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County Health Leaders Quiet on Third Anniversary of Forced Lockdowns

While the science and understanding of COVID have radically changed since 2020, County leaders have gone silent rather than admit mistakes or publicly reassess policies that cost the County billions, shut down virtually all public life, forced unproven mRNA shots on citizens and stripped residents of basic freedoms.

The Conejo Guardian contacted Robert Levin, a private contractor with the County who makes more than $300,000 per year and owns a winery in Ojai; Levin continues to serve as Ventura County’s public health officer and public face. Also on the email exchange was Rigoberto Vargas, who makes $319,000 a year in pay and benefits as a deputy director of the County health agency.

The Guardian asked Levin and Vargas to reflect on statements Levin made in May 2020 at a press conference. Levin said at that time:

“We are beginning a program today, and it’s a pilot program which will certainly grow into something larger and larger, and that is a community contact tracing program. We’ve done contact tracing all along. A ‘contact’ is a person who has been exposed to someone that we document to have the COVID infection. When we find someone who has a COVID infection, those people are immediately isolated, but we also work with them to figure out who their contacts were. …

“But the purpose of this program is to bring on people — we’re going to start with ten people; we may bring on up to fifty or even more as the program grows and we see the needs for it. As we do more testing, we will find more and more people who have COVID-19, and again, we will isolate every one of them and we will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stay quarantined, and we will check in with them every day.

“In other words, what this program means is that we are going to do a more complete job, and we’re going to do a more meticulous job of making it less and less possible for others in the county to run into someone with COVID-19 infection.

“It’s not just our county that’s bringing more people on. There are going to be thousands of people hired who will be these contact investigators throughout the state. And this is occurring in many, many other states as well — perhaps all the states in our country. We will be giving intensive training to these people, training not only for identifying and finding contacts but also in terms of how to be sensitive about doing it.

“We also realize that as we find more contacts, some of the people we find are going to have trouble being isolated. For instance, if they live in a home where there’s only one bathroom, and there are three or four other people living there, and those people don’t have COVID infection, we’re not going to be able to keep the person in that home. Every person who we’re isolating, for instance, needs to have their own bathroom. So we’ll be moving people like this into other kinds of housing that we have available.

“They’ll also have other needs, perhaps — food, whatever it’s going to be — the County will be there to back them up and to support them.”

Levin’s response last week: “As far as what you say was a 5/4/20 press conference statement, we have not pursued close contact tracing for about a year and a half now. Those contact tracer positions have not been active for about as long.”

We asked what happened to the dozens of positions the County created and filled to conduct contract tracing. Neither Levin nor Vargas responded to the question.

We then reminded Levin of comments made on May 6, 2020:

“We’ve looked at having thermometers on many, many people so if we start to see a little pocket where fevers are developing, we are alerted in advance. We are looking at ways of cell phones and perhaps tracking and — there are people who are into Constitutional rights, so this could hit blockades. But looking at where people have been in terms of contacts when we find a case.”

Levin responded now:

“As far as what you say were 5/6/20 comments, these were concepts being considered by the state which as far as I know were never launched. At least we never did so in Ventura County. There was a voluntary program to enroll in for individuals who wanted to be informed if they had been in close proximity to a documented case (people voluntarily gave their cell phone numbers for tracking) which few people elected to take advantage of.”

Standing by the ‘Vaccines’

We then asked if the County had updated its assessment of the usefulness of COVID mRNA shots, considering that a number of Western countries and corporations have stopped giving or requiring the shots because of concerns over serious side effects, including heart problems, heavy bleeding, menstrual irregularities and more. Vargas — who sent squads of public health officers to spy on and shut down businesses, churches and schools in 2020, 2021 and 2022 — said nothing.

Levin replied:

“The declining efficacy of the vaccine is a decrease of test tube efficacy only. Cellular immunity appears to continue to be protective against hospitalization and death, especially in people under 60 years of age. Between vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, we have seen a decrease in deaths in our county from some 80 times flu deaths two seasons ago to now, only about 6 times flu deaths.”

This is the first time, it appears, that a County health officer has recognized “naturally acquired immunity” as a significant, positive factor in battling COVID infection.

Perhaps it was unavoidable. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that “Three Years Late, the Lancet Recognizes Natural Immunity.” Reporter Allysia Finley wrote, “The Lancet medical journal this month published a review of 65 studies that concluded prior infection with Covid — i.e., natural immunity — is at least as protective as two doses of mRNA vaccines.”

