Categories
Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics

The antivax assault on state medical boards has begun

Increasingly, antivaxxers and antimaskers have been targeting state medical boards. In Tennessee, it has been political. In California, it has been more physical. The antivax war on state medical boards has begun.

The COVID-19 quack assault on state medical boards has begun, with the first shots fired in Tennessee and California, where there are a legislative assault and a potential actual assault, respectively. I’ll go into detail about what I mean in a moment, but first let me provide a brief history lesson.

I’ve been writing for a long time about what I (and others) perceive as the toothlessness of state medical boards when it comes to disciplining doctors who practice quackery, spread antivaccine disinformation, and in general demonstrate themselves unworthy of the privilege of holding they title of “physician.” Although I was writing about this as early as 2006, after a quack named Dr. Roy Kerry killed a six-year-old autistic child with chelation therapy for his autism. However, I didn’t really start to make state medical boards a cause until 2008, after Dr. Rashid Buttar, an antivaxxer who treated children with what he called “transdermal chelation therapy” and we called “Buttar’s butter,” got a slap on the wrist from the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, even after having described the Board as a “rabid dog” for having had the temerity to try to rein in his quackery. This quackery was practiced mostly on children and cancer patients at Buttar’s misnamed Center for Advanced Medicine, where he now offers hyperbaric oxygen, “energy medicine,” dubious tests for “heavy metals” and parasites, and a host of other unscientific medicine. Completely unsurprisingly, even after his run-in with his state medical board, Dr. Buttar has gone on to grift more and has been cited by the Center for Countering Digital Hate as a member of the “Disinformation Dozen” for spreading disinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines against it.

Even before the pandemic, I could go on and on with other examples, such as how long it took the State of Texas to stop neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a.k.a. “Dr. Death,” from killing and maiming patients (which required a criminal prosecution); how, unfettered by our medical board, an oncologist in my own state gave chemotherapy to patients who didn’t have cancer and it took the FBI to bust him on fraud to finally stop him; how cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski has been treating desperately ill cancer patients with “antineoplastons” for 45 years and the Texas Medical Board has been unable to take away his license (the worst he’s gotten is a slap on the wrist), and a whole variety of other quacks, grifters, antivaxxers, and practitioners of pseudoscientific medicine continue to practice mostly unmolested, even as sometimes reporting a bad doctor to a state medical board can result in legal jeopardy.

It’s true that there have been exceptions, such as antivax hero Dr. “Bob” Sears, who was finally disciplined by the Medical Board of California; antivax pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas, whose license was suspended in Oregon; Dr. Steven LaTulippe, whose license was suspended this year by the Oregon Medical Board for endangering patients by refusing to wear a mask in clinic and urging others not to wear one; and a handful of others. However, these are the exceptions. The vast majority of doctors practicing quackery and pushing COVID-19 disinformation continue to practice without their medical licenses being endangered. If you don’t believe me, look at how few of “America’s Frontline Doctors” have faced discipline. (I believe it is none.) One of them is going to be Florida’s highest ranking medical official.

It is also true that the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) issued a call to its member medical boards to take action against physicians spreading COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation, but I predicted that not much would come of it, and so far not much has. Will that change? Not if the quacks and their supporters have anything to say about it. Even the pretty anemic response of state medical boards thus far to the tsunami of COVID-19 disinformation being spread is a threat to quacks and their supporters, which likely explains why they are now targeting state medical boards.

For example, in Tennessee:

Tennessee’s medical licensing board voted Tuesday to delete a policy opposing coronavirus misinformation from its website due to fears a powerful conservative lawmaker would otherwise dissolve the board and replace its members.

The policy, unanimously adopted by the Board of Medical Examiners in September, establishes that doctors who spread demonstrably untrue information about COVID-19 vaccines could have their licenses suspended or potentially revoked. Members voted 7 to 3 to delete — but not rescind — the policy.

