Maya DiRado Twitter Thread: “Disappointed” in Michael Andrew Being Unvaccinated

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Maya DiRado -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Maya DiRado Twitter Thread: “Disappointed” in Michael Andrew Being Unvaccinated

Maya DiRado, who won four medals for the U.S. team at the 2016 Olympics, posted a Twitter thread Tuesday evening commenting on the announcement by first-time U.S. Olympian Michael Andrew that he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Andrew discussed his decision to not be vaccinated in a virtual media session from the Olympic team’s training camp in Hawaii on July 8. Andrew said that prior to Olympic Trials, he “didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to,” but he then claimed that he had no plans to be vaccinated in the future.

DiRado, who retired after claiming an upset gold medal in the women’s 200 backstroke at the Rio Olympics in one of the most stunning moments of those Games, wrote that “As a former member of Team USA, I’m disappointed in @SwimmerMichael‘s decision to attend the Olympics unvaccinated and his reasoning behind it.”

She then posted a thread of eight tweets that detailed her three main issues with Andrew’s stance against vaccination. She discussed that it would be honoring the American scientists who developed the COVID-19 vaccines by getting the shots, and she explained that in her experience on the Olympic team, athletes did everything they could to put the U.S. team’s interests ahead of their own. She believed that getting vaccinated and minimizing risk during the Tokyo Games should have been the highest priority for each swimmer.

Finally, DiRado quoted a biblical passage to emphasize her point about selflessness. Read the entire thread from DiRado below.

At Olympic Trials, Andrew took down the American record in the men’s 100 breaststroke prelims and semifinals before capturing his first berth on an Olympic team in the final. He also won the 200 IM and posted the fastest time in the world in that event, and he also qualified for the Olympic team in the 50 free by finishing second to Caeleb Dressel.

Prior to Olympic Trials, USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey said that he believed the majority of the U.S. national team had been vaccinated. “Last time I talked to (national team director) Lindsay (Mintenko), I think we were somewhere around 90 percent our national team that had been vaccinated,” Hinchey said. Most members of the Olympic team have not commented publicly on their vaccination status, but of the few that have, Andrew is the only one to announce he is not vaccinated. An unvaccinated athlete that came into contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Olympics would be subject to contact tracing protocols, while vaccinated athletes would not.

Throughout the swimming community, there has been sparse reaction to Andrew’s vaccination status thus far. Some athletes and officials have tested positive during intake testing in Tokyo, but no swimmers have been confirmed positive or quarantined at this point.

50 comments

  1. avatar
    SETH

    Ms. Dirado’s words are thoughtful, wise, well founded, and greatly appreciated.

    • avatar
      Jim

      His body his choice and data shows vaccinated people also can get Covid19
      70% of the Japanese people have not been vaccinated!

      • avatar
        Jerry

        But the vaccinated are far less likely to get infected in the first place! No infection, zero possibility of transmitting it. Freedom has NEVER entailed the right to endanger others!

  2. avatar
    KZ

    It’s unfortunate, as Maya was/is still one of the most amazing athletes to earn the opportunity to represent the USA in swimming. However, we were all given Free Will…and as the data still will continue to pour in, vaccinated people as well as those who have had the virus (such as MA) both have antibodies…both can still contract as well as spread the virus. MA’s decision was his own, medically sound and protective of himself as well as others, since he’s already had the virus. Those that have the antibodies (whether from vaccine or virus) should be treated the same…both protected more than those that are not in either position.

    • avatar
      Dirty G-Bird

      Oh, KZ, you are just so sweet bless your heart that you believe in Free Will are you in middle school? No one has Free Will read any good philosopher, free will is a figment of our imagination. No one has it or ever will. Rather our choices are either determined—necessary outcomes of the events that have happened in the past—or they are random (which is also not free will, but determined). Michael Andrew made no choice it was the only choice he had to make. Maya had no choice this is our lot in life sitback and enjoy it.

      • avatar
        PF

        Any good philosopher? You have a very select reading list, and a bias toward modern naturalistic philosophy.

        In your comment you indicate both. A closed mind is a terrible thing. Utilize your will to decide to open it.

