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Dylan Stableford·Senior WriterTue, October 19, 2021, 8:44 AM·2 min readIn this article:

Taking an ill-advised risk in a pandemic that has killed more than 726,000 Americans, conservative radio host Dennis Prager said Monday that he contracted COVID-19 on purpose.

The 73-year-old host of “The Dennis Prager Show” told his listeners that he tested positive for the coronavirus last week after months of actively trying to get infected.

“I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID,” he said. “Which is — indeed, as bizarre as it sounded — what I wanted, in the hope that I would achieve natural immunity and be taken care of by therapeutics.”

Natural immunity vs. COVID-19 vaccine: Which is stronger?

One of the arguments against the COVID-19 vaccine mandates is that immunity from a previous coronavirus infection should count as an alternative to vaccination. This topic has received a lot of attention of late, with NBA players and health care workers speaking out and citing “natural immunity” as what they believe to be a valid reason for refusing to get the shot.   However, health experts in the U.S. say immunity through vaccination is the best way to protect people who have had COVID-19 from reinfection. Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, explains why.

Prager, a popular media figure who says he’s not vaccinated, told the audience that contracting COVID was “what I hoped for the entire time” because he believes natural immunity is more effective than getting the vaccine.

But it’s unclear how protective natural immunity is and for how long, or whether it’s more or less effective than a vaccine. 

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even people who have had COVID-19 get vaccinated against it. A recent study cited by the CDC showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID were twice as likely to be reinfected as those who had been fully vaccinated after contracting the virus.

Dennis Prager speaks at an event in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2018. (Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons)
Dennis Prager in 2018. (Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons)

Hosting the show from his home, Prager said that he is being treated with monoclonal antibodies and that his condition has been “steadily improving.”

“At no point was I in danger of hospitalization,” he added.

He then listed a litany of therapeutics he said he had been taking over the course of the pandemic, many of which have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They included ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasites in humans and to deworm livestock. Health officials across the country have cautioned against using ivermectin as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Prager is one of numerous conservative radio hosts who have used their platforms to spread misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. Some later died from COVID-19.

In August, four conservative radio talk show hosts who had promoted anti-vaccine and anti-mask views — Phil Valentine, Dick Farrel, Jimmy DeYoung and Marc Bernier — succumbed to the virus.

Last month, Bob Enyart, a Denver radio host and pastor who encouraged his listeners not to get any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, died two weeks after he and his wife were hospitalized with what his church called “severe” cases.

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