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Reining in doctors promoting COVID-19 misinformation

The disinformation epidemic about COVID-19 has pushed state medical boards to consider disciplining physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation. How would that work? What are the obstacles? Is it even possible? It should be, but it will be messy and complicated.

A little over a month ago, I wrote about how the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) had recently issued a statement asserting that physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation should be subject to disciplinary measures by their state medical boards up to and including revocation of their medical licenses. Given that there have been some developments on that front since then, I thought that now would be a good time for an update and a bit more discussion on the general issue of what should be done about physicians who promote misinformation not just about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, but medical misinformation, antivaccine conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience in general. At the time of my original post, I expressed major skepticism that the FSMB’s statement would result in any action. The situation is perhaps not as bad as I had predicted then, but it’s also not so great, either.

In that post a month ago, I started by pointing out how many physicians had been behaving badly since the pandemic began 18 months ago. That was just in 2020. In 2021, the prominence (and, I fear, number) of physicians promoting health misinformation has only continued to increase—and not slowly, either. In addition to the usual suspects jumping onto the COVID-19 misinformation grift train (several of whom were ultimately dubbed the “Disinformation Dozen“), there were academics who really should know better downplaying the pandemic and doubting the effectiveness of vaccines. Dr. Jonathan Howard even went so far as to point out how some of them have gotten to the point where, even though we know they are not antivaccine, their bloviations need to be fact-checked as though they were antivaccine. Again, it was no surprise that the usual suspects have been promoting COVID-19 misinformation. Grifters gonna grift, as I like to say, and COVID-19 was an unprecedented opportunity for physicians like Joseph Mercola, Sherri Tenpenny, Kelly Brogan, and the other usual quacks to pivot and switch their grift to the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines.

If it had only been the usual quacks and grifters who had jumped on the COVID-19 misinformation fraud train, possibly the situation now with respect to COVID-19 misinformation wouldn’t have deteriorated so much. After all, in contrast to the academics who have turned COVID-19 contrarian, the usual quacks and grifters are at best fringe figures with little influence outside their usual echo chambers. So let’s briefly review some of the messages being promoted by physicians who were once respected doctors and academics who have become what Dr. Howard and I like to call “COVID contrarians”. They minimize the risk of harm from the coronavirus (particularly in children), make risibly off-base predictions (e.g., “we’ll have herd immunity by April“) and advocate against mask mandates (particularly in schools) and vaccinating children—or even erroneously claim that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is being misdiagnosed in children as COVID-19 and that hospitalizations of children are being exaggerated. During the recent discussion over myocarditis in children associated with COVID-19 vaccination, none of them seem to be able to acknowledge that COVID-19 actually harms children, while one physician whom I used to respect whose results I used to write about on a regular basis has gone down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, repeating a particularly pernicious one dating back to early in the pandemic that early intubation of COVID-19 patients was killing them. That physician, Dr. John Ioannidis, even went to far as to say that doctors, “not knowing how to use mechanical ventilation, just going crazy, and intubating people who did not have to be intubated”. (Spoken like a doc who has never taken care of critically ill patients in an ICU!) And don’t even get me started on the physicians who wrote and signed on to the Great Barrington Declaration, the pre-vaccine statement that advocated letting COVID-19 rip through the “healthy” young community and using “focused protection” to keep the elderly and those at high risk of severe disease and death safe from the coronavirus.

Worse, when corrected for their mistakes, these “COVID contrarians” almost never seem to have the humility to admit error and move on; often they double down and act as though their statements were never refuted. Indeed, they often characterize criticism as “cancel culture” and loudly claim victim status whenever their efforts encounter serious pushback. We’ve recently seen an excellent example of just that from recent discussions of the VAERS analysis looking at myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination in teens by Tracy Beth Høeg, John Mandrola, Josh Stevenson, and Allison Krug that utterly misused the VAERS database and didn’t put the findings into context. Predictably, they and their defenders are crying “Persecution!” and blaming the blowback on “medical tribalism“. So what’s new?

The medical boards in Mississippi and Washington weigh in

A week and a half ago, I was made aware of this news story out of Washington, which reported that the Washington Medical Commission can now discipline doctors who spread COVID-19 misinformation:

Doctors and physician’s assistants who spread misinformation about COVID-19 in Washington could face disciplinary measures. That’s after action taken this week by the Washington Medical Commission, which monitors and enforces licenses of about 34,000 physicians and physician assistants here.