    • avatar
      PT

      Totally concur! Why and how are those with natural immunity considered “lesser than” those with vaccinated immunity in this whole discussion? And PLEASE don’t try to come back with any “long term” studies or comments about variants. It has been around 16 months (from what we know), and t-cells have been around for 16 centuries. Unless someone can provide some conclusive and extensive research about how different this virus is from any other nasty bug we’ve faced, then please take immunology and focus your efforts on including those who’ve had it and survived as not part of the problem

      • avatar
        Elizabeth Goss

        Yes! No science allowed!

      • avatar
        Jerry

        The experts in immunology say these mRNA vaccines provide greater protection than natural infection, and thus recommend vaccination for even those previously infected.

    • avatar
      Cate Garrison

      You probably should read a little bit more about vax vs unvaxxed people. Even though vaccinated people can test positive there is no evidence that they can spread it as the unvaccinated can. Just because you’ve had covid doesn’t mean that you’re immune. It depends on your viral load when you were ill. That’s why some people who have had chicken pox can get it if they weren’t that ill the first time. As far as I know there is no titer that can determine the strength of covid antibodies as there is for chicken pox and mmr. Until we’ve achieved herd immunity through vaccination the virus will be able to continually mutate because it will never run out of hosts. As for “free will”, your “rights” only go as far as how your actions endanger the general public.

      • avatar
        Agram

        People who had Covid have probably better protection than vaccinated people which is a proven fact, also they didn’t have to go through the risks of v. reactions. Virus mutates and vaccines can’t predict what kind of mutation it will be in the future which makes the vaccines in most cases useless. Thats why we still have THE FLU around. Also.. this is experimental.. new tech always has errors and the reason why this hasn’t been put into circulation before is.. because it DIDN’T work how it should! So.. are you willing to tell me that a few scientits around the world managed to produce IN A FEW MONTHS a miracle vaccine aaall while having years and years of failed attempts in controling the flu and years of failed science behind mRNA vaccines. This is propaganda… Brainless clown fools

      • avatar
        Kt

        As someone who got Covid from a fully vaccinated person (who also got Covid after being vaccinated), I can 100% verify that you can still get and spread Covid after getting the vaccine.

  3. avatar
    David Abineri

    I am hopeful that he will be masked everywhere he goes so as to reduce the risk of infecting others.

    • avatar
      Jo

      Vaccinated individuals are spreading the virus as well

      • avatar
        Jerry

        While new evidence suggests the vaccinated WHO HAVE BREAKTHROUGH INFECTIONS may indeed transmit the COVID-19 virus, the undisputed evidence is that vaccinated people are far less likely to become infected in the first place! No infection, zero transmission. Thus, getting vaccinated does indeed protect everyone around that person. Maya is right to call out anyone who endangers fellow Olympians and the public generally!

  4. avatar
    Curt Erlandson

    Back at cha honey,
    The point to God’s letter is that you should not flaunt your stronger faith to the body of Christ. Your judgement against Andrew’s lack of faith in the vaccine, (that is killing tens of thousands), is what Paul is attempting to correct. Your pride in your deeper theological understanding, is precisely the wrong reaction to a weaker brother. Your criticism will not draw him closer to God, nor create the unity you spouse.
    You are a fantastic swimmer, but you are wrong here.

    • avatar
      Blair

      The vaccine is not killing tens of thousands or thousands or hundreds. You are a liar and can produce zero evidence.

      • avatar
        Anita Mullaly

        Oh yes it truly is. Go to Bitc hute to research the truth. Over 50 K deaths so far in just 3 days in the USA. This swimmer needs to mind her own business. 47 % of the virus spread is from those that are vaccinated. 87% of women in first time of pregnancy aborted. How is that for facts. This virus is a farce. It’s part of a depopulation agenda and it’s going to kill millions. Wake up girl and mind your own beeswax. The vaccinated are the danger.