The deletion was spurred by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, a co-chair of the Joint Government Operations Committee, who insisted board members don’t have the authority to create a new disciplinary offense without the approval of lawmakers on his committee.

Over the past two months, Ragan sent at least three letters pressuring the board to delete the policy or appear before the committee to explain itself. Ragan later made a “threat” to dissolve the board in behind-the-scenes discussions with the Department of Health, according to a letter from a department attorney obtained by The Tennessean.

Quacks and their legislative supporters targeting state medical boards is nothing new. It’s long been a tactic of antivaxxers and quacks to target state medical boards legislatively, just as advocates for pseudomedical “disciplines” like naturopathy, acupuncture, and the like have long targeted legislators to achieve licensure in more and more states. In the past, it was mostly quack-friendly legislators prodded by powerful pseudomedicine interests. For example, in 2010, the aforementioned Buttar led a successful effort by the North Carolina Integrative Medical Society to persuade legislators to change state law to make it friendlier to practitioners of alternative medicine. Now, North Carolina law prevents its medical board from disciplining a physician for using “non-traditional” or “experimental” treatments unless it can prove they are ineffective or more harmful that prevailing treatments.

Again, there is nothing new under the sun. A friend and colleague of mine, attorney Jann Bellamy, even has a whole series of posts on what she likes to refer to as “legislative alchemy” or “quack protection acts.” In the age of COVID-19, with powerful political forces opposing public health interventions and vaccination as they promote quack “miracle cures,” it is no surprise that increased pressure is being brought to bear on state medical boards to protect the unprecendently profitable grift train with political threats. And, if political threats don’t work, others might.

Just this week:

The head of the California Medical Board says members of an anti-vaccine group known to spread misinformation about COVID-19 treatments targeted her at her home and workplace in Walnut Creek on Monday. Former Walnut Creek Councilwoman Kristina Lawson, president of the state agency that licenses and disciplines medical doctors, first shared the “terrifying experience” on Twitter Wednesday.

I know some readers hate my embedding Tweets in posts, but in this case I don’t care. I think that the entire Twitter thread should be shown, so that you can see all of what Lawson had to say:

This is simply a new take on what resisters to public health interventions have been doing since early in the pandemic, whether it was armed militia members prowling the statehouse in my own state in April 2020 to intimidate lawmakers or antimaskers harassing public health officials and school board members until they resign, either from fear or just burnout from dealing with the stress of the job during a pandemic plus constant harassment. And if they won’t resign, sometimes they are fired by COVID-19-friendly governors and other executives. The subtext of Rep. Ragan’s threat is clear, his “aw-shucks” disavowal of any threat notwithstanding:

“I’m flattered that you and they think I have that much power. I can’t do that by myself,” Ragan said Tuesday ahead of the board’s vote, according to the newspaper  “However, it is within the authority of the General Assembly, acting through the government operations committee, to dissolve them if we so desire.”

Sure, and Ragan is the chair of the committee that oversees the board, and the Tennessee legislature is chock-full of Republicans who would love to shield antivax disinformation from board action. Whether they’d go so far as to dissolve the state medical board to accomplish that, I tend to doubt, at least right now, but I could see them causing a whole lot of mischief short of that. (I can also see them eventually getting to the point where they might dissolve the board.) I also can’t help but note here that the abolition of state medical boards is a fond dream not just of quacks and antivaxxers, but of a certain libertarian bunch of doctors who view evidence-based guidelines as an unacceptable affront to physician autonomy and think that physicians should be able to practice without state regulation. (Yes, I’m talking about the AAPS, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which, unsurprisingly, promotes antivaccine views and COVID-19 disinformation.)

But back to California and this news report:

Lawson, a former mayor of Walnut Creek who was appointed to the board by former Gov. Jerry Brown, said on social media on Wednesday she grew concerned Monday after she noticed the people in a white SUV parked near her home and saw a drone near the house.