During a special meeting, the commission formally adopted a position statement to that effect. The commissioners agreed unanimously that the treatment of COVID-19 must meet the same standard of care as other diseases.

That’s after reports of a surge in unsafe alternative treatments such as ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug often used in animals. It has off-label approval for human use in limited circumstances, but both the CDC and the FDA say there’s no convincing evidence it works to prevent or treat COVID-19.

The State of Mississippi has also made a move in the same direction:

Physicians who spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine could now have their license to practice medicine suspended or completely revoked, according to a new policy adopted by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure.

The policy, adopted on Sept. 7, says that doctors have an “ethical and professional responsibility” to practice medicine in the best interest of their patients and share factual and scientifically-grounded information with them.

“Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk,” the policy reads.

The policy says whether physicians “recognize it or not” they possess a high degree of public trust due to their specialized knowledge and training. That gives them “a powerful platform in society.”

The policy specifically warns doctors against spreading misinformation on social media and strongly recommends physicians separate their personal and professional content online.

“Physicians must understand that actions online and content posted can affect their reputation, have consequences for their medical careers, and undermine public trust in the medical profession,” it reads.

This is a step in the right direction, although I do wonder how these new policies in Washington and Mississippi will be operationalized. Why do I wonder this? The article about the Washington Medical Commission alludes to it, but doesn’t quite get to the point where we at SBM have been for a while:

Dr. Yanling Yu, a research scientist from Lake Forest Park, serves as a public member of the commission. She expressed initial concern about following state law that protects alternative medicine, but then spoke in favor of the position statement on misinformation.

“There is no valid science at all. … Like, ivermectin, there have been patients that have been harmed by it. So that is not scientific practice of medicine. And that needs to be stopped,” Yu said.

And there you have it, the exact issue that I’ve been writing about for well over a decade, the powerlessness of state medical boards in the face of quackery. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to explain what I mean.

COVID-19 misinformation and alternative medicine

Out of curiosity, I perused this blog to search for the first instance when I wrote at length about the problem with state medical boards and found that it was in 2008, when the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners finally disciplined cancer and autism quack Dr. Rashid Buttar (who, unsurprisingly, is today one of the usual quacks and grifters promoting COVID-19 and COVID-19 misinformation). Unsurprisingly, all Dr. Buttar got was the proverbial slap on the wrist, even after having called the Board a “rabid dog“. All the Board did was to restrict Dr. Buttar’s practice so that he was no longer permitted to treat children or cancer patients. Why children and cancer patients specifically? Simple. Dr. Buttar had been known for his antivaccine views that blamed mercury in the thimerosal preservative in vaccines caused autism, and his treatment was a “transdermal chelation therapy” that we disparagingly called “Buttar’s butter“, and he was a cancer quack, to boot.

Two years later, Dr. Buttar was free to practice medicine again mostly unencumbered. Basically, he signed a consent decree with the Board that reprimanded him and ordered him (1) to provide informed consent to his patients as dictated by the Board; (2) to obey all laws, as well as rules and regulations governing the practice of medicine in North Carolina; (3) to notify the Board if he changes his address; and (4) to meet with the board periodically. The informed consent forms were utterly worthless, as well. Basically, they stated that Dr. Buttar made no claims for the efficacy of anything that he was doing. It also pointed out that serious complications can occur from IV treatments. As I noted at the time, if I were to use an informed consent like this for surgery, for example, in which I “make no specific claims” that the proposed surgery will do anything therapeutic for the patient, sane practitioners would demand to know why I was allowed to do this operation in the first place!

Of course, Dr. Buttar was one of many examples of the failure of state medical boards to discipline outright quacks and antivaxxers. Worse, in one state, whistleblowers who have reported dubious practices of physicians have even been prosecuted by law enforcement, as I described in depth in 2009. The state was Texas, the same state whose medical board has been unable to shut down the practice of Houston cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who has been plying his cancer quackery there since the late 1970s. Then there’s the case of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, the substance abuse-impaired neurosurgeon who was so incompetent that his fellow surgeons had seen nothing like it before. As I’ve mentioned recently Duntsch is now the subject of a Peacock series Dr. Death. My own state is not immune. This might have nothing to do with alternative medicine, but it took the FBI, not my state medical board, to finally stop Dr. Farid Fata, the oncologist who gave chemotherapy to patients who didn’t even have cancer. How did they stop him? They busted him for Medicare and Medicaid fraud for having billed over $30 million for unnecessary treatments.

