 6, 2022, the actual anniversary of the City’s incorporation in 1872, and it’s a bit late to switch horses – especially since Celebrate Antioch Foundation isn’t doing it alone, but has help from the Antioch Historical Society, and other local organizations.

The other item on the agenda which is rather innocuous and shouldn’t be very controversial is item 3. Local Purchasing Ordinance. According to the City staff report on the agenda item, “Council Member Lori Ogorchock (District 3) stated an interest in the potential establishment of a local purchasing ordinance and requested that this topic be considered by the Antioch City Council.”

Who doesn’t support shopping local and keeping Antioch’s city funds spent with local businesses, growing our own economy, instead of Jeff Bezos’ pocketbook? FISCAL IMPACTUnknown at this time.

Woke Agenda Items

Beyond those, the other items on the agenda attempt to push a specific agenda, much like most of the police reforms approved by the council (many times only by three votes), earlier this year, without proving the need and basing them on findings and in opposition to the majority of those who participated in the Bridging the Gap forums.


According to the City staff report on the agenda item, “A number of housing policies have been expressed as potential areas of interest by Antioch’s elected leadership. i. Mayor Lamar Thorpe identified the topic of rent control within the City of Antioch. ii. Council Member Tamisha Torres-Walker (District 1) and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson (District 4) advanced the topic of tenant protections, specifically the establishment of a tenant anti-displacement policy and an anti-landlord harassment policy in the City of Antioch.” (See related article)

The council will hear a presentation by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and then is asked to provide staff direction based on their consensus. FISCAL IMPACT Unknown at this time. ACCE Tenant Protections presentation ACC111621

According to the organization’s website, ACCE “is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization that builds power to fight and stand for economic, racial and social justice. We take seriously our commitment to ground-up organizing to build a strong people’s movement that can create transformative community change.”

On the Who We Are What We Do page, under the topic of Racial and Economic Justice, their website reads, “We evaluate problems and solutions through a lens grounded in both economic and racial justice. We cannot resolve structural racism without changing our economic system and we cannot resolve economic inequality without addressing racism.” Also, under the topic of Systems Change it reads, “ACCE seeks to shift power relations by changing the systems that create oppression rather than just addressing the symptoms of oppression.

That’s who the council is looking to for guidance? An organization with a clear agenda based on incorrect assumptions of race and economic issues in Antioch?

Questions for council members to answer before giving any direction to staff: What structural racism exists in Antioch? What economic inequality is there and how is it based on racism in Antioch? Who in Antioch is actually suffering oppression?

According to the organization’s presentation, “In March 2021, a KQED investigative report found that during the pandemic, Antioch had the most evictions per renter households out of all nine Bay Area counties.” In addition, the presentation claims, “Antioch’s COVID-19 eviction rate was 207.2 per 100,000 renter households, nearly double that of Richmond, and approximately 50 times the rate of Oakland.”

That sounds really horrible but, it’s only 0.2072% – about the same percentage of Americans who have died from COVID-19 (all of which are sad and unfortunate). But if the council decides on any policy based on that statistic, it will just be another example of overreaction by government officials.

Furthermore, according to the American Community Survey, 2019 (1-Year Estimates) cited in the ACC presentation, “Antioch is more than a third renters: in 2019, there were 36,138 housing units in Antioch and 13,221 of them, or 36.6%, were occupied by tenants.” That means there were a total of 28 evictions of renter households out of all 13,221 in Antioch during the COVID-19 moratorium.

As for rent control, that just creates another level of costly bureaucracy and more government injection into the housing market that is a macroeconomic issue. Plus, I find it laughable that two of the three council members who are proposing it, just last year voted to endorse Measure T which would have reduced the supply of future housing in Antioch. Perhaps they’ve never learned about the law of supply and demand which demonstrates that the lower the supply of something while demand is high results in increased prices.

Questions for council members to ask and get answered before giving direction to City staff, if any: How does ACCE define tenant harassment? How do you define it? What are the reasons that landlords provided as the reason for evictions? Because evictions were allowed during the COVID-19 moratorium, but for other reasons other than non-payment of rent. With only 28 total evictions during COVID-19 citywide are such ordinances really necessary? Do you know why each of those tenants were evicted?


According to the City staff report on the agenda item, “Mayor Pro Tem Wilson stated an interest in the potential establishment of a local preference for Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprises and requested that this topic be considered by the Antioch City Council.”

I would like to see Wilson lead by example on this, first and put her money where her mouth is. Does she make it a point to do business with minority and women owned business enterprises? I don’t recall seeing her in the restaurant for which I was the minor shareholder, and my partner who is Black and owned the majority share of the business – located right down the street from City Hall – not even for our Grand Opening, when she could have eaten for free.

Even better, how about Wilson try and start her own business and see what it takes to compete in the marketplace, create jobs, and create wealth?

Questions for council members: is Wilson claiming minority and women owned businesses can’t compete in Antioch against white male owned businesses? Do the sales tax dollars generated by the businesses in Antioch have a color other than green? What about residential and commercial property tax dollars?

That reminds me of when I joined the NAACP East County Branch, in I believe 1999. Since I wasn’t sure I could, because I’m white and Republican, one of the members asked me, “is your money green?” I said, “yes”. She said, “then you can join!” (She also pointed out it was white Republicans who helped form the NAACP. But I digress).

This is simply more divisiveness pitting some groups against others, namely the “evil patriarchy” which is full of white men holding others back and down. Yeah, right. I can tell you, as I’m out selling advertising to all kinds of businesses owned by minority owners, white owners, women and men owners, most all of them are struggling, these days. So, frankly they all need some help.

If Wilson and the rest of the council really cared about helping businesses, minority and women owned or otherwise, they would join with other council members in the county and pressure the Board of Supervisors and their out-of-control Public Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano to lift the current health order requiring proof of vaccination to go to indoor restaurants, the health club, the El Campanil Theatre, indoor movie theaters and bowling alleys. That way they don’t have to spend extra money on staff to enforce the ridiculous and unnecessary order and keep our businesses from getting fined, further costing them money they don’t have.

Besides, what if the owner is white and identifies as gender non-binary? In which category do they fit? What if the owner is a man who identifies as a woman? Would his business qualify for the preference? Just how woke should such the policy be?

Just keep OUR tax dollars, that the City spends, IN Antioch following the Local Purchasing Ordinance proposed by Councilwoman Ogorchock, regardless of who owns it, their gender or ethnicity.

FISCAL IMPACT Unknown at this time.


According to the City staff report on the agenda item, “Council Member Torres-Walker stated an interest in the potential establishment of a Human Rights and Racial Equity Commission and requested that this topic be considered by the Antioch City Council.”

Questions for Torres-Walker to answer and any other council members who support forming the commission: Which humans in Antioch are being denied their rights? What do they consider as a right beyond what is enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights? How can the Antioch city government ensure and achieve racial “equity”, which is, again, equality of result instead of ensuring our government simply treats everyone equally and fairly? If it’s formed, will you actually listen to what the members have to say or simply ignore them and act like it doesn’t exist like the other commissions, including the Police Crime Prevention Commission and Economic Development Commission?

FISCAL IMPACTUnknown at this time.


According to the City staff report on the agenda item, “Council Member Torres-Walker and Mayor Pro Tem Wilson stated interest in food insecurity, access to healthy and affordable food options and the potential formation of an ad hoc committee. It is requested that this topic be considered by the Antioch City Council.”

While food insecurity may have been a concern in Torres-Walker’s district earlier this year with the closing of Lucky grocery store on East 18th Street, since then Antioch Foods opened there and the Cielo Mexican Supermarket opened right down the street, giving the residents on the north side of Hwy 4 – which her district encompasses, two major food choices.

Questions for council members: how can the City of Antioch offer access to healthy and affordable food options? Can they do something about inflation? Do they support having more food giveaway lines on our major city streets like on A Street? Are the council members who proposed this suggesting city tax dollars be spent in addition to the federal funds spent on WIC and SNAP?