  5. avatar
    Joe

    Wow! It’s amazing how people try to shame folks that aren’t vaccinated. O will post my 3 items where MA showed extreme intelligence.
    1. He already had covid. I don’t remember anyone stating they had covid 2 times. If there has been, I would question the test. 2021 has an unusually low rate of swine flu..hmm
    2. MA is in the age range that is susceptible to myicarditis. I am sure Maya would think the better good.
    .smh
    3. The vaccine is experimental. No one knows what the effects will be In one year, two years or beyond. Again I am sure Maya doesn’t give a crap about any of the athletes who got vaccinated.
    4. There are so many cases where vaccinated folks have caught covid. Makes you think that it might be possible there a hidden agenda to get EVERYONE vaccinated.
    Just my 2 cents.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      Your 2 cents has great worth, unlike the poverty stricken minds who know not God, or change and mock the words of God for their personal, selfish gain.

    • avatar
      Jerry

      Joe, my reply to your 4 points:
      1) There are thousands of cases of people getting COVID-19 twice. Vaccination provides substantially stronger protection than natural infection against a new COVID-19 infection.
      2) Risk of severe myocarditis in young men is minuscule in comparison to the risks of catching COVID-19.
      3) The vaccines are NOT experimental. Because hundreds of millions have been vaccinated, we know they’re extremely safe. Likelihood of years or more later unknown adverse effects is extremely low based upon the way vaccines work. And the risks of adverse latent effects from catching COVID-19 are much greater, and indeed are already happening, with long COVID syndrome.
      4) Yes, there are breakthroughs infections of the unvaccinated, but so incredibly less so than infections of the unvaccinated. That’s why 95 – 99.2% of those currently hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

  6. avatar
    Lucas

    Why do the vaccinated worry about the unvaccinated?
    If you are vaccinated, you are protected, right?
    If you don’t believe that, then why did you get vaccinated?

    • avatar
      CKinVA

      You’re saying people shouldn’t care about each other? Some of the unvaccinated are unable to get a vaccine due to age or medical status, and they need protection from those who could have gotten a vaccine but selfishly didn’t.

    • avatar
      Jerry

      Because even though the vaccinations are greatly protective, they are not 100% protective. Thus, the unvaccinated put even the vaccinated at risk. In addition, the unvaccinated keep spreading the virus around, thereby increasing the chances of further variants that could one day defeat existing vaccines.
      Bottom line, the unvaccinated endanger EVERYONE’s health! They also increase the chances of requiring future lockdowns or social distancing mandates, the very things the anti-vaccine crowd rails against.

  7. avatar
    Betty Robinson

    I personally think she should mind her own business. As for Mr Abineri, he can’t infect others if he doesn’t have it.

  8. avatar
    Katie

    Wow. Lots of misinformation in the comments here. The vaccine is not experimental nor has it killed thousands of people. That is false. Covid has killed millions of people. Having Covid previously does not offer the same level of protection as the vaccine. And we get vaccinated to protect ourselves but also to protect others. If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to transmit the virus. If more Americans would think about the vulnerable, kids under 12, the immune compromised, we would not have this delta variant surge beginning. Maya is absolutely right here.

    The Delta variant of Covid is dangerous and much more contagious than the original strain of Covid. Please get vaccinated if you qualify, as soon as you can.

    • avatar
      Vincent

      Could you please post the studies that show antibodies offer less level of protection against Covid than the vaccine? I’m genuinely interested in reading it.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      This comment is just straight stupid. You obviously soak up all the fake news you can get. Over 6000 deaths in the US reported (less than 1% of actually deaths) you can look on VAERS system yourself to see injury and deaths. 94% of covid deaths had 4 OR MORE COMORBIDITIES OR WERE REALLY OLD, which means they were going to die anyway. You people are so naieve. The invalidated will have the last laugh bc they will be THE ONLY ONES LEFT!

      • avatar
        Megan

        Do you understand at all how VAERS works or how the data is reported and interpreted? It sounds like no.

    • avatar
      John

      337 US deaths under the age of 18 and we need to be worried about children under 12? Every word you say is invalidated if you truly believe this.

    • avatar
      Leander

      Then why does the Cleveland Clinic recommend not vaccinating persons that have had COVID?