You get the picture.

It’s worse than that, though. As Jann Bellamy and others at a favorite blog of mine have been documenting, quacks like naturopaths, chiropractors, and other alternative medicine practitioners have been playing the long game of pushing to change state laws to legitimize their “professions.” She even has a term for it: legislative alchemy, the process in which quacks try to turn the lead of their professions into gold. She’s long documented the process for chiropractorsnaturopaths (among the most persistent and successful of the legislative alchemists), acupuncturistsreflexologists, and practitioners of “integrative medicine” who “integrate” quackery with their medicine. These bills take the form of promoting bills mandating formal state licensureexpanding quacks’ scope of practice, and requiring Medicare and insurance companies to reimburse quacks for their “services”. In Florida, a new law even forces doctors who don’t support alternative treatments for pain to endorse acupuncture and other quackery as “non-opioid treatments” for pain.

This brings me back to the State of Washington. Remember how that one quote expressed concern about how the state could police physicians promoting COVID-19 misinformation when it has a law on the books that protects “integrative” (and therefore alternative) medicine practitioners? Remember how I discussed how North Carolina handled the case of Dr. Buttar? One thing I didn’t mention then but will mention now is this, quoted from a story that is no longer on the web (and not in the almighty Wayback Machine at Archive.org), although the relevant parts are preserved in my post:

The consent order, signed Friday, marks the end of a battle that Buttar had vowed to take to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he has spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” defending himself against the board’s allegations that he exploited patients by charging exorbitant fees for unproven therapies that didn’t work and by arbitrarily ordering expensive tests to make more money.

In recent years, Buttar led a successful effort by the N.C. Integrative Medical Society to get legislators to change state law to make it friendlier to practitioners of alternative medicine.

This is another example of “legislative alchemy”, in which influential quacks manage to persuade state legislatures to pass laws protecting “alternative medicine” practices. So what is the relevance to the ability of, for instance, the Washington Medical Commission? Simple. As we’ve documented here time and time again, if there’s one consistent aspect of alternative medicine (besides its lack of science), it’s antivaccine views. Naturopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncturists, for example, tend to be overwhelmingly antivaccine, and many even deny germ theory. If their views are “protected” somehow by state law, that would put these new directives allowing state medical boards to discipline physicians for spreading COVID-19 misinformation into direct conflict with the laws protecting “alternative and traditional” medical practices.

So here’s what I mean when I ask: How will, for example, the Washington Medical Commission operationalize this new policy, particularly if it conflicts with a law that protects alternative medicine practice? For example, if a doctor promotes germ theory denial and antivaccine views about COVID-19 under the guise of “integrative medicine” citing acupuncture (licensed) and naturopathy (also licensed), how can the Washington Medical Commission do anything about it? The state of North Carolina has also suggested that it might discipline doctors who promote COVID-19 misinformation, but how will it do so when its own law privileges alternative medicine (hidden in “integrative medicine”) almost as much as science-based medicine, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Buttar and his fellow quacks? This is a general principle that applies to any state that has legalized forms of “alternative medicine,” not just Washington or North Carolina.

That’s aside even from the consideration of where to draw the line in terms of professional speech. While it’s obvious that saying, for example, that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work is misinformation or disinformation, what about physicians who not-so-subtly raise doubts about the vaccines that rely on leaving out key pieces of information? One way has been proposed in an op-ed by doctors, a couple of whom should be familiar to regular readers here:

It’s important to understand that the wrongdoing involved is not misinformation — that is, something that a person incorrectly but innocently believes to be true. It is disinformation, which is information created and shared with the intent to deceive. For many months a well-coordinated network of disinformation doctors has been working to undermine mask-wearing and lockdowns, spread anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, and promote phony covid “cures” such as hydroxychloroquine and the horse-deworming drug ivermectin.