“I was concerned when I saw someone flying a drone over my house and saw a mysterious white truck parked outside my home. Later that day, my concern turned to terror,” she said in a statement.

Lawson added: “I arrived in the dark parking garage behind my office and experienced four men unexpectedly rush towards me, jumping out of the same white truck that had been parked outside my house. I then realized that these four men had been surreptitiously stalking me.”

Lawson said she decided to go public with what happened to her “to shed light on these reprehensible, unacceptable tactics of intimidation”

And:

Walnut Creek Police spokeswoman Lt. Holley Connors said in a statement that a man claiming to be “a state detective from Georgia” called a police dispatcher on Monday and said that he was conducting “surveillance” in San Miguel, an unincorporated area near Walnut Creek.

The dispatcher asked the man, whose name was not made public, if he had a weapon, and the man responded that his gun was locked in a case, Connors said.

And:

Connors said the same man called the Walnut Creek Police Department again later in the day to let them know he was in a parking lot in Walnut Creek with at least one other person.

“The Police Department determined that the man who called earlier in the day claiming to be a detective from Georgia was likely involved,” in the incident with Lawson, Connors wrote, adding that police have no evidence of a crime but that investigators are still gathering information.

You can’t tell me that this men didn’t know exactly what they were doing and trying to accomplish. Ambush tactics like the ones used against Lawson have long been part and parcel of the antivaccine movement’s tactics, too. The idea is to startle and frighten the “interview subject” in order to get her to react fearfully or angrily and thus produce embarrassing footage to post on YouTube or for antivaccine propaganda films disguised as a documentary. I remember one incident in particular from 2016. Antivaxxers pulled exactly this tactic with Dr. Paul Offit, a hero of mine who’s faced death threats from antivaxxers. Josh Coleman, who has a penchant for cosplaying V from V for Vendetta and Star Wars characters, organized a number of antivaccine protests in California, managed to corner Dr. Offit as he having breakfast alone in the cafeteria of the NYU-Langone Medical Center, where he was set to speak at a pro-vaccine conference. Offit, quite understandably feeling threatened, reacted…badly.

Here’s his description of the incident:

Let me explain what happened yesterday. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss sent me an email stating that the VAXXED crowd would be protesting before the symposium in front of NYU-Langone. So I took the early morning train (6:30am) from Philly so that I could get to NYU before they gathered. I don’t like having to walk through crowds like this for obvious reasons (I had to do this once at the CDC and it wasn’t fun.) I entered the main building where I was met by a security guard. I told him that I was one of the speakers and he directed me to go to the cafeteria for breakfast where “I would be safe.” After sitting near the window for about 15 minutes (not imagining this would ever be a problem) I noticed Polly Tommey filming me from the street and another woman gesturing for me to look at their VAXXED truck. It was unnerving. I felt ambushed. At the same time that I noticed this, a man claiming to be “the cameraman for VAXXED” came up behind me and asked me to come in to the VAXXED truck to be interviewed. He had what looked like a camera which was around his neck but now I know that he was actually recording me. I asked him if he was recording me and he said that he wasn’t. I declined his request politely several times but he persisted. Frankly the guy was a little frightening (now I know that this was Josh Coleman, who has a criminal past). So I cursed at him. Not terribly proud of this, but I’m human. I also can’t stand the way that the “VAXXED team” denigrates children with autism and scares parents away from vaccines. Frankly, I think their “quest” is a dangerous one. Now I’m just trying to deal with the fallout, primarily from our hospital’s PR team who are concerned that the video of me keeps showing up on their Facebook page. And so it goes.

Sound familiar? Antivaxxers have long stalked Dr. Offit, such that he often needs security when he gives talks to keep antivaxxers from disrupting them.