    • avatar
      Agram

      People who had Covid have probably better protection than vaccinated people which is a proven fact, also they didn’t have to go through the risks of v. reactions. Virus mutates and vaccines can’t predict what kind of mutation it will be in the future which makes the vaccines in most cases useless. Thats why we still have THE FLU around. Also.. this is experimental.. new tech always has errors and the reason why this hasn’t been put into circulation before is.. because it DIDN’T work how it should! So.. are you willing to tell me that a few scientits around the world managed to produce IN A FEW MONTHS a miracle vaccine aaall while having years and years of failed attempts in controling the flu and years of failed science behind mRNA vaccines. This is propaganda… Brainless clown fools

      • avatar
        Jerry

        Agram, please stop spreading anti-vax nonsense that’s getting people killed. The mRNA vaccine research has been decades (not months) in the making, and the real world data has proven the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines to be highly successful in preventing infection, hospitalization, and death in the hundreds of millions of vaccine recipients. These vaccines are more protective than natural infection.
        If the vaccines were as useless as you recklessly state, then how come roughly 95 – 99% of all those being hospitalized today for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and over 99% of those dying from COVID are unvaccinated? The propaganda is coming from you, not Maya. Maya is just trying to save lives and all the athletes’ Olympic dreams.

  9. avatar
    Nathan

    Michael Andrew just became my favorite swimmer.

    • avatar
      SE

      Yep! and; OMG he probably stood with his hand over his heart for the National Anthem!

  10. avatar
    SC

    I personally think she should mind her own darn business! I agree! Why are the vaccinated worrying about people who are not? Mind your business and the world would be so much better!!!! This guy is my favorite swimmer! I hope he eclipses MP’s record!!!!

  11. avatar
    Vincent

    Fact: People who’ve been vaccinated are still contracting and spreading covid.
    Fact: People who have been vaccinated have indeed still died of covid.
    Fact: About 40% of people hospitalized in the UK with covid have been vaccinated.

    You’re not as virtuous or protected as you may think just because you’re vaccinated. I suspect we will see more and more cases of vaccinated people contracting and spreading covid like the vaccinated Texas politicians who flew unmasked to DC and infected vaccinated White House staffers. Or the vaccinated Olympians who are still getting covid. Or the 9 vaccinated Yankees players and staffers that got covid. The list goes on.

    It would make sense that these numbers would be much higher among the general population, but people who are vaccinated were told they are good to go, so testing is down SIGNIFICANTLY and we aren’t quite getting the full picture.

    Very few people in power are talking about natural immunity. It’s vaccine or bust, and that is cause for concern. The discussion needs to open up about antibodies and they’re effectiveness against this virus. The data also needs to be shared on those who have been vaccinated and are testing positive and/or dying of covid.

    Until that happens, I can completely understand why a person might be hesitant to get this vaccine.

    Luke 6:37 “Do not judge me, and you will not be judged, do not condemn me and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

    • avatar
      Jerry

      Vincent, your utter nonsense logic is the kind of stuff that’s killing people everyday. Although the vaccines are not 100% effective (which explains why even some vaccinated people do get breakthrough infections), getting vaccinated is still the best thing most people should do to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. FACT: 95 – 99 % of the people being hospitalized for COVID-19 today in the US are unvaccinated. FACT: Roughly 99% or more of those DYING of COVID-19 are unvaccinated. (Your UK stat is simply false.). So please stop spreading specious and dangerous arguments that will cause more death and suffering.

  12. avatar
    John P Graves

    Mine too

  13. avatar
    Blair Elander

    If not for everyone else getting vaccinated there would be no Olympics. MA is showing his true colors by being selfish and ignorant. If he had any honor then he would opt out of the Olympics and prove he stands by his decision instead of cherry-picking . But of course he won’t.
    It’s his right to not get the vaccine but going to the Olympics is not a right.

    • avatar
      Robin

      Michael Andrews earned the right to represent the USA at the Olympics. The IOC and Fina have not made a a requirement that all athletes must have the vaccine only that the athletes must be tested on a regular basis for Covid. All these comments are simply opinions and have no bearing on his Olympic qualifications or performance.

    • avatar
      JF

      Finally an opinion I can get behind. Plus, no one has talked about the country of Japan not vaccinating their people. Why not? They knew they were hosting the Olympics? So in the US, 94% of the people getting the virus are unvaccinated. It doesn’t help at all traveling to another country where hardly anyone is.

      As we have read about folks in States like AL & MS getting the virus, they are now enormously sorry they didn’t pay attention or believe it was more than “the flu”. Their families are eliminated by the virus.