FISCAL IMPACTUnknown at this time.

Aren’t these the same two council members, along with Mayor Thorpe – in an attempt to show their environmental credentials – who foolishly voted against renewing the franchise agreement for one of the natural gas pipelines that runs through Antioch, potentially increasing the costs for people to heat their homes, their water for showers, baths, coffee and tea, as well as cook food both at home and in our restaurants?

First, they make decisions that increase our costs of living, then want to use our tax dollars to help those who can’t afford to pay for those cost increases. They’re self-inflicted problems and cause a downward spiral for our society.

Get Woke Go Broke

It’s pretty obvious some of the council members are simply ignoring what has happened with companies and other governments that have experienced the slogan, “Get Woke Go Broke”.

Plus, it’s really easy to show compassion when spending other people’s hard-earned money and play favorites with businesses using we the people’s tax dollars, when you’ve never owned a business, created jobs or created wealth, and only worked for either government agencies or non-profit organizations that exist off of donations from what other people have earned. Unfortunately, they just don’t have the necessary experience or knowledge to make the right decisions that will benefit our community – our entire community.

The bottom line is the best form of welfare and the best social program is a job. So, if they really want to help Antioch residents, the council members would focus on two things: public safety and economic development, by hiring more police and getting our crime under control and bringing employers with higher paying jobs to our city, to truly fulfill the City’s new slogan, “Opportunity Lives Here”. That doesn’t mean more cannabis businesses which further damages our city’s reputation beyond the crime and homelessness – about which they really haven’t done anything other than hire a consultant and a staff member – and actually works against economic development efforts to attract employers.

The issue isn’t about having compassion on others who are less fortunate. Most people, like me, do. The issue is how to go about truly helping them, and whether or not there actually is a problem with some of the proposals on tonight’s council meeting agenda.

The City isn’t doing well at the main thing they should already be doing, which is public safety. That’s no shot at the police department. It’s due to a lack of staffing. But this council didn’t approve even one additional sworn officers in this year’s budget or the next. That’s in spite of the fact that there’s an estimated $5 million more in this year’s budget and $8 million more in next year’s, thanks to the sales tax increases we the people approved mainly for more police!

Yet, some of the council members want our city government to try and do more things that are mostly out of their purview? Not wise. But we’ll see just how woke some of the council members will go.


Members of the public can watch the meeting at, on Comcast Channel 24, or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.

Public Comments

Members of the public wishing to provide public comment may do so one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar):

  1. Fill out an online speaker card by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting located at:
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– You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.

– When the Mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to “raise your hand”. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

  1. Email comments to by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting. The comment will be read into the record at the meeting (350 words maximum, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor). IMPORTANT: Identify the agenda item in the subject line of your email if the comment is for Announcement of Community Events, Public Comment, or a specific Agenda Item number. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

All emails received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting will be entered into the record or the meeting.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak.

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Letter: Antioch resident challenges interim city manager candidate’s experience, says hiring is quid pro quo

Monday, November 8th, 2021

Says mayor, council members should recuse themselves from vote

“This looks just like an old time Chicago political payback.”

The following was sent as an email to Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and council members regarding the appointment of Cornelious Johnson as interim city manager.

Mayor and Council Members,

I do not know Mr. Cornelius Johnson and believe that we have never met. From what I have read, he appears to be a fine person and a retired public servant from San Francisco.  It is often stated he is a retired captain, however it appears that is a misrepresentation of fact.

In whole, it is probable that he would make a solid section as an interim city manager were it not for the obvious fact that his appointment smacks of QUID PRO QUO.

This appointment by certain members of the Council appears as pay back for campaign donations and event sponsorship. Are you really going to give this for that?

Mr. Thorpe and Ms. Wilson should recuse themselves from the vote. And they know very well, why.  And then there is Ms. Walker.  Based on her statements concerning police services and member of the force, she also
should recuse herself.

That leaves the quandary. Should a minority of two member make the decision? No majority? The answer is a simple; no.

Therefore, irrespective as to whether Mr. Johnson is qualified for the job he should not be considered or approved. Find another qualified individual. This looks just like an old time Chicago political payback.

Mark Jordan


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91 research studies affirm naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19: Documented, linked, and quoted

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021


This article was first published by Brownstone Institute. Republished with permission.

We should not force COVID vaccines on anyone when the evidence shows that naturally acquired immunity is equal to or more robust and superior to existing vaccines. Instead, we should respect the right of the bodily integrity of individuals to decide for themselves.

Public health officials and the medical establishment with the help of the politicized media are misleading the public with assertions that the COVID-19 shots provide greater protection than natural immunity.  CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, for example, was deceptive in her October 2020 published LANCET statement that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and that “the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.”

Immunology and virology 101 have taught us over a century that natural immunity confers protection against a respiratory virus’s outer coat proteins, and not just one, e.g. the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. There is even strong evidence for the persistence of antibodies. Even the CDC recognizes natural immunity for chicken-pox and measles, mumps, and rubella, but not for COVID-19.

The vaccinated are showing viral loads (very high) similar to the unvaccinated (Acharya et al. and Riemersma et al.), and the vaccinated are as infectious. Riemersma et al. also report Wisconsin data that corroborate how the vaccinated individuals who get infected with the Delta variant can potentially (and are) transmit(ting) SARS-CoV-2 to others (potentially to the vaccinated and unvaccinated).

This troubling situation of the vaccinated being infectious and transmitting the virus emerged in seminal nosocomial outbreak papers by Chau et al. (HCWs in Vietnam), the Finland hospital outbreak (spread among HCWs and patients), and the Israel hospital outbreak (spread among HCWs and patients). These studies also revealed that the PPE and masks were essentially ineffective in the healthcare setting. Again, the Marek’s disease in chickens and the vaccination situation explains what we are potentially facing with these leaky vaccines (increased transmission, faster transmission, and more ‘hotter’ variants).

Moreover, existing immunity should be assessed before any vaccination, via an accurate, dependable, and reliable antibody test (or T cell immunity test) or be based on documentation of prior infection (a previous positive PCR or antigen test). Such would be evidence of immunity that is equal to that of vaccination and the immunity should be provided the same societal status as any vaccine-induced immunity. This will function to mitigate the societal anxiety with these forced vaccine mandates and societal upheaval due to job loss, denial of societal privileges etc. Tearing apart the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in a society, separating them, is not medically or scientifically supportable.

The Brownstone Institute previously documented 30 studies on natural immunity as it relates to Covid-19.

This follow-up chart is the most updated and comprehensive library list of 91 of the highest-quality, complete, most robust scientific studies and evidence reports/position statements on natural immunity as compared to the COVID-19 vaccine-induced immunity and allow you to draw your own conclusion.

I’ve benefited from the input of many to put this together, especially my co-authors:

  • Harvey Risch, MD, PhD (Yale School of Public Health)
  • Howard Tenenbaum, PhD ( Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto)
  • Ramin Oskoui, MD (Foxhall Cardiology, Washington)
  • Peter McCullough, MD (Truth for Health Foundation (TFH)), Texas
  • Parvez Dara, MD (consultant, Medical Hematologist and Oncologist)

Evidence on natural immunity versus COVID-19 vaccine induced immunity as of October 15, 2021:

Study / report title, author, and year published Predominant finding on natural immunity
1) Necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected individuals, Shrestha, 2021 “Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52,238 employees in an American healthcare system. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects, previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated, compared with a steady increase in cumulative incidence among previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated. Not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study. Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination…”
2) SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and uninfected controls, Le Bert, 2020 “Studied T cell responses against the structural (nucleocapsid (N) protein) and non-structural (NSP7 and NSP13 of ORF1) regions of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals convalescing from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (n = 36). In all of these individuals, we found CD4 and CD8 T cells that recognized multiple regions of the N protein…showed that patients (n = 23) who recovered from SARS possess long-lasting memory T cells that are reactive to the N protein of SARS-CoV 17 years after the outbreak of SARS in 2003; these T cells displayed robust cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2.”
3) Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections,Gazit, 2021 “A retrospective observational study comparing three groups: (1) SARS-CoV-2-naïve individuals who received a two-dose regimen of the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine, (2) previously infected individuals who have not been vaccinated, and (3) previously infected and single dose vaccinated individuals found para a 13 fold increased risk of breakthrough Delta infections in double vaccinated persons, and a 27 fold increased risk for symptomatic breakthrough infection in the double vaccinated relative to the natural immunity recovered persons…the risk of hospitalization was 8 times higher in the double vaccinated (para)…this analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.”
4) Highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, Le Bert, 2021 “Studied SARS-CoV-2–specific T cells in a cohort of asymptomatic (n = 85) and symptomatic (n = 75) COVID-19 patients after seroconversion…thus, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2–infected individuals are not characterized by weak antiviral immunity; on the contrary, they mount a highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response.”
5) Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection, Israel, 2021 “A total of 2,653 individuals fully vaccinated by two doses of vaccine during the study period and 4,361 convalescent patients were included. Higher SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody titers were observed in vaccinated individuals (median 1581 AU/mL IQR [533.8-5644.6]) after the second vaccination, than in convalescent individuals (median 355.3 AU/mL IQR [141.2-998.7]; p<0.001). In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month…this study demonstrates individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine have different kinetics of antibody levels compared to patients who had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with higher initial levels but a much faster exponential decrease in the first group”.
6) SARS-CoV-2 re-infection risk in Austria, Pilz, 2021 Researchers recorded “40 tentative re-infections in 14, 840 COVID-19 survivors of the first wave (0.27%) and 253 581 infections in 8, 885, 640 individuals of the remaining general population (2.85%) translating into an odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 0.09 (0.07 to 0.13)…relatively low re-infection rate of SARS-CoV-2 in Austria. Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection is comparable with the highest available estimates on vaccine efficacies.” Additionally, hospitalization in only five out of 14,840 (0.03%) people and death in one out of 14,840 (0.01%) (tentative re-infection).
7) mRNA vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells recognize B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants but differ in longevity and homing properties depending on prior infection status, Neidleman, 2021 “Spike-specific T cells from convalescent vaccinees differed strikingly from those of infection-naïve vaccinees, with phenotypic features suggesting superior long-term persistence and ability to home to the respiratory tract including the nasopharynx. These results provide reassurance that vaccine-elicited T cells respond robustly to the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants, confirm that convalescents may not need a second vaccine dose.”
8) Good news: Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection, Bhandari, 2021 “Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while. The findings, published May 24 in the journal Nature, suggest that mild cases of COVID-19 leave those infected with lasting antibody protection and that repeated bouts of illness are likely to be uncommon.”
9) Robust neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 infection persist for months, Wajnberg, 2021 “Neutralizing antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein persisted for at least 5 months after infection. Although continued monitoring of this cohort will be needed to confirm the longevity and potency of this response, these preliminary results suggest that the chance of reinfection may be lower than is currently feared.”
10) Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2, Gaebler, 2020 “Concurrently, neutralizing activity in plasma decreases by five-fold in pseudo-type virus assays. In contrast, the number of RBD-specific memory B cells is unchanged. Memory B cells display clonal turnover after 6.2 months, and the antibodies they express have greater somatic hypermutation, increased potency and resistance to RBD mutations, indicative of continued evolution of the humoral response…we conclude that the memory B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 evolves between 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection in a manner that is consistent with antigen persistence.”
11) Persistence of neutralizing antibodies a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, Haveri, 2021 “Assessed the persistence of serum antibodies following WT SARS-CoV-2 infection at 8 and 13 months after diagnosis in 367 individuals…found that NAb against the WT virus persisted in 89% and S-IgG in 97% of subjects for at least 13 months after infection.”
12) Quantifying the risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 reinfection over time, Murchu, 2021 “Eleven large cohort studies were identified that estimated the risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 reinfection over time, including three that enrolled healthcare workers and two that enrolled residents and staff of elderly care homes. Across studies, the total number of PCR‐positive or antibody‐positive participants at baseline was 615,777, and the maximum duration of follow‐up was more than 10 months in three studies. Reinfection was an uncommon event (absolute rate 0%–1.1%), with no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time.”
13) Natural immunity to covid is powerful. Policymakers seem afraid to say so, Makary, 2021 Makary writes “it’s okay to have an incorrect scientific hypothesis. But when new data proves it wrong, you have to adapt. Unfortunately, many elected leaders and public health officials have held on far too long to the hypothesis that natural immunity offers unreliable protection against covid-19 — a contention that is being rapidly debunked by science. More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of immunity acquired by previously having the virus. A 700,000-person study from Israel two weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic covid infection than those who were vaccinated. This affirmed a June Cleveland Clinic study of health-care workers (who are often exposed to the virus), in which none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from covid-19 vaccination.” And in May, a Washington University study found that even a mild covid infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.”
14) SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust adaptive immune responses regardless of disease severity, Nielsen, 2021 “203 recovered SARS-CoV-2 infected patients in Denmark between April 3rd and July 9th 2020, at least 14 days after COVID-19 symptom recovery… report broad serological profiles within the cohort, detecting antibody binding to other human coronaviruses… the viral surface spike protein was identified as the dominant target for both neutralizing antibodies and CD8+ T-cell responses. Overall, the majority of patients had robust adaptive immune responses, regardless of their disease severity.”
15) Protection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection is similar to that of BNT162b2 vaccine protection: A three-month nationwide experience from Israel, Goldberg, 2021 “Analyze an updated individual-level database of the entire population of Israel to assess the protection efficacy of both prior infection and vaccination in preventing subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization with COVID-19, severe disease, and death due to COVID-19… vaccination was highly effective with overall estimated efficacy for documented infection of 92·8% (CI:[92·6, 93·0]); hospitalization 94·2% (CI:[93·6, 94·7]); severe illness 94·4% (CI:[93·6, 95·0]); and death 93·7% (CI:[92·5, 94·7]). Similarly, the overall estimated level of protection from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection for documented infection is 94·8% (CI: [94·4, 95·1]); hospitalization 94·1% (CI: [91·9, 95·7]); and severe illness 96·4% (CI: [92·5, 98·3])…results question the need to vaccinate previously-infected individuals.”
16) Incidence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 infection among previously infected or vaccinated employees, Kojima, 2021 “Employees were divided into three groups: (1) SARS-CoV-2 naïve and unvaccinated, (2) previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, and (3) vaccinated. Person-days were measured from the date of the employee first test and truncated at the end of the observation period. SARS-CoV-2 infection was defined as two positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests in a 30-day period… 4313, 254 and 739 employee records for groups 1, 2, and 3…previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 were associated with decreased risk for infection or re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a routinely screened workforce. The was no difference in the infection incidence between vaccinated individuals and individuals with previous infection.”
17) Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but vaccination remains vital, Wadman, 2021 “Israelis who had an infection were more protected against the Delta coronavirus variant than those who had an already highly effective COVID-19 vaccine…the newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than never-infected, vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.”
18) One-year sustained cellular and humoral immunities of COVID-19 convalescents, Zhang, 2021 “A systematic antigen-specific immune evaluation in 101 COVID-19 convalescents; SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, and also NAb can persist among over 95% COVID-19 convalescents from 6 months to 12 months after disease onset. At least 19/71 (26%) of COVID-19 convalescents (double positive in ELISA and MCLIA) had detectable circulating IgM antibody against SARS-CoV-2 at 12m post-disease onset. Notably, the percentages of convalescents with positive SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses (at least one of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen S1, S2, M and N protein) were 71/76 (93%) and 67/73 (92%) at 6m and 12m, respectively.”