I’d be willing to bet that this is exactly the sort of thing America’s Frontline Doctors members were trying to accomplish with the chair of the California Medical Board, along with a private detective. You can bet that Lawson and medical board members were aware of the increasingly violent rhetoric from the antivaccine movement that’s become only more violent since the pandemic. These guys knew what they were doing. They were “ambushing” a woman in a fairly deserted place after having sent a message by flying a drone over her house, watching her daughter leave for school, and following her. Of course, they were smart enough to maintain plausible deniability and stay just within the law as they delivered their message.

As a result, the California Medical Association responded:

As did California State Senator Richard Pan:

Dr. Pan has, of course, also been subject to antivax intimidation and even assault. Indeed, when I appeared on a discussion panel with him three years ago in San Diego, he noted that he has to have security with him for public appearances. I even got a taste of this issue, as people whom we suspected to be antivaxxers tried to gain entrance to the conference. Even in my own little way, I once had an antivaxxer try to disrupt a talk of mine with confrontational questions years ago.

And who were these particular stalkers, who flew a drone over Lawson’s house, followed her daughter to school, watched her take her other child to school, and then confronted her in a deserted parking structure as she left the office to go to her car? Take a guess:

Lawson, through a spokesman, told The Sacramento Bee that the men identified themselves as belonging to a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing political organization known to oppose COVID-19 vaccines and offer unproven treatments for those infected with the virus.

Last month, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus launched an investigation into the group for profiting off of questionable and unauthorized COVID-19 treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

Lawson said she later learned, through law enforcement, that the group planned to produce a video about her that would include footage of her house and neighborhood.

She said she decided to go public about what happened to shed light on the “reprehensible, unacceptable tactics of intimidation.”

I’ve written about America’s Frontline Doctor’s before. They’re the group to which Governor Ron DeSantis’ choice for Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo belongs. I first encountered them in the summer of 2020, when they were pushing the repurposed malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19. (It’s not.) You might even recall that a prominent member of the group is Dr. Stella Immanuel, who believes that common gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches. This group was also recently caught grifting through dubious telehealth appointments and in essence running a prescription mill for ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Ivermectin, you might recall, is the new hydroxychloroquine in that it became the hot new “miracle cure” after evidence tilted conclusively against hydroxychloroquine having any efficacy in treating COVID-19. Although America’s Frontline Doctors tries to maintain plausible deniability about being antivaccine, its activities argue otherwise, such as when it sued the government alleging a “massive coverup” of “at least 45,000 deaths” from COVID-19 vaccines.

I view this latest tactic as a sign that maybe, just maybe, antivaxxers and COVID-19 quacks think that the statement of the FSMB might actually result in state medical boards getting serious about disciplining physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation. I also view this tactic as a sign that state medical boards are going to be increasingly subject to the same political pressure and even physical threats that public health officials have been enduring since the pandemic started, which makes me fear that oversight over doctors will become less, not more, stringent. I fear that they very well might work, too. After all, most medial board members are underpaid, overworked, and do their jobs mostly out of a sense of duty, even as the boards themselves are understaffed and underfunded. Who could blame them? That’s the idea, unfortunately, and why this war on state medical boards has begun.

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]

38 replies on “The antivax assault on state medical boards has begun”

Dr Offit: ” So I cursed at him.”
Anti-vaxxers who have a history of harassing, insulting and following PH supporters around then expect civility and manners in return? Offit went out of his way to avoid them but one managed to get through to bother him.
I watched a video of Orac’s interloper ( Jake Crosby) and Orac’s response was amazingly subdued.

Amongst commenters here, anti-vax/ anti-PH supporters often accuse SBM supporters of malfeasance, insult them without restraint and provoke them in many other ways and then, cry “Foul!” when they react in anger or use forbidden epithets. Maybe they bear some responsibility for how opponents react to their actions or words. Grasp your pearls elsewhere.

Live and on-line are two different stories.

Notice though that Orac’s and Dr Offit’s stalkers appeared brazenly when they spoke at universities where there are guards, surveillance video, witnesses etc. Coleman also had someone ( or himself) photograph him harassing Dr Pan outside a Sacramento restaurant in daylight and possibly hitting him. With someone even more unhinged.. who can say?
But still, I don’t think that targets should just shut up either.