      MA is being selfish. Period. End of story. And I think the Olympic committee has been remiss in not insisting on everyone getting the vaccine. We aren’t talking “ freedom” here. We are talking about everyone’s lives. Sometimes it’s necessary to suck it up for the greater good.

  14. avatar
    Dawg

    I respect Maya’s opinion, but it’s just that. And with respect, who cares if she’s disappointed in him. I’m proud of him making a choice he feels is best. Why should he get vaccinated? There is no USDA approved vaccine. With a vaccine, he can still contract and spread Covid. There is no evidence the vaccine works against all strains of Covid. The risk to him and those around him (given their level of fitness) is minuscule. And finally, no one knows the long term risks of the vaccine.

    Good for Michael for doing what he believes is right

  15. avatar
    Leander

    Whether to get a particular vaccine is a risk -benefit analysis. I got this vaccine as soon as I was able to do so even though I may very well have had COVID in January 2020 because I thought the benefits was worth it. So has everyone else in my immediate family, including the high school freshman. Speaking as an official, if I had been running the Olympic trials, I would not have let an official on the deck that was not fully vaccinated.

    But, the risk-benefit analysis is different if (1) you have already had COVID, (2) you are therefore likely to have obtained the benefit the vaccine provides, (3) you are in an age bracket where the risks of the vaccine are higher than the risks of COVID especially if you have already had COVID, (4) the vaccine side effects are much worse if you have already had COVID and (5) those side effects could mess up your livelihood without providing any benefit at all to you or anyone else.

    At the very least, a rational risk-benefit analysis does not provide a clear answer as to the right decision. Put another way, either getting or not getting the vaccine is a rational choice for Michael Andrew and for the rest of society.

    Not that it really matters, but I was not a fan of Michael Andrew turning professional at 14 and his decision not to compete in high school or college. His failure to do that means that his relay start will not be as good as it could be, and I hope that doesn’t make us lose the gold medal in the medley relay.

    • avatar
      W Sz

      Truly it looks like a rational choice because we have too little data for applying a risk-benefit analysis or optimization theory or game theory of dynamical systems theory, you name it. It takes intuition.

  16. avatar
    WS

    The value of his free thought should be appreciated. On the other hand, trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater while he should peacefully prepare for his races – is this fully patriotic? I know I will support your swimmer. “Judge not, that you be not judged”. There are thousands of threats in this world, including many other contagious diseases. The Americans are not vaccinated against tuberculosis, for example. Do you think tuberculosis is not a problem while Covid is? Well, 70% of India population already acquired natural immunity against Covid with no systematic vaccination whatsoever. This experimental quasi-vaccine is not purely American, by the way, and may promote the spread of some resistant strains, some argue. If it was mandatory, if the lack of vaccination was punishable by law, if the organizers did not honor the antibody and other health tests, then maybe there would be a better foundation for harsh criticism. People were condemned like that for not fully supporting Joseph Stalin (because he did some good things too). American fast food used to be highly praised until more knowledge was acquired. Everything is not so black-and-white.

  17. avatar
    Chuck

    Aww, it looks like Maya DiRado needs a little attention.

    She’s certainly entitled to her opinion and I defend her freedom to express it. Unfortunately, she’ll likely be remembered, this Olympic cycle, for her sanctimony instead of her accomplishments in the pool 5 years ago.

    Since she’s fond of quoting scripture maybe she should check out Proverbs 18: 2.

  18. avatar
    Joe

    Polarizing topic to say the least. That said, her Twitter post comes off as a bit condescending and indignant. Sort of a form of “Stanfordsplaining” to someone she deems beneath her breadth and depth of knowledge. In truth, time will tell. As noted by others above, it’s an opinion. Her educational background is in management and engineering, not religion and medicine.

  19. avatar
    MH

    Of the 9,000 people who have died in Texas due to COVID-19 since early February, 43 were fully vaccinated, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

    That means 99.5% of people who died due to COVID-19 in Texas from Feb. 8 to July 14 were unvaccinated, while 0.5% were the result of “breakthrough infections,” which DSHS defines as people who contracted the virus two weeks after being fully vaccinated.

  20. avatar
    Larry Kreel

    Karma’s a bitch as they say. Bye Bye Andrew 🙂

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