Levin’s assertion that people under 60 have benefited from COVID mRNA shots fails the credibility test. Numerous countries, including Great Britain and Denmark, no longer allow most people under 50 to receive the shots. And a study published in Science Immunology in January 2023 found that “Immune Exhaustion Emerges After 3rd Vaccine Dose.”

“[T]he immune system seemed to gain a false sense of security from dealing with the booster version of the vaccine, which is supposed to teach the immune system how to deal with the virus,” a report on the study said. “Unfortunately, in this case, it seemed that the immune system has learned that it doesn’t need to mount a strong counterattack. Worse, the vaccine boosters might not even induce any effect in people at high risk of severe infection.”

That means the most vulnerable become weaker with each COVID booster.

“It’s also an indication that the immune system intentionally dampened the response starting with the third dose of the vaccination,” an Epoch Health assessment read. “The vaccine is meant to train the immune system’s memory cells so that the next time something similar comes along, they know how to quickly defend the immune system. This process is also called antibody acquisition. The aforementioned study demonstrates that the body stops regarding COVID-19 as a serious viral infection after the vaccine booster shot.” (See Epoch Health article “Immune Exhaustion Emerges After 3rd Vaccine Dose: Study.”)

As a result of an avalanche of such studies, the U.S. Navy in February lifted deployment restrictions on sailors who never took COVID shots, reversing a year-long policy.

“COVID-19 vaccination status shall not be a consideration in assessing individual service member suitability for deployment or other operational missions,” according to NAVADMIN 38/23.

In Canada, the chief public health officer said they are “currently not recommending an additional bivalent booster for the general population,” meaning that for the vast majority of Canadians, the era of COVID boosters is over.

In Australia, the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine was quietly pulled off the market and is no longer available because it was linked to a “very rare but serious side-effect.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S., “A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence,” reported The Epoch Times. It cited a tweet by Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, who wrote: “I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT [randomized clinical trial] level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease.”

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, also told the Times he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least one dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

According to the paper, “Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position. She called on people to ‘join the movement to demand appropriate evidence.’”

Another physician, Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California at San Francisco, said she took the second dose “against my will.”

“I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she posted on Twitter.

One man, Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement: “At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately. They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Longer Menstrual Cycles

One well-established side effect of the shots is longer menstrual cycles. Numerous studies, including one of nearly 20,000 women in the U.K., plus long-term data from the Nurses’ Health Study based in the U.S. and Canada and a paper published in the Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy, affirm the connection.

They also show that women who received COVID shots were more likely to experience heavier flow and more days of bleeding, frequent back pain, nausea, tiredness, pelvic pain and passage of loose stools. It remains unclear if COVID shots affect fertility and reproductive health.

Will Ventura County’s public health officials — any public health officials — admit mistakes? The Wall Street Journal’s longtime columnist, Daniel Halperin, is skeptical. “Now that the Covid pandemic is behind us, you’d think scientists and the media could have an honest conversation about what they got wrong and what lessons they’ve learned. Think again,” he wrote in March.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens agrees:

“We no longer live in a culture in which resignation is seen as the honorable course for public officials who fail in their jobs,” Stephens wrote in a popular February column in the Times. “… the technocratic mind-set has the unpleasant habit of assuming that nothing is ever wrong with the bureaucracy’s well-laid plans — provided nobody gets in its way, nobody has a dissenting point of view, everyone does exactly what it asks, and for as long as officialdom demands.”

As Dr. Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine, MD, Ph.D., wrote on Twitter: “What happened was a relatively small group, a cartel almost, of very powerful scientific bureaucrats took over the whole apparatus of science — at least as far as the public eye is concerned — dominated the media, dominated the message to politicians, and as a result, we had a catastrophic response to COVID. And we’re going to be paying the costs of that for a very long time.”


  1. My mother is currently in assisted living at The Reserve in Thousand Oaks. They just shut down all activities and closed the restaurant today (5/12/23) and are requesting that these dear elderly that are paying upwards of over 6k a month to live at The Resereve wear masks again. Why you ask? Because. Covid.

    This is so maddening. How is this legal? How does the County have the ability to limit the activities of our dear seniors and push them into isolation and quite frankly limit their liberty and choice all in the name of protecting them? Protecing them from what? A mild cold?

    Happy Mother’s Day mom. You have been such a good mom! Sorry Ventura County leadership is stuping to this level arrogance.

    Come see the faces that you have isolated Robert Levin and Rigoberto Vargas. Shame on you for forcing the elderly to lose their liberty in their own homes!


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