Do I think that women should act differently? Not really. Just to be more careful and staying in public view for live events. On line what they do is their own choice but attackers may single out women because they think that they’re weak or hemmed in by manners.

Coleman, in particular, consistently targets and harasses people and the claims he was the victim. Here he is attacking a biker that took down one of his banners. See him from 2:45 minutes for about 3-4 minutes.

https://www.facebook.com/search/posts?q=coleman%20biker%20maine&filters=eyJycF9hdXRob3I6MCI6IntcIm5hbWVcIjpcImF1dGhvcl9mcmllbmRzX2ZlZWRcIixcImFyZ3NcIjpcIlwifSJ9

In another case, he confronted Dr. Pan and blocked him, and then complained about assault because Dr. Pan touched his arm.

Harassing or attacking people and then playing victim is pattern for him.

Of course Coleman is lying. Contrary to his claim, he IS an antivaxxer. And, contrary to his claim, pharmaceutical companies are not immune from liability, You just have to go through the vaccine court first. He’s also a bully. On the other hand, although I agree with the sentiment, it really wasn’t a good idea to aggravate a bully by pulling his stupid sign down.

Aren’t there some states where charging towards someone in a secluded area will get you shot?

Are all these malevolent kooks unemployed?
They seem to have no trouble finding free days/weeks to travel across state/country to harass doctors and scientists and to attend protests.
Who is paying them?
.
Is there nothing legal that can be done to stop the threatening harassment?
.
How does a ‘private detective’ from Georgia bring a gun into California and not get arrested… or at least detained for questioning and checked out?
.
Unfortunately, someone is going to get shot with them playing this dangerous game.

I doubt RFK Jr will say this is wrong. Stochastic terrorism. “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Meanwhile, Judy Mikovitz’s husband died of you know what. It tests my dislike of schadenfreude. http://www.sorryantivaxxer.com has the story.

Since you – rightly – mentioned Tennessee, and although it’s not a medical board, I want to remind everyone that Tennessee’s chief immunization officer was fired for wanting to inform teens that Tennessee has a mature minor doctrine.

Their attack on people standing up for public health is multifaceted.

That it is. I mentioned public health officials being fired for standing up for public health interventions or resigning because of burnout over the workload during a pandemic plus exhaustion from dealing with political pressure and outright public opprobrium, but maybe I should have emphasized it more. This latest wrinkle is clearly a shot across the bow of state medical boards, a warning if they try to discipline COVID-19 quacks and antivaxxers for spreading disinformation.

Do you write stories about heads of corporations and boards of directors being followed and harassed? Try being the head of an oil company or a bank or an energy company or the NRA being followed and harassed and having a drone fly over their house, fake blood poured on your car or house or you wife’s business.

washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/protesters-target-nra-lobbyists-home-and-wifes-business/2018/04/20/106c77f4-433a-11e8-bba2-0976a82b05a2_story.html

Even jovial Warren Buffet has to spend 10’s of millions on security detail to keep this kind of thing from happening to him and his top people.

You want to deplore the actions of these ‘nuts’ (and I am happy to call them that), that is all good and fine, but will you now talk of Mike Wallace or Dan Rather or Geraldo Riveria and countless others who have practiced this type of ‘journalism” and their attempts to follow members of country clubs, regulatory agencies or friend, family, principal, school board members of the Covington High School, how about military officers, police officers, jury members, defense lawyers or prosecutors and judges or countless other people who for the most part are trying to the correct/right thing, just like Ms. Lawson.

What Kristina Lawson went through is probably 1% of what a commissioner/board member for the EPA, BLM, FBI or a host of other federal agencies go through on a regular basis. Remember no less than Maxine Waters told people to “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,”…”“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” or Corey Booker “Go to the Hill today. Get up, and please get up in the face of some congresspeople.” That ‘call to action’ was heard by both sides.