19) Functional SARS-CoV-2-Specific Immune Memory Persists after Mild COVID-19, Rodda, 2021 “Recovered individuals developed SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies, neutralizing plasma, and memory B and memory T cells that persisted for at least 3 months. Our data further reveal that SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG memory B cells increased over time. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2-specific memory lymphocytes exhibited characteristics associated with potent antiviral function: memory T cells secreted cytokines and expanded upon antigen re-encounter, whereas memory B cells expressed receptors capable of neutralizing virus when expressed as monoclonal antibodies. Therefore, mild COVID-19 elicits memory lymphocytes that persist and display functional hallmarks of antiviral immunity.”
20) Discrete Immune Response Signature to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination Versus Infection, Ivanova, 2021 “Performed multimodal single-cell sequencing on peripheral blood of patients with acute COVID-19 and healthy volunteers before and after receiving the SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine to compare the immune responses elicited by the virus and by this vaccine…both infection and vaccination induced robust innate and adaptive immune responses, our analysis revealed significant qualitative differences between the two types of immune challenges. In COVID-19 patients, immune responses were characterized by a highly augmented interferon response which was largely absent in vaccine recipients. Increased interferon signaling likely contributed to the observed dramatic upregulation of cytotoxic genes in the peripheral T cells and innate-like lymphocytes in patients but not in immunized subjects. Analysis of B and T cell receptor repertoires revealed that while the majority of clonal B and T cells in COVID-19 patients were effector cells, in vaccine recipients clonally expanded cells were primarily circulating memory cells…we observed the presence of cytotoxic CD4 T cells in COVID-19 patients that were largely absent in healthy volunteers following immunization. While hyper-activation of inflammatory responses and cytotoxic cells may contribute to immunopathology in severe illness, in mild and moderate disease, these features are indicative of protective immune responses and resolution of infection.”
21) SARS-CoV-2 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans, Turner, 2021 “Bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) are a persistent and essential source of protective antibodies… durable serum antibody titres are maintained by long-lived plasma cells—non-replicating, antigen-specific plasma cells that are detected in the bone marrow long after the clearance of the antigen … S-binding BMPCs are quiescent, which suggests that they are part of a stable compartment. Consistently, circulating resting memory B cells directed against SARS-CoV-2 S were detected in the convalescent individuals. Overall, our results indicate that mild infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces robust antigen-specific, long-lived humoral immune memory in humans…overall, our data provide strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans robustly establishes the two arms of humoral immune memory: long-lived bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) and memory B-cells.”
22) SARS-CoV-2 infection rates of antibody-positive compared with antibody-negative health-care workers in England: a large, multicentre, prospective cohort study (SIREN), Jane Hall, 2021 “The SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation study… 30 625 participants were enrolled into the study… a previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with an 84% lower risk of infection, with median protective effect observed 7 months following primary infection. This time period is the minimum probable effect because seroconversions were not included. This study shows that previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces effective immunity to future infections in most individuals.”
23) Pandemic peak SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroconversion rates in London frontline health-care workers, Houlihan, 2020 “Enrolled 200 patient-facing HCWs between March 26 and April 8, 2020…represents a 13% infection rate (i.e. 14 of 112 HCWs) within the 1 month of follow-up in those with no evidence of antibodies or viral shedding at enrolment. By contrast, of 33 HCWs who tested positive by serology but tested negative by RT-PCR at enrolment, 32 remained negative by RT-PCR through follow-up, and one tested positive by RT-PCR on days 8 and 13 after enrolment.”
24) Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are associated with protection against reinfection, Lumley, 2021 “Critical to understand whether infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) protects from subsequent reinfection… 12219 HCWs participated…prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that generated antibody responses offered protection from reinfection for most people in the six months following infection.”
25) Longitudinal analysis shows durable and broad immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 infection with persisting antibody responses and memory B and T cells, Cohen, 2021 “Evaluate 254 COVID-19 patients longitudinally up to 8 months and find durable broad-based immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 spike binding and neutralizing antibodies exhibit a bi-phasic decay with an extended half-life of >200 days suggesting the generation of longer-lived plasma cells… most recovered COVID-19 patients mount broad, durable immunity after infection, spike IgG+ memory B cells increase and persist post-infection, durable polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells recognize distinct viral epitope regions.”
26) Single cell profiling of T and B cell repertoires following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine, Sureshchandra, 2021 “Used single-cell RNA sequencing and functional assays to compare humoral and cellular responses to two doses of mRNA vaccine with responses observed in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic disease… natural infection induced expansion of larger CD8 T cell clones occupied distinct clusters, likely due to the recognition of a broader set of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine.”
27) SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positivity protects against reinfection for at least seven months with 95% efficacy, Abu-Raddad, 2021 “SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positive persons from April 16 to December 31, 2020 with a PCR-positive swab ≥14 days after the first-positive antibody test were investigated for evidence of reinfection, 43,044 antibody-positive persons who were followed for a median of 16.3 weeks…reinfection is rare in the young and international population of Qatar. Natural infection appears to elicit strong protection against reinfection with an efficacy ~95% for at least seven months.”
28) Orthogonal SARS-CoV-2 Serological Assays Enable Surveillance of Low-Prevalence Communities and Reveal Durable Humoral Immunity, Ripperger, 2020 “Conducted a serological study to define correlates of immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Compared to those with mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, individuals with severe disease exhibited elevated virus-neutralizing titers and antibodies against the nucleocapsid (N) and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein…neutralizing and spike-specific antibody production persists for at least 5–7 months… nucleocapsid antibodies frequently become undetectable by 5–7 months.”
29) Anti-spike antibody response to natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population, Wei, 2021 “In the general population using representative data from 7,256 United Kingdom COVID-19 infection survey participants who had positive swab SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests from 26-April-2020 to 14-June-2021…we estimated antibody levels associated with protection against reinfection likely last 1.5-2 years on average, with levels associated with protection from severe infection present for several years. These estimates could inform planning for vaccination booster strategies.”
30) Antibody Status and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Health Care Workers, Lumley, 2021 “12,541 health care workers participated and had anti-spike IgG measured; 11,364 were followed up after negative antibody results and 1265 after positive results, including 88 in whom seroconversion occurred during follow-up…a total of 223 anti-spike–seronegative health care workers had a positive PCR test (1.09 per 10,000 days at risk), 100 during screening while they were asymptomatic and 123 while symptomatic, whereas 2 anti-spike–seropositive health care workers had a positive PCR test… the presence of anti-spike or anti-nucleocapsid IgG antibodies was associated with a substantially reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in the ensuing 6 months.”
31) Researchers find long-lived immunity to 1918 pandemic virus, CIDRAP, 2008
and the actual 2008 NATURE journal publication by Yu
“A study of the blood of older people who survived the 1918 influenza pandemic reveals that antibodies to the strain have lasted a lifetime and can perhaps be engineered to protect future generations against similar strains…the group collected blood samples from 32 pandemic survivors aged 91 to 101..the people recruited for the study were 2 to 12 years old in 1918 and many recalled sick family members in their households, which suggests they were directly exposed to the virus, the authors report. The group found that 100% of the subjects had serum-neutralizing activity against the 1918 virus and 94% showed serologic reactivity to the 1918 hemagglutinin. The investigators generated B lymphoblastic cell lines from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of eight subjects. Transformed cells from the blood of 7 of the 8 donors yielded secreting antibodies that bound the 1918 hemagglutinin.” Yu: “here we show that of the 32 individuals tested that were born in or before 1915, each showed sero-reactivity with the 1918 virus, nearly 90 years after the pandemic. Seven of the eight donor samples tested had circulating B cells that secreted antibodies that bound the 1918 HA. We isolated B cells from subjects and generated five monoclonal antibodies that showed potent neutralizing activity against 1918 virus from three separate donors. These antibodies also cross-reacted with the genetically similar HA of a 1930 swine H1N1 influenza strain.”
32) Live virus neutralisation testing in convalescent patients and subjects vaccinated against 19A, 20B, 20I/501Y.V1 and 20H/501Y.V2 isolates of SARS-CoV-2, Gonzalez, 2021 “No significant difference was observed between the 20B and 19A isolates for HCWs with mild COVID-19 and critical patients. However, a significant decrease in neutralisation ability was found for 20I/501Y.V1 in comparison with 19A isolate for critical patients and HCWs 6-months post infection. Concerning 20H/501Y.V2, all populations had a significant reduction in neutralising antibody titres in comparison with the 19A isolate. Interestingly, a significant difference in neutralisation capacity was observed for vaccinated HCWs between the two variants whereas it was not significant for the convalescent groups…the reduced neutralising response observed towards the 20H/501Y.V2 in comparison with the 19A and 20I/501Y.V1 isolates in fully immunized subjects with the BNT162b2 vaccine is a striking finding of the study.”
33) Differential effects of the second SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine dose on T cell immunity in naïve and COVID-19 recovered individuals, Camara, 2021 “Characterized SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immunity in naïve and previously infected individuals during full BNT162b2 vaccination…results demonstrate that the second dose increases both the humoral and cellular immunity in naïve individuals. On the contrary, the second BNT162b2 vaccine dose results in a reduction of cellular immunity in COVID-19 recovered individuals.”
34) Op-Ed: Quit Ignoring Natural COVID Immunity, Klausner, 2021 “Epidemiologists estimate over 160 million people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19. Those who have recovered have an astonishingly low frequency of repeat infection, disease, or death.”
35) Association of SARS-CoV-2 Seropositive Antibody Test With Risk of Future Infection, Harvey, 2021 “To evaluate evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on diagnostic nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) among patients with positive vs negative test results for antibodies in an observational descriptive cohort study of clinical laboratory and linked claims data…the cohort included 3 257 478 unique patients with an index antibody test…patients with positive antibody test results were initially more likely to have positive NAAT results, consistent with prolonged RNA shedding, but became markedly less likely to have positive NAAT results over time, suggesting that seropositivity is associated with protection from infection.”
36) SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity and subsequent infection risk in healthy young adults: a prospective cohort study, Letizia, 2021 “Investigated the risk of subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection among young adults (CHARM marine study) seropositive for a previous infection…enrolled 3249 participants, of whom 3168 (98%) continued into the 2-week quarantine period. 3076 (95%) participants…Among 189 seropositive participants, 19 (10%) had at least one positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 during the 6-week follow-up (1·1 cases per person-year). In contrast, 1079 (48%) of 2247 seronegative participants tested positive (6·2 cases per person-year). The incidence rate ratio was 0·18 (95% CI 0·11–0·28; p<0·001)…infected seropositive participants had viral loads that were about 10-times lower than those of infected seronegative participants (ORF1ab gene cycle threshold difference 3·95 [95% CI 1·23–6·67]; p=0·004).”
37) Associations of Vaccination and of Prior Infection With Positive PCR Test Results for SARS-CoV-2 in Airline Passengers Arriving in Qatar, Bertollini, 2021 “Of 9,180 individuals with no record of vaccination but with a record of prior infection at least 90 days before the PCR test (group 3), 7694 could be matched to individuals with no record of vaccination or prior infection (group 2), among whom PCR positivity was 1.01% (95% CI, 0.80%-1.26%) and 3.81% (95% CI, 3.39%-4.26%), respectively. The relative risk for PCR positivity was 0.22 (95% CI, 0.17-0.28) for vaccinated individuals and 0.26 (95% CI, 0.21-0.34) for individuals with prior infection compared with no record of vaccination or prior infection.”
38) Natural immunity against COVID-19 significantly reduces the risk of reinfection: findings from a cohort of sero-survey participants, Mishra, 2021 “Followed up with a subsample of our previous sero-survey participants to assess whether natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2 was associated with a reduced risk of re-infection (India)… out of the 2238 participants, 1170 were sero-positive and 1068 were sero-negative for antibody against COVID-19. Our survey found that only 3 individuals in the sero-positive group got infected with COVID-19 whereas 127 individuals reported contracting the infection the sero-negative group…from the 3 sero-positives re-infected with COVID-19, one had hospitalization, but did not require oxygen support or critical care…development of antibody following natural infection not only protects against re-infection by the virus to a great extent, but also safeguards against progression to severe COVID-19 disease.”
39) Lasting immunity found after recovery from COVID-19, NIH, 2021 “The researchers found durable immune responses in the majority of people studied. Antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the virus uses to get inside cells, were found in 98% of participants one month after symptom onset. As seen in previous studies, the number of antibodies ranged widely between individuals. But, promisingly, their levels remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection… virus-specific B cells increased over time. People had more memory B cells six months after symptom onset than at one month afterwards… levels of T cells for the virus also remained high after infection. Six months after symptom onset, 92% of participants had CD4+ T cells that recognized the virus… 95% of the people had at least 3 out of 5 immune-system components that could recognize SARS-CoV-2 up to 8 months after infection.”
40) SARS-CoV-2 Natural Antibody Response Persists for at Least 12 Months in a Nationwide Study From the Faroe Islands, Petersen, 2021 “The seropositive rate in the convalescent individuals was above 95% at all sampling time points for both assays and remained stable over time; that is, almost all convalescent individuals developed antibodies… results show that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies persisted at least 12 months after symptom onset and maybe even longer, indicating that COVID-19-convalescent individuals may be protected from reinfection.”
41) SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory is sustained in COVID-19 convalescent patients for 10 months with successful development of stem cell-like memory T cells, Jung, 2021 “ex vivo assays to evaluate SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in COVID-19 convalescent patients up to 317 days post-symptom onset (DPSO), and find that memory T cell responses are maintained during the study period regardless of the severity of COVID-19. In particular, we observe sustained polyfunctionality and proliferation capacity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells. Among SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells detected by activation-induced markers, the proportion of stem cell-like memory T (TSCM) cells is increased, peaking at approximately 120 DPSO.”
42) Immune Memory in Mild COVID-19 Patients and Unexposed Donors Reveals Persistent T Cell Responses After SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Ansari, 2021 “Analyzed 42 unexposed healthy donors and 28 mild COVID-19 subjects up to 5 months from the recovery for SARS-CoV-2 specific immunological memory. Using HLA class II predicted peptide megapools, we identified SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive CD4+ T cells in around 66% of the unexposed individuals. Moreover, we found detectable immune memory in mild COVID-19 patients several months after recovery in the crucial arms of protective adaptive immunity; CD4+ T cells and B cells, with a minimal contribution from CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, the persistent immune memory in COVID-19 patients is predominantly targeted towards the Spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2. This study provides the evidence of both high magnitude pre-existing and persistent immune memory in Indian population.”
43) COVID-19 natural immunity, WHO, 2021 “Current evidence points to most individuals developing strong protective immune responses following natural infection with SARSCoV-2. Within 4 weeks following infection, 90-99% of individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus develop detectable neutralizing antibodies. The strength and duration of the immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 are not completely understood and currently available data suggests that it varies by age and the severity of symptoms. Available scientific data suggests that in most people immune responses remain robust and protective against reinfection for at least 6-8 months after infection (the longest follow up with strong scientific evidence is currently approximately 8 months).”
44) Antibody Evolution after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination, Cho, 2021 “We conclude that memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination…boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines would produce a quantitative increase in plasma neutralizing activity but not the qualitative advantage against variants obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.”
45) Humoral Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 in IcelandGudbjartsson, 2020 “Measured antibodies in serum samples from 30,576 persons in Iceland…of the 1797 persons who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, 1107 of the 1215 who were tested (91.1%) were seropositive…results indicate risk of death from infection was 0.3% and that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis (para).”
46)  Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection, Dan, 2021 “Analyzed multiple compartments of circulating immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 in 254 samples from 188 COVID-19 cases, including 43 samples at ≥ 6 months post-infection…IgG to the Spike protein was relatively stable over 6+ months. Spike-specific memory B cells were more abundant at 6 months than at 1 month post symptom onset.”
47) The prevalence of adaptive immunity to COVID-19 and reinfection after recovery – a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 011 447 individuals, Chivese, 2021 “Fifty-four studies, from 18 countries, with a total of 12 011 447 individuals, followed up to 8 months after recovery, were included. At 6-8 months after recovery, the prevalence of detectable SARS-CoV-2 specific immunological memory remained high; IgG – 90.4%… pooled prevalence of reinfection was 0.2% (95%CI 0.0 – 0.7, I2 = 98.8, 9 studies). Individuals who recovered from COVID-19 had an 81% reduction in odds of a reinfection (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.1 – 0.3, I2 = 90.5%, 5 studies).”
48) Reinfection Rates among Patients who Previously Tested Positive for COVID-19: a Retrospective Cohort Study, Sheehan, 2021 “Retrospective cohort study of one multi-hospital health system included 150,325 patients tested for COVID-19 infection…prior infection in patients with COVID-19 was highly protective against reinfection and symptomatic disease. This protection increased over time, suggesting that viral shedding or ongoing immune response may persist beyond 90 days and may not represent true reinfection.”
49) Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection 1 Year After Primary Infection in a Population in Lombardy, Italy, Vitale, 2020 “The study results suggest that reinfections are rare events and patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have a lower risk of reinfection. Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to confer a protective effect for at least a year, which is similar to the protection reported in recent vaccine studies.”
50) Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with protection against symptomatic reinfection, Hanrath, 2021 “We observed no symptomatic reinfections in a cohort of healthcare workers…this apparent immunity to re-infection was maintained for at least 6 months…test positivity rates were 0% (0/128 [95% CI: 0–2.9]) in those with previous infection compared to 13.7% (290/2115 [95% CI: 12.3–15.2]) in those without (P<0.0001 χ2 test).”
51) mRNA vaccine-induced T cells respond identically to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern but differ in longevity and homing properties depending on prior infection status, Neidleman, 2021 “In infection-naïve individuals, the second dose boosted the quantity and altered the phenotypic properties of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, while in convalescents the second dose changed neither. Spike-specific T cells from convalescent vaccinees differed strikingly from those of infection-naïve vaccinees, with phenotypic features suggesting superior long-term persistence and ability to home to the respiratory tract including the nasopharynx.”
52) Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed Individuals, Grifoni, 2020 “Using HLA class I and II predicted peptide “megapools,” circulating SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were identified in ∼70% and 100% of COVID-19 convalescent patients, respectively. CD4+ T cell responses to spike, the main target of most vaccine efforts, were robust and correlated with the magnitude of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA titers. The M, spike, and N proteins each accounted for 11%–27% of the total CD4+ response, with additional responses commonly targeting nsp3, nsp4, ORF3a, and ORF8, among others. For CD8+ T cells, spike and M were recognized, with at least eight SARS-CoV-2 ORFs targeted.”
53) NIH Director’s Blog: Immune T Cells May Offer Lasting Protection Against COVID-19, Collins, 2021 “Much of the study on the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has focused on the production of antibodies. But, in fact, immune cells known as memory T cells also play an important role in the ability of our immune systems to protect us against many viral infections, including—it now appears—COVID-19.An intriguing new study of these memory T cells suggests they might protect some people newly infected with SARS-CoV-2 by remembering past encounters with other human coronaviruses. This might potentially explain why some people seem to fend off the virus and may be less susceptible to becoming severely ill with COVID-19.”
54) Ultrapotent antibodies against diverse and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, Wang, 2021 “Our study demonstrates that convalescent subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency…potent against 23 variants, including variants of concern.”
55) Why COVID-19 Vaccines Should Not Be Required for All Americans, Makary, 2021 “Requiring the vaccine in people who are already immune with natural immunity has no scientific support. While vaccinating those people may be beneficial – and it’s a reasonable hypothesis that vaccination may bolster the longevity of their immunity – to argue dogmatically that they must get vaccinated has zero clinical outcome data to back it. As a matter of fact, we have data to the contrary: A Cleveland Clinic study found that vaccinating people with natural immunity did not add to their level of protection.”
56) Protracted yet coordinated differentiation of long-lived SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells during COVID-19 convalescence, Ma, 2021 “Screened 21 well-characterized, longitudinally-sampled convalescent donors that recovered from mild COVID-19…following a typical case of mild COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells not only persist but continuously differentiate in a coordinated fashion well into convalescence, into a state characteristic of long-lived, self-renewing memory.”
57) Decrease in Measles Virus-Specific CD4 T Cell Memory in Vaccinated Subjects, Naniche, 2004 “Characterized the profiles of measles vaccine (MV) vaccine-induced antigen-specific T cells over time since vaccination. In a cross-sectional study of healthy subjects with a history of MV vaccination, we found that MV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells could be detected up to 34 years after vaccination. The levels of MV-specific CD8 T cells and MV-specific IgG remained stable, whereas the level of MV-specific CD4 T cells decreased significantly in subjects who had been vaccinated >21 years earlier.”
58) Remembrance of Things Past: Long-Term B Cell Memory After Infection and Vaccination, Palm, 2019 “The success of vaccines is dependent on the generation and maintenance of immunological memory. The immune system can remember previously encountered pathogens, and memory B and T cells are critical in secondary responses to infection. Studies in mice have helped to understand how different memory B cell populations are generated following antigen exposure and how affinity for the antigen is determinant to B cell fate… upon re-exposure to an antigen the memory recall response will be faster, stronger, and more specific than a naïve response. Protective memory depends first on circulating antibodies secreted by LLPCs. When these are not sufficient for immediate pathogen neutralization and elimination, memory B cells are recalled.”
59) SARS-CoV-2 specific memory B-cells from individuals with diverse disease severities recognize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, Lyski, 2021 “Examined the magnitude, breadth, and durability of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in two distinct B-cell compartments: long-lived plasma cell-derived antibodies in the plasma, and peripheral memory B-cells along with their associated antibody profiles elicited after in vitro stimulation. We found that magnitude varied amongst individuals, but was the highest in hospitalized subjects. Variants of concern (VoC) -RBD-reactive antibodies were found in the plasma of 72% of samples in this investigation, and VoC-RBD-reactive memory B-cells were found in all but 1 subject at a single time-point. This finding, that VoC-RBD-reactive MBCs are present in the peripheral blood of all subjects including those that experienced asymptomatic or mild disease, provides a reason for optimism regarding the capacity of vaccination, prior infection, and/or both, to limit disease severity and transmission of variants of concern as they continue to arise and circulate.”
60) Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 generates T-cell memory in the absence of a detectable viral infection, Wang, 2021 “T-cell immunity is important for recovery from COVID-19 and provides heightened immunity for re-infection. However, little is known about the SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity in virus-exposed individuals…report virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell memory in recovered COVID-19 patients and close contacts…close contacts are able to gain T-cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2 despite lacking a detectable infection.”
61) CD8+ T-Cell Responses in COVID-19 Convalescent Individuals Target Conserved Epitopes From Multiple Prominent SARS-CoV-2 Circulating Variants, Redd, 2021and Lee, 2021 “The CD4 and CD8 responses generated after natural infection are equally robust, showing activity against multiple “epitopes” (little segments) of the spike protein of the virus. For instance, CD8 cells responds to 52 epitopes and CD4 cells respond to 57 epitopes across the spike protein, so that a few mutations in the variants cannot knock out such a robust and in-breadth T cell response…only 1 mutation found in Beta variant-spike overlapped with a previously identified epitope (1/52), suggesting that virtually all anti-SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T-cell responses should recognize these newly described variants.”
62) Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2,La Jolla, Crotty and Sette, 2020 “Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2”
63) Selective and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes in unexposed humans, Mateus, 2020 “Found that the pre-existing reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 comes from memory T cells and that cross-reactive T cells can specifically recognize a SARS-CoV-2 epitope as well as the homologous epitope from a common cold coronavirus. These findings underline the importance of determining the impacts of pre-existing immune memory in COVID-19 disease severity.”
64) Longitudinal observation of antibody responses for 14 months after SARS-CoV-2 infectionDehgani-Mobaraki, 2021 “Better understanding of antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection might provide valuable insights into the future implementation of vaccination policies. Longitudinal analysis of IgG antibody titers was carried out in 32 recovered COVID-19 patients based in the Umbria region of Italy for 14 months after Mild and Moderately-Severe infection…study findings are consistent with recent studies reporting antibody persistency suggesting that induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity through natural infection, might be very efficacious against re-infection (>90%) and could persist for more than six months. Our study followed up patients up to 14 months demonstrating the presence of anti-S-RBD IgG in 96.8% of recovered COVID-19 subjects.”
65) Humoral and circulating follicular helper T cell responses in recovered patients with COVID-19, Juno, 2020 “Characterized humoral and circulating follicular helper T cell (cTFH) immunity against spike in recovered patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We found that S-specific antibodies, memory B cells and cTFH are consistently elicited after SARS-CoV-2 infection, demarking robust humoral immunity and positively associated with plasma neutralizing activity.”
66) Convergent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in convalescent individuals, Robbiani, 2020 “149 COVID-19-convalescent individuals…antibody sequencing revealed the expansion of clones of RBD-specific memory B cells that expressed closely related antibodies in different individuals. Despite low plasma titres, antibodies to three distinct epitopes on the RBD neutralized the virus with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values) as low as 2 ng ml−1.”
67) Rapid generation of durable B cell memory to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins in COVID-19 and convalescence, Hartley, 2020 “COVID-19 patients rapidly generate B cell memory to both the spike and nucleocapsid antigens following SARS-CoV-2 infection…RBD- and NCP-specific IgG and Bmem cells were detected in all 25 patients with a history of COVID-19.”
68) Had COVID? You’ll probably make antibodies for a lifetime, Callaway, 2021 “People who recover from mild COVID-19 have bone-marrow cells that can churn out antibodies for decades…the study provides evidence that immunity triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection will be extraordinarily long-lasting.”
69) A majority of uninfected adults show preexisting antibody reactivity against SARS-CoV-2, Majdoubi, 2021 In greater Vancouver Canada, “using a highly sensitive multiplex assay and positive/negative thresholds established in infants in whom maternal antibodies have waned, we determined that more than 90% of uninfected adults showed antibody reactivity against the spike protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD), N-terminal domain (NTD), or the nucleocapsid (N) protein from SARS-CoV-2.”
70) SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19, Braun, 2020 “The results indicate that spike-protein cross-reactive T cells are present, which were probably generated during previous encounters with endemic coronaviruses.”
71) Naturally enhanced neutralizing breadth against SARS-CoV-2 one year after infection, Wang, 2021 “A cohort of 63 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 assessed at 1.3, 6.2 and 12 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection…the data suggest that immunity in convalescent individuals will be very long lasting.”
72) One Year after Mild COVID-19: The Majority of Patients Maintain Specific Immunity, But One in Four Still Suffer from Long-Term Symptoms, Rank, 2021 “Long-lasting immunological memory against SARS-CoV-2 after mild COVID-19.”
73) IDSA, 2021 “Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection can persist for at least 11 months… natural infection (as determined by a prior positive antibody or PCR-test result) can confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
74) Assessment of protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 among 4 million PCR-tested individuals in Denmark in 2020: a population-level observational study, Holm Hansen, 2021 Denmark, “during the first surge (ie, before June, 2020), 533 381 people were tested, of whom 11 727 (2·20%) were PCR positive, and 525 339 were eligible for follow-up in the second surge, of whom 11 068 (2·11%) had tested positive during the first surge. Among eligible PCR-positive individuals from the first surge of the epidemic, 72 (0·65% [95% CI 0·51–0·82]) tested positive again during the second surge compared with 16 819 (3·27% [3·22–3·32]) of 514 271 who tested negative during the first surge (adjusted RR 0·195 [95% CI 0·155–0·246]).”