The best known of these groups calls itself “America’s Frontline Doctors” — though many physicians in this group have never practiced emergency medicine, and some haven’t practiced any form of medicine for years. Amid the Trump administration’s disastrous handling of the pandemic, this group was ushered into the public arena to discredit medical science. They began by trying to convince Americans that the potential for severe illness from covid-10 was a hoax, in the interest of keeping the U.S. economy open and thus fueling Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Through their social media platforms and rallies, they continue to sow distrust of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and dissuade their audiences from following public health guidelines. In January, the group published a white paper denouncing vaccines. Its members have held rallies to spread their message in states including Florida, Texas and California — all of which are now experiencing covid spikes. Now, with the delta variant, those cases include a large number of very sick children.

They further note:

But these physicians will not be dissuaded by strongly worded statements. Consider Simone Gold — a California physician and noted advocate of the hydroxychloroquine “cure.” In 2020 she was one of the founders of America’s Frontline Doctors; today, as NPR reported, Gold continues to spread disinformation, discourage vaccination and promote unproven treatments for covid (for which, NPR noted, she was offering to prescribe via a $90 telehealth appointment). She was arrested after Jan. 6, when she participated in the incursion into U.S. Capitol, having come to Washington that day to speak at a “rally for health freedom.” Simone Gold is still licensed to practice medicine in the state of California.

The pessimist in me wonders if even losing their licenses would dissuade some of these doctors, many of whom seem not to be in medical practice any more, having gone into full time COVID-19 grifting. On the other hand, if their state medical boards were to yank their licenses to practice, then at least they wouldn’t be able to function as ivermectin prescription mills any more. The doctors behind the op-ed cited above have gone beyond an op-ed and set up a website for reporting the worst disinformation peddlers, No License for Disinformation.

Let me finish on a more optimistic note. I’ve long said that professional speech is not the same thing as free speech. Specifically, we as physicians have a privileged status that is highly respected when it comes to our statements on medical matters (and, oddly enough, even on nonmedical matters, as nonsensical as that may seem). As a result, we have a particular professional responsibility not to spread misinformation, and professional ethics demands that we do not publicly promote quackery or disinformation. State medical boards should be enforcing this, but traditionally have not, just as they have been very reluctant to discipline outright quacks. They are understaffed and underfunded, which tends to disincentivize going after any but the most straightforward cases, such as doctors running prescription mills, sexually abusing patients, or suffering from substance abuse problems that impair their ability to practice medicine safely. Traditionally, they’ve been reluctant to engage in judgment calls on anything other than the rankest of quackery, and even then, as in the case of Dr. Burzynski, their track record is uneven at best. Policing professional speech about COVID-19 will be even more difficult.

Even so, given the harm that physicians promoting misinformation cause, this is something that state medical boards need to undertake. If there could be one good outcome from the pandemic, it would be enhanced power of state medical boards to discipline physicians promoting medical misinformation and disinformation of all kinds, not just about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines. As No License for Disinformation puts it, “Everyone has the right to an opinion. Doctors, however, are bound by an ethical and legal obligation to do no harm”. Physicians promoting misinformation and disinformation betray that obligation.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

52 replies on “Reining in doctors promoting COVID-19 misinformation”

A. BMJ’s resident antivaccine editor, Dr. Peter Doshi, has an article there alleging doctors are worried that the statements about misinformation would lead to targeting of doctors that say anything about vaccines. Interestingly, his first interviewee for it is blatantly anti-mask, and I suspect may have cause for concern on that front, and his second is an anonymous blogger that likely fits under contrarian. I doubt most doctors actually have concerns. I suspect many share your conclusion that if board’s actions at all, they will do too little. https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2417

B. In 2018, Justice Thomas, in a majority decision, cast doubt on the distinction between professional and other speech, in NIFLA v. Beccera. It’s a confusing enough decision that you cannot say it’s removed, but I don’t know where the Supreme Court would go on a case like this.

I suppose they can’t do as easily do to doctors what they are doing to nurses in droves to “reign them in”–fire them if they refuse to take the covid shots. God forbid we allow open public discourse without coercion shudder — the vaccine industry would blow their cork.

ABC News ran a story this past week about health care workers being fired or suspended
“in droves” for refusing Covid-19 vaccination.

The actual number cited was hundreds across the country – out of 17 million American health care workers.

I suppose that could be viewed as “droves”, if you’re really, really bad at math.

Why are those hundreds of nurses (so far–many are not yet facing vaccine mandates) refusing to take the covid shots, Mr. Bacon–at such a high personal cost? Not your theories about it, but the actual reasons they are giving for refusal?

@NWO Reporter Like this:
“The CDC and health experts say it’s more than 99% effective.”
“They do say that. That hasn’t proven to me to be true.”
Perhaps the reason id reading antivax sites,

<

blockquote>Why are those hundreds of nurses (so far–many are not yet facing vaccine mandates) refusing to take the covid shots, Mr. Bacon–at such a high personal cost? Not your theories about it, but the actual reasons they are giving for refusal?

Gee, Ginny, I guess they would have to be corralled or something. It’s going to take a lot of makeshift buildings and donations of clipboards. Put Rappoport on the latter – after all, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize 39 years ago.

Keep dreaming, Bacon. I happened to meet a nurse the other day who works at hospital in a small city. She said if the hospital tried to impose any mandates on nurses, they wouldn’t have many, because so many will not take the covid shots.

More deaths have been reported to VAERS from the covid shots than from all other vaccines combined for the last 30 years. The CDC, the FDA and ACIP are silent about it. That hasn’t escaped the notice of nurses and other medical workers, who are seeing all the actual recently vaccinated patients. Over 46,000 reports of serious injury to VAERS from the covid shots in the US alone as of 2 weeks ago–and since VAERS is notorious for underreporting, the actual number of vaccine-injured is likely 10 to 100 times higher.

Keep dreaming, Bacon. I happened to meet a nurse the other day who works at hospital in a small city. She said if the hospital tried to impose any mandates on nurses, they wouldn’t have many, because so many will not take the covid shots.

Suuuuurrrre you did.

Good analysis here of pseudoscientific claims about Covid vaccine deaths.

https://www.covid-datascience.com/post/do-pfizer-vaccines-kill-2-people-for-every-1-saved-evaluating-viral-social-media-reports

Didja wonder, if there’ve been hundreds of thousands or even millions of Covid vaccine deaths, how They’ve managed to conceal it and hide the bodies?

The New World Order Conspiracy runs wide and deep.

the same people who denied there were any excess deaths from Covid-19 want us to believe in a gazillion excess deaths from the vaccines. Are spike proteins pervading their cerebral cortices and deranging brain function??

You’re still dreaming, Bacon. “Hundreds of thousands” of covid deaths? All the CDC keeps track of in the US are deaths “involving” COVID19. “Involving” means there was either a positive test result or a presumption of COVID19 without testing–in other words, it doesn’t mean COVID19 or a virus SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of death or even a contributing factor. The total deaths “involving” COVID19 as of today: 702,092.

Total “serious” injuries reported to VAERS from the covid shots as of 9/24/2021 is 46,346, including 8,390 deaths. The VAERS website says only a “small fraction” of adverse events are reported. Disregarding the issue of coincidental deaths reported to VAERS, if 1% of adverse reactions were reported, there have been 4,634,600 serious injuries from the covid shots, including 839,000 deaths.

If you think that’s a good bet for you, go for it–but you can hardly blame reasonable people for passing on it.

A. I met a nurse and she said people will resign is not actually a very strong counter to actual behavior of people who resign or not.

B. Who told you the CDC counts deaths with positive COVID-19 test regardless of causality? Because the CDC has elaborate guidance on how to identify COVID-19 deaths, and reports that.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf

Reporting deaths from COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

C. Note that you are misusing VAERS again. Knowing that the numbers cannot be used this way.

Readers, this is how anti-vaccine activists try to mislead you.

Who said anything about nurses resigning, Dorit? Why would anyone resign in response to an illegal and unethical demand? Why not wait until someone actually enforces it?

Dorit said, “Who told you the CDC counts deaths with positive COVID-19 test regardless of causality?” — The CDC. See Note 1 on Table 1 if you’re still confused about what “death involving covid19” means. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

Dorit said, “C. Note that you are misusing VAERS again. Knowing that the numbers cannot be used this way.” — BS. I’m doing exactly what the CDC is doing by publishing it’s “percent risk” that a covid shot will result in a death report to VAERS–I’m just making it more accurate, more realistic, and more meaningful to readers.

Readers, this is how vaccine industry promoters try to mislead you.

NWO. Have you ever actually got off your arse and looked at the figures for excess unexplained deaths? Have you then compared those deaths to the number of vaccinations in the same area and in the same time period? If you did that you might be able to show some data to support your assertions. Come on. You guys are big on doing your own research. Let’s see those excess 839k deaths and let’s see them correlated to the number of vaccinations given by time and place.

A. Resigning or being dismissed for not complying with a workplace rule would lead to the same result – and my point was, only a minority of workers choose that route. Most would protect themselves and their patients and vaccinate.

B. Note one says they count confirmed or presumed COVID-19 death. Your link shows the opposite from your claim. It shows the use of death certificate and an effort to identify what is, actually, a COViD=-19 death.

C. CDC does not count raw VAERS reports and pretends it means something.

D. Imagining that the people correcting you are part of an industry won’t actually make you less mistaken.

Dorit, why don’t you point out what anything on this page “pretends to mean” about anything? https://www.virginiastoner.com/cvax-risk

I make no claims whatsoever about what the massive increase in deaths and serious injuries reported to VAERS “means”. In fact, I advise people not to assume that deaths reported to VAERS prove the vaccine caused the injury. I just provide the VAERS data in an easy-to-understand format, and do mathematical risk calculations–the same one the CDC did, plus a couple of others. All the calculations are based on the CDC’s numbers and VAERS data.

I’m just dong the math to define what the risk of the covid shots actually is, mathematically speaking. Whereas the CDC just wants everyone to blindly accept that the risk is “rare…0.0021%”.

My page is the only thing like it in town offering some kind of objective, mathematical look at the number of vaccine deaths and injuries reported to VAERS. If you don’t like it, why don’t you do your own? The CDC? FDA? ACIP? Anyone? It’s all crickets and snakes on your end.

Keep dreaming, Bacon. I happened to meet a nurse the other day who works at hospital in a small city. She said if the hospital tried to impose any mandates on nurses, they wouldn’t have many, because so many will not take the covid shots.

Ah, the ol’ switcheroo. There’s already a nursing shortage that is getting worse, Ginny. Your anecdatum is meaningless.

More deaths have been reported to VAERS from the covid shots….

I hope you didn’t swallow that, because it’s way past its sell-by date.

Why would anyone resign in response to an illegal and unethical demand? Why not wait until someone actually enforces it?

Why would anyone resign until they actually get fired? Yah, OK.

Oh, and here.

“In fact, I advise people not to assume that deaths reported to VAERS prove the vaccine caused the injury”

Not on this blog you don’t.

“I’m just dong the math to define what the risk of the covid shots actually is, mathematically speaking. Whereas the CDC just wants everyone to blindly accept that the risk is “rare…0.0021%”.”

You’ve already said that you tell people not to assume that VAERS data proves anything. I do hope that you aren’t using VAERS data for these statistics because that would be rather duplicitous.

@NWO Reporter You still have not answered a simple question: How many deaths will happen among 100 million people, without vaccination ? I am really interested here. Another question: why are reported deaths are going down lately ? Do yo think that vaccines are safer ?
CDC does say VAERS reports does not prove that vaccines caused the problem. So you are not counting like CDC.
You exact place where you find informatio n how CDC counts COVID deaths. There is quidance for death certificates:
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf
Reader should notice endlessly repeated antivax talking points.

The claims of huge numbers of nurses leaving cos they are AV cranks and refuse to follow the evidenced based care they are supposed to be part of are very overblown, in reality lass than 1% of nurses have quit rather than get vaccinated. Though as one wag put it, 99% of nurses don’t quit over mandates, so why are we about a mandate with only a 1% job loss rate.

Right.
Cranks like Mike Adams predict that society will shut down** because of all the anti-vaxxers quitting important jobs in medicine, education, transport.
Just like United Airlines… except that only about 200 have left / been fired out of 67000.

** before it entirely collapses as tens of millions die after being vaccinated with ((shudder)) spike proteins.

Wouldn’t anti-vaxxers leaving important jobs in medicine actually raise the average quality of care in the US?

I had the misfortune of writing notes in a room nursing leadership occupied for some meeting about this topic. Misfortune because it slowed me way down as I listened in. We employ about 760 RNs across three small-ish hospitals. We only lost two. Mind you, I’m in a dark red political area of the country. We only lost 2/760 or 0.003%. We’re losing RNs in droves!!

Though as one wag put it, 99% of nurses don’t quit over mandates, so why are we about a mandate with only a 1% job loss rate.

That’s quite well put, IMHO.