If you’re not will to disavow it when it is coming from your side you have no basis to object when it coming from the other side. Civil discourse is getting harder and harder to come by and I fear it is only going to get worse.

‘Chickens coming home to roost’ Malcolm X

I do love a nice blatantly obvious bit of “whataboutism” or “whataboutery.” You do know that was a favored propaganda technique developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, right? It’s a very old and very obvious bit of misdirection. Nice try, though.

Can we stop blaming Russians for everything? (that was sarcasm)

If you’re not willing to point out racism or sexism etc when ever it occurs or by whoever makes those comments then those labels are meaningless. The tactics used by those people have long been used by environmentalist, gun control, defund the police and a whole host of other liberal groups, but all of a sudden it is a tactic to be discredited? The two quotes I used were just 2 of many that were uttered by liberals.democrats and calls of violent unrest in the streets.

The term whataboutism is a common tactic use to deflect criticism and is an example of double standard and my post showed your contradicting positions, if your moral standards change based on who you are judging then you have no moral standards.

If you allow racists or sexist or homophobic or anti-semitic comments when someone describes an anti vaxxer, don’t be surprised when those same type of comments are used against people who support you or you support.

You have no problem with posters who use the terms “twunts or czunts” or question the credibility of a source because they are “Israeli” because those posters support your position, then you have no moral authority to question rhetoric and tactics of your opposition.

I believe the correct term for what you’re are doing is being a

hypocrite

a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs

Seriously, your whataboutism/whataboutery bores me.

Also, didn’t I ban you once before. That email address looks familiar. Hmmm….

I don’t recall having been banned by you (if you did your processes did not work) but..…

What I posted was the truth, all searchable, both on the internet and this blog. My response on your charge of ‘Whataboutism’ …..‘is a common tactic use to deflect criticism and is an example of double standard” comes from ‘Wikipedia”….. “ and the description of a ‘hypocrite’ comes from Websters.

I realize that if you do ban me, you as the author/owner of the blog have every right to do that. It does however put you in the awkward position of having to defend posters on this site that use those terms I mentioned and are clearly ‘racist, sexist and anti-Semitic’ in nature and have allowed to keep posting.

I would be proud to be banned from a site which allows that type of language or the intent of that language or denies true statements.

So be it.

@Anthony

Most of your examples are simple false equivalency. You’ve taken some snippets from Waters and Booker and make it sound as if they are inciting riots. No one (no one sane anyway) thinks harrassing someone you disagree with is acceptable behavior, but “getting in the face of” a congressional representative is pretty clearly meant metaphorically to anyone who isn’t trying to propagandize even while pretending to sympathize and only be concerned about civility.

You are completely wrong if you believe there is a side of healthcare workers who advocate harassment on others. The whole point of this blog post is that healthcare workers who only treat the unhealthy under difficult circumstances are taking abuse from a small group who don’t know anything about treating disease. They have an ‘agenda’.

There is no logical sense that because one group has an objective — we all must be related to that objective. It means you are just as guilty of fouling the world as everyone else. Would you admit to that? Are you doing something to promote defense against COVID or are you just a polemicist?

I am concerned there is nothing just in your outlook and your argument is the new saboteurs action plan.

I just don’t remember physicians threatening people. You have to be able to tell the difference.

Hello false equivalence.

A reporter (with full camera crew) from a major news outlet approaching a public person in a public place because that person has repeatedly denied requests for an interview is Not At All the same as four unidentified men jumping out of an unmarked van while a private person is alone in a secluded parking lot. Any reasonable person, in that second situation would think that they were about to be mugged, kidnapped or murdered, not interviewed.

Warren Buffet (and the rest of the 0.1%) has security so he isn’t kidnapped for ransom. Duh. It has nothing to do with politics or policy. Or journalism.