75) Antigen-Specific Adaptive Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in Acute COVID-19 and Associations with Age and Disease Severity, Moderbacher, 2020 “Adaptive immune responses limit COVID-19 disease severity…multiple coordinated arms of adaptive immunity control better than partial responses…completed a combined examination of all three branches of adaptive immunity at the level of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in acute and convalescent subjects. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were each associated with milder disease. Coordinated SARS-CoV-2-specific adaptive immune responses were associated with milder disease, suggesting roles for both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in protective immunity in COVID-19.”
76) Detection of SARS-CoV-2-Specific Humoral and Cellular Immunity in COVID-19 Convalescent Individuals, Ni, 2020 “Collected blood from COVID-19 patients who have recently become virus-free, and therefore were discharged, and detected SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral and cellular immunity in eight newly discharged patients. Follow-up analysis on another cohort of six patients 2 weeks post discharge also revealed high titers of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. In all 14 patients tested, 13 displayed serum-neutralizing activities in a pseudotype entry assay. Notably, there was a strong correlation between neutralization antibody titers and the numbers of virus-specific T cells.”
77) Robust SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity is maintained at 6 months following primary infection, Zuo, 2020 “Analysed the magnitude and phenotype of the SARS-CoV-2 cellular immune response in 100 donors at six months following primary infection and related this to the profile of antibody level against spike, nucleoprotein and RBD over the previous six months. T-cell immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 were present by ELISPOT and/or ICS analysis in all donors and are characterised by predominant CD4+ T cell responses with strong IL-2 cytokine expression… functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses are retained at six months following infection.”
78) Negligible impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on CD4+ and CD8+ T cell reactivity in COVID-19 exposed donors and vaccinees, Tarke, 2021 “Performed a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses from COVID-19 convalescent subjects recognizing the ancestral strain, compared to variant lineages B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and CAL.20C as well as recipients of the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccines… the sequences of the vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes are not affected by the mutations found in the variants analyzed. Overall, the results demonstrate that CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in convalescent COVID-19 subjects or COVID-19 mRNA vaccinees are not substantially affected by mutations.”
79) A 1 to 1000 SARS-CoV-2 reinfection proportion in members of a large healthcare provider in Israel: a preliminary report, Perez, 2021 Israel, “out of 149,735 individuals with a documented positive PCR test between March 2020 and January 2021, 154 had two positive PCR tests at least 100 days apart, reflecting a reinfection proportion of 1 per 1000.”
80) Persistence and decay of human antibody responses to the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in COVID-19 patients, Iyer, 2020 “Measured plasma and/or serum antibody responses to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 in 343 North American patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (of which 93% required hospitalization) up to 122 days after symptom onset and compared them to responses in 1548 individuals whose blood samples were obtained prior to the pandemic…IgG antibodies persisted at detectable levels in patients beyond 90 days after symptom onset, and seroreversion was only observed in a small percentage of individuals. The concentration of these anti-RBD IgG antibodies was also highly correlated with pseudovirus NAb titers, which also demonstrated minimal decay. The observation that IgG and neutralizing antibody responses persist is encouraging, and suggests the development of robust systemic immune memory in individuals with severe infection.”
81) A population-based analysis of the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity in the United States, Alfego, 2021 “To track population-based SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity duration across the United States using observational data from a national clinical laboratory registry of patients tested by nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) and serologic assays… specimens from 39,086 individuals with confirmed positive COVID-19…both S and N SARS-CoV-2 antibody results offer an encouraging view of how long humans may have protective antibodies against COVID-19, with curve smoothing showing population seropositivity reaching 90% within three weeks, regardless of whether the assay detects N or S-antibodies. Most importantly, this level of seropositivity was sustained with little decay through ten months after initial positive PCR.”
82) What are the roles of antibodies versus a durable, high- quality T-cell response in protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2? Hellerstein, 2020 “Progress in laboratory markers for SARS-CoV2 has been made with identification of epitopes on CD4 and CD8 T-cells in convalescent blood. These are much less dominated by spike protein than in previous coronavirus infections. Although most vaccine candidates are focusing on spike protein as antigen, natural infection by SARS-CoV-2 induces broad epitope coverage, cross-reactive with other betacoronviruses.”
83) Broad and strong memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells induced by SARS-CoV-2 in UK convalescent COVID-19 patients, Peng, 2020 “Study of 42 patients following recovery from COVID-19, including 28 mild and 14 severe cases, comparing their T cell responses to those of 16 control donors…found the breadth, magnitude and frequency of memory T cell responses from COVID-19 were significantly higher in severe compared to mild COVID-19 cases, and this effect was most marked in response to spike, membrane, and ORF3a proteins…total and spike-specific T cell responses correlated with the anti-Spike, anti-Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) as well as anti-Nucleoprotein (NP) endpoint antibody titre…furthermore showed a higher ratio of SARS-CoV-2-specific
CD8+ to CD4+ T cell responses…immunodominant epitope clusters and peptides containing T cell epitopes identified in this study will provide critical tools to study the role of virus-specific T cells in control and resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infections.”
84) Robust T Cell Immunity in Convalescent Individuals with Asymptomatic or Mild COVID-19, Sekine, 2020 “SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells will likely prove critical for long-term immune protection against COVID-19…mapped the functional and phenotypic landscape of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in unexposed individuals, exposed family members, and individuals with acute or convalescent COVID-19…collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits broadly directed and functionally replete memory T cell responses, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19.”
85) Potent SARS-CoV-2-Specific T Cell Immunity and Low Anaphylatoxin Levels Correlate With Mild Disease Progression in COVID-19 Patients, Lafron, 2021 “Provide a full picture of cellular and humoral immune responses of COVID-19 patients and prove that robust polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses concomitant with low anaphylatoxin levels correlate with mild infections.”
86) SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes define heterologous and COVID-19 induced T-cell recognition, Nelde, 2020 “The first work identifying and characterizing SARS-CoV-2-specific and cross-reactive HLA class I and HLA-DR T-cell epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 convalescents (n = 180) as well as unexposed individuals (n = 185) and confirming their relevance for immunity and COVID-19 disease course…cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed pre-existing T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection…intensity of T-cell responses and recognition rate of T-cell epitopes was significantly higher in the convalescent donors compared to unexposed individuals, suggesting that not only expansion, but also diversity spread of SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses occur upon active infection.”
87) Karl Friston: up to 80% not even susceptible to Covid-19, Sayers, 2020 “Results have just been published of a study suggesting that 40%-60% of people who have not been exposed to coronavirus have resistance at the T-cell level from other similar coronaviruses like the common cold…the true portion of people who are not even susceptible to Covid-19 may be as high as 80%.”
88) CD8+ T cells specific for an immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid epitope cross-react with selective seasonal coronaviruses, Lineburg, 2021 “Screening of SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools revealed that the nucleocapsid (N) protein induced an immunodominant response in HLA-B7+ COVID-19-recovered individuals that was also detectable in unexposed donors…the basis of selective T cell cross-reactivity for an immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 epitope and its homologs from seasonal coronaviruses, suggesting long-lasting protective immunity.”
89) SARS-CoV-2 genome-wide mapping of CD8 T cell recognition reveals strong immunodominance and substantial CD8 T cell activation in COVID-19 patients, Saini, 2020 “COVID-19 patients showed strong T cell responses, with up to 25% of all CD8+ lymphocytes specific to SARS-CoV-2-derived immunodominant epitopes, derived from ORF1 (open reading frame 1), ORF3, and Nucleocapsid (N) protein. A strong signature of T cell activation was observed in COVID-19 patients, while no T cell activation was seen in the ‘non-exposed’ and ‘high exposure risk’ healthy donors.”
90) Equivalency of Protection from Natural Immunity in COVID-19 Recovered Versus Fully Vaccinated Persons: A Systematic Review and Pooled Analysis, Shenai, 2021 “Systematic review and pooled analysis of clinical studies to date, that (1) specifically compare the protection of natural immunity in the COVID-recovered versus the efficacy of full vaccination in the COVID-naive, and (2) the added benefit of vaccination in the COVID-recovered, for prevention of subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection…review demonstrates that natural immunity in COVID-recovered individuals is, at least, equivalent to the protection afforded by full vaccination of COVID-naïve populations. There is a modest and incremental relative benefit to vaccination in COVID-recovered individuals; however, the net benefit is marginal on an absolute basis.”
91) ChAdOx1nCoV-19 effectiveness during an unprecedented surge in SARS CoV-2 infections, Satwik, 2021 “The third key finding is that previous infections with SARS-CoV-2 were significantly protective against all studied outcomes, with an effectiveness of 93% (87 to 96%) seen against symptomatic infections, 89% (57 to 97%) against moderate to severe disease and 85% (-9 to 98%) against supplemental oxygen therapy. All deaths occurred in previously uninfected individuals. This was higher protection than that offered by single or double dose vaccine.”


  • Dr. Alexander holds a PhD. He has experience in epidemiology and in the teaching of clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and research methodology. Dr Alexander is a former Assistant Professor at McMaster University in evidence-based medicine and research methods; former COVID Pandemic evidence-synthesis consultant advisor to WHO-PAHO Washington, DC (2020) and former senior advisor to COVID Pandemic policy in Health and Human Services (HHS) Washington, DC (A Secretary), US government; worked/appointed in 2008 at WHO as a regional specialist/epidemiologist in Europe’s Regional office Denmark, worked for the government of Canada as an epidemiologist for 12 years, appointed as the Canadian in-field epidemiologist (2002-2004) as part of an international CIDA funded, Health Canada executed project on TB/HIV co-infection and MDR-TB control (involving India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, posted to Kathmandu); employed from 2017 to 2019 at Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Virginia USA as the evidence synthesis meta-analysis systematic review guideline development trainer; currently a COVID-19 consultant researcher in the US-C19 research group

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Your voice is needed to support the arts in Contra Costa

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Can you please write a letter to the Board of Supervisors by Nov. 2nd?

By Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County

Measure X is Contra Costa’s new countywide half-cent sales tax. The Measure X Community Advisory Board was formed to identify unmet community needs and recommend spending priorities to the Board of Supervisors. The Measure X Community Advisory Board recommended funding for the Arts and Culture Commission to the Board of Supervisors. At the Nov. 2nd meeting, Supervisors will be making final recommendations.

The current Contra Costa County $31,000 grant match budget is only a $.06 per person investment: Napa $3.55, Solano $2.19, Santa Clara $0.92, and Alameda County $0.54.

Please support signature programs that provide services to Contra Costa County: Arts and Culture Prospectus of Contra Costa County, ABOUTFACE, Poetry Out Loud, Youth Advisor, Jump StArts California Arts Council grant, Impact Projects California Arts Council grant, Art Passages, and more!

Transformational ideas include:

  • District Public Art Program: Let’s build Contra Costa County’s first public art program following best practices of other Bay Counties.
  • Youth Advisor in each District: We want to expand equity and opportunity to every District!
  • Arts Connection: We want to connect artists and art organizations for quarterly meetings for advocacy, opportunities, and data collection.
  • Community Art Fund: Support up to 5 community art projects a year!
  • AIRS (Artist-in-Residency in the School) pilot program: Place teaching artists in CCC schools to work with students to create an art project.
  • Build Structures: Community creates policy for new and signature programs based on equity!

Ask: $625,000 at $.54 per resident!

​​District locator:

Please send email by Nov. 2nd!

Sample email: The arts are important to me and to my community. Please increase funding for the arts in Contra Costa County from $31,000 to $625,000 annually. This will help the Arts and Culture Commission demonstrate support for the arts to be competitive for national and state grants. This will support signature programs that directly impact all communities including our youth to Veterans. It will help provide public art programs in each district, a Community Art Fund, a youth advisor in each district, an Artist-In-Residency in the School pilot program, the Arts Connection and Build Structures initiative and other great programs. It will help our County stabilize arts funding and be able to plan equitably for the future. Thank you.

Let’s build an arts foundation for Contra Costa County!


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