Most hospitals and medical clinics haven’t even tried to impose vaccine mandates on their staff. Your claim of 1% vaccine refusal means nothing, even if it’s true.

With great power comes great responsibility. HCW have great power, and thus must act responsibly.

No one has the right to be paid to infect people without their knowledge or consent.

HCW are free to choose to not be vaccinated, and their employers are free to end their employment. Freedom cuts both ways.

I am very disappointed with John Ioannidis. He did a great deal of good work over the years, and I had a great deal of respect for him. No more. I doubt that it’s possible for him to salvage his reputation. I don’t think that he has any insight into it. Very sad.

What’s funny to me is that often alties complain that the “AMA” ( heh) punishes physicians who fail to toe the line/ follow orders and therefore are too afraid to try woo or mention it publicly if they do. Yet Orac illustrates how easily mis-informers can proselytise mostly free from interference by medical boards.

One of the woo-meisters I survey advises followers to promptly move to South Dakota, Florida or Texas because they most value medical freedom. Another idiot recommends red states ( who will soon secede)- Teaxs may become its own republic.

If TX does secede, I’d kind of like for the US to keep Bracken Cave Preserve in San Antonio. I haven’t yet had a chance to visit it but I hear it’s spectacular (I’m a big fan of bats). I imagine they’d still let me visit after succession, I’m just not sure I’d want to give the “Republic of Texas” any of my money. 🙂 I’m sort of kidding.

Perhaps you could make Austin the center of your visit, which is not as looney toons as the rest. Interesting that Texas (like Quebec) has its own electric grid, the only state in the 48 with that. If they do separate from the rest of US I hope they don’t get to take the hydrogen bombs with them.

Another idiot recommends red states ( who will soon secede)- Teaxs may become its own republic.

Would that it were constitutional. I guess there’s some chance if all the other states would be glad to be rid of it and Ted Cruz weren’t still filibustering when the movers came to empty out his tchotchkes.

More fear mongering? The reason people experience serious inflammation, such as pericarditis, after Covid vaccination, is because HCWs inject the vaccine incorrectly and it goes directly into blood vessels, not muscle, and then circulates. Of course, this could be easily avoided if they first aspirated the shot and saw whether blood came out or not.

I can’t resist asking why, if that were true, the condition only appears to affect particular patients such as young men? Are HCWs only careless around this group? Also why doesn’t this happen with other vaccines regularly?

Idk, Denice Walter. I asked my dad about it (he has pernicious anemia and gives himself a monthly b-12 shot*) and he does that and after 40 years has only ever drawn blood back once. So pretty rare regardless.

*dumb, I know since the introduction of megadose methylcobalamin. His shot is of the cyano type and that is why the family friend nurse taught him day one to draw it back like that because, if gotten into the blood stream, the liver tends to strip the cyanide off too fast to bad day to be had.

I can’t resist asking why, if that were true, the condition only appears to affect particular patients such as young men? Are HCWs only careless around this group?

The raging youth-boners distract them? They are not used to seeing someone so adroitly pitching a tent? Babe wants game and it is suddenly all right there up front.

TV commentator and former coach Jeff Van Gundy on the subject of NBA players being vaccine-shy:

“Just in general, you the know the one that drives me crazy? ‘I’m doing my own research.’ I would like someone to answer this question: What does that look like? You’re doing your own research? Are you doing studies yourself? Are you in the lab on a nightly basis? What’re you doing? I don’t understand what that means. ‘I’m doing my own research.’
“How about this? We got really smart people, a lot smarter than anybody in the NBA who’s already done the research.”

It’s pretty amusing to see Washingon (State) suddenly getting all hoity-toity about misinformation! Not many states have done more to endcourage every kind of quackery. Washington is particularly generous to Naturopaths and acupuncturists. It’s hard to talk to someone in this state who does NOT indulge in some type of tooth fairy medicine. Even the vaccinated contiue to indulge in myriad quackeries–I literally run into them every day in my busibess. I’m pretty sure I suffer from terminal eye-rolling at this point.

Hey! I took that “d” out of encourage, so I don’t know why it’s still there–but I missed “busibuss”. I can’t seem to type anymore. I’m sure one of the alties can help me.

One of the facilities described in the indictment of 18 former NBA players for defrauding the league’s health and benefit fund of close to $4 million, is a “wellness office” in Washington state.