And, news flash, this is a medicine website. Generally Orac doesn’t talk about things like petroleum or guns at all.

It’s the job of a congressperson to listen to their constituents. No one was saying to LITERALLY get in their face, but it is ok to show up at their office to provide feedback on an issue – again, that is their job. And telling a public figure off if you happen to see them in public is also NOT the same as stalking them at their home or accosting them in parking garages at night. But go on, keep digging that hole.

America’s Frontline Doctors, founded by Simone Gold who went on to participate in the insurrection at the Capitol Building. These people are not the usual anti-vaccine group. They clearly have no regard for the rule of law. Being targeted by them should have been an incredibly worrying event.

I wish the Tennessee Medical Board had refused to yield. Now anti-vax, anti-science, anti-public health legislators (aka republicans to a p-value of < 0.05) will be emboldened in other states to do likewise to any medical board that actually does what it’s supposed to during this pandemic—protect the public from bad doctors.

Well, this is sad news.

It has been revealed that ex-supermodel Elle MacPherson and celebrity antivaxer Andrew Wakefield are no longer an item. The split was confirmed by a spokesman for MacPherson, although they are evidently still simpatico.

“The MailOnline claims the model herself called the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic a “divine time” while introducing a film made by Andrew to an audience in the USA within the past two years.”

“They claim the model and actress said: “You made this film during Covid, and it’s interesting because it’s such beautiful, sacred timing when you watch the film, because it’s so pertinent and so relevant…”

“And for it to come in this divine time where vaccination and mandatory vaccination is on everybody’s lips.”

http://mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/elle-macpherson-confirms-split-ex-25656038

It’s unclear what film Elle was referring to, but it may have been the 2020 release “1986: The Act”, Wakefield’s “dramatic forensic examination” of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, starring A-listers Brian Hooker, Mary Holland and RFK Jr.

In I could have told you that anti-vax news…

WaPo. today: Amazon Smile funnels money into groups that provide misinformation about vaccines and Covid . Kennedy’s CHD, Del’s ICAN, the NVIC and ( I will add) AoA receive money from sales – true, it’s only 42K USD. Smile filters out hate groups as identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center but not by Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Senator Warren requests they stop. -btw- Jeff Bezos also owns the WaPo.

“Targeting state medical boards is nothing new. … There is nothing new under the sun… This is simply a new take on what resisters to public health interventions have been doing… Sound familiar? Antivaxxers have long stalked…”

Orac continues to frame COVID antivax as an extension of the familiar antivax of NVIC, CHD, etc. This is like saying “well, there have always been tornadoes in the Midwest… there have always been wildfires in California… there’s long been dry spells from time to time…” It’s minimization. As Chris Preston says above “These people are not the usual anti-vaccine group.” Unlike the old-school antivaxers who were/are single-issue kooks, for these folks opposition to vaccines is a core component of a larger fascist movement. It’s one thing for a lone nut-job like Coleman to harass Paul Offitt and Richard Pan, it’s another thing to be targeted by a wide social movement dedicated to confrontational scorched-earth intimidation tactics up-to-and including violence, backed by a major political party, a major cable network, and a phalanx of alt-right media organs on the Web.

Sadmar wrote:

“It’s one thing for a lone nut-job like Coleman to harass Paul Offitt and Richard Pan, it’s another thing to be targeted by a wide social movement dedicated to confrontational scorched-earth intimidation tactics up-to-and including violence, backed by a major political party, a major cable network, and a phalanx of alt-right media organs on the Web.”

That I fear is the point of Anti-Covid-Vax, it is indeed a separate issue to “main-stream” anti-vax.

It is just another weapon in the fascist armoury. doG help the USA, and then by extension, Europe. Best to now stop criticising Russia and China online……….

Want to respond to Orac? Here's your chance. Leave a reply! Just make sure that you've read the Comment Policy (link located in the main menu in the upper right hand corner of the page) first if you're new here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: