Why Did Harvard Fire Martin Kulldorff?

Martin Kulldorff talks about his dismissal from Harvard Medical School, persisting college vaccine mandates, and surviving COVID-era censorship on the latest episode of Just Asking Questions.


At least 40 U.S. colleges still require a COVID vaccine, according to, an initiative that tracks and opposes the mandates.

Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine and biostatistician who lost his job at Harvard for refusing the vaccine even though he'd already survived a COVID infection, says such mandates are "unscientific" and "unethical." Harvard has since dropped the mandate, but Kulldorff likely won't be getting his job there back anytime soon because the Harvard-affiliated hospital that employs medical school faculty still requires a COVID vaccine.   

Kulldorff, who created one of the earliest disease outbreak surveillance software systems, was also booted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 vaccine safety commission and regularly de-boosted on Twitter and YouTube for his views. Former National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins labeled him and his co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration "fringe epidemiologists" and demanded a "quick and devastating…takedown" of their call to end lockdowns in favor of a "focused protection" strategy. 

Kulldorff joined Reason's Zach Weissmueller and Liz Wolfe on the latest episode of Just Asking Questions to talk about his ordeal at Harvard, his retrospective on the pandemic and the cultural and governmental response to it, and his involvement in the ongoing Supreme Court case Murthy v. Missouri, in which plaintiffs argue that federal agencies violated the First Amendment by pressuring social media companies to take down certain content about COVID-19. 

Watch the full conversation on Reason's YouTube channel or on the Just Asking Questions podcast feed on Apple, Spotify, or your preferred podcatcher.

Sources referenced in this conversation:

  1.'s Google Sheet list of U.S. colleges with and without vaccine mandates 
  2. COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Group at the CDC
  3. Flagged Kulldorff tweet 
  4. Our World in Data: vaccinated vs. unvaccinated U.S. COVID deaths
  5. "Sweden during the pandemic," by Johan Norberg
  6. "Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults"
  7. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo's recommendation on COVID vaccines
  8. The Food and Drug Administration and CDC's response to Lapado's recommendation
  9. "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False," by John P. A. Ioannidis


0:00—Forty colleges still require COVID vaccines
2:17—What happened between Martin Kulldorff and Harvard
5:57—How vaccine mandates are unscientific and unethical
7:54—Why is there a push to vaccinate children?
11:30—Being a dissident at Harvard
14:00—Fired by the CDC for being too pro-vaccine
19:25—Vaccines are good for some while bad for others.
21:33—Being censored online for speaking the truth
25:54—How masks were ineffective during COVID
28:29—There has been no reckoning for what happened during COVID.
30:31—No one should be allowed to violate the First Amendment.
36:21—How Sweden handled COVID
42:19—How a good health system kept COVID deaths down
44:25—What is jawboning?
47:20—What is the best public health use of the mRNA vaccines?
50:22—How COVID vaccine data is unreliable
55:32—What should the COVID policy recommendations be now?
59:16—Is the peer-review process flawed?
1:03:24—Will politicians ever be held accountable for their COVID policies?