Another is a chiropractor’s practice.

None of the articles question how much money from the fund is routinely wasted on useless quack therapies. Knowing the gullibility of pro athletes, it’s got to be way more than what was allegedly lost to fraud in this case.

Why do doctors who should know better promote conspiracy theories and misinformation like this?
I have a few thoughts:
long ago, Dr Barrett of Quackwatch, speculated that professionals often feel that their efforts don’t yield the best results or that they have little control- this is especially relevant for para-professionals and HCWs with less power in decision making.

A few psychologists ( especially Hornsey, Karen Douglas, Lantian) have studied who is susceptible to conspiracy theories because of their personality ( as well as situational factors such as living in unsettled times, being in chaotic situations etc):
traits such as narcissism, low agreeableness, Machiavellianism, and openness to experience, need for uniqueness, paranoid thinking, less trust of others, seeing the world as a dangerous place and lack of belief in a hierarchy of expertise are some of the characteristics they found. They may dsplay Apophenia, a tendency to “connect the dots”, seeing patterns that don’t exist . They may be more likely to overestimate negative outcomes than other people.

Orac often describes the Brave Maverick Syndrome, as many imagine themselves the Next Galileo. Of course, these mechanisations are all ego enhancing and I notice them as well in anti-vax parents ( who haven’t the benefit of a medical education), self-promoting alt med advocates and visiting trolls of all types.

As an analog-I noticed during training the fellow DOs who were big-time OMT “experts” were the ones who couldn’t hack the real medicine…or were too lazy to take on difficult clinical cases.

That makes sense.

I speculate further than some of the alties – non-docs- who may have once aspired to a medical and/ or life science career, found out that they weren’t accepted and pursued more esoteric/ mimetic health credentials ( i.e. woo) then pretending that SBM is either corrupt or behind the times:
Green Med Info’s Sayer Ji has a BA in philosophy
PRN’s chief enabler/ ” scholar in residence”, Richard Gale, has degrees in Asian studies/ Religion and Buddhism.
Mike Adams has a degree in Technical Writing ( mostly about computers)
Del Bigtree has a …. wait, no degree.

One of my physicians who became a good friend warned me years ago that the admonition to do no harm really was not a precept of his training. He said it was an artifact of an earlier era that carried no real weight. He originally trained as a general surgeon and then became an interventional radiologist. He said it was not in any way meaningful in his professional life although the public still seems to think this is a governing professional principle. As many of you have asserted, this public health crisis presents the perfect opportunity for reform in state boards of bad apples who have their own twisted agendas for selling quackery and thwarting the goals of ensuring public health. I’m not holding my breath, though……

NWO Reporter-you must know, very well, that even if the vaccine industry promoters were trying to mislead us there are in fact great numbers of independent institutions and individuals, of wide geographical locations, with a variety of relevant skills and knowledge who are able to detect, if it exists, anything untoward with misinformation or skullduggery of any kind from the ‘promoters. No such activity has been demonstrated. The fantasies of people like yourself do no service of value to anyone: in fact much harm.

I just skimmed Del’s ( @ highwire talk) latest broadcast from Thursday ( it takes a minute or two to set up), and found these gems early on :
— Rand Paul “schools” the HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra, on ” natural immunity” for Covid. 4 minutes in – 8.40) . After all, Becerra is NOT a doctor, says Paul and has no science degrees, so how could he know? Paul compares Covid vaccination to those of measles and small pox. -btw- Rand Paul IS a doctor.
— Conservative Hugh Hewitt “grills” Dr Fauci ( minutes 10-12 )

Del is so pleased with these “take downs”, he blithely carries on, misinforming his audience for another 2 hours. ( I didn’t watch, even I have limits)

More weekend mini-fun: Mike Adams interpreting the temporary shutdown of an obscure dried food/prepper supplier as proof that the entire food supply chain is collapsing and we’re going to starve in the dark this winter (except those of us poisoned by Covid vaccine spike proteins will die first). Better buy your pails of NN survival food before they sell out!

I looked up the prepper food supplier, and on their Facebook page a customer is complaining about how an 8-year-old can of their mushrooms tastes/smells like fish.

I weep to think of smug survivalists finally turning to their emergency supplies, only to find that they’ve turned.

*I have eight mason jars full of dried, home-grown figs, so I’m ready for anything.

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