A handful of doctors stood on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States yesterday and repeatedly spewed misinformation about COVID-19, including the already debunked claim that hydroxychloroquine is a "cure" and the erroneous and dangerous idea that people shouldn't wear masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Breitbart, a right-wing media company that routinely fails fact checks and doesn't even try to hide its bias, shared live video of it. And before the video was removed from social media sites for pushing misinformation—which sites are doing to attempt to get people to stop believing YouTube quackery over renowned, respected professionals—tens of millions of people ate it up and shared it, including the president of the United States.
Put another way, 0.001% of the million or so doctors in the U.S.—none of whom are epidemiologists, virologists, or infectious disease experts—reached millions of gullible Americans with a false message, calling actual scientific research "disinformation" and claiming that they know better than the people who have spent their entire careers studying viruses and researching infectious disease because they are "America's Frontline Doctors."
No, they are not "America's Frontline Doctors." They are teeny tiny thimble-full of doctors, and none of them are experts on viral disease.
In fact, among the approximately dozen doctors in the group, two are opthamologists. That's an eye doctor. When you want to know the best and safest way to build a bridge, do you look to structural engineers or electrical engineers? No brainer, right? Medical specialties exist for a reason. If you're dealing with a novel virus, you look to the people who study novel viruses as their career.
Also among those doctors is a pediatrician and Christian minister, whose medical practice sits in the same Texas strip mall as her "Firepower Ministries" church. She says she's treated hundreds of patients with hydroxychloroquine and that people don't need to wear masks because we already have the "cure" for COVID-19. She has also said that gynecological issues like cysts, endometriosis, and infertility are caused by people having spirit sex with demons and witches in their dreams.
From her website, which appears to be down but can be viewed archived—and phew, it's a doozy:
"Many women suffer from astral sex regularly. Astral sex is the ability to project one's spirit man into the victim's body and have intercourse with it. This practice is very common amongst Satanists. They leave their physical bodies in a dormant state while they project their spirits into the body of whoever they want to have sex with."
Oh, and here's her sermon on the topic so you don't even have to leave the page:
Deliverance From Spirit Husbands and Spirit Wives (Incubus and Succubus) Part one www.youtube.com
So let's see, who should we be listening to?
Should we listen to the vast majority of actual frontline physicians, among the 600,000+ strong who wrote a joint letter to the Trump administration just 11 days ago? The ones who are asking for public health expertise to lead the way and for the Center for Disease Control—whose entire purpose is to control disease—to keep its rightful role in managing the data necessary for battling the pandemic? The ones who aren't pushing a political stance or agenda, but simply asking that the world's leading public health professionals and epidemiologists who have served under multiple presidents of different parties be allowed to do their jobs?
Or a dozen random doctors led by a pro-Trump physician, backed by the Tea Party Coalition, and pushed by a questionable far-right outlet? A group that includes no experts in infectious disease among them, but does boast a licensed physician who makes completely unscientific claims about spirit sex causing medical conditions? A group who poo-poos the majority opinion of scientists and researchers who, after multiple studies, have determined that hydroxychloroquine, not matter what it's combined with, is not a cure and is in fact potentially harmful for COVID patients?
GTFOH, this is bullshit. I'm an ER doc that treated #COVID in NYC & AZ. We gave #hydroxychloroquine and it didn't w… https://t.co/qkzsVfDPjO— Cleavon Gilman, MD🌵 (@Cleavon Gilman, MD🌵)1595897645.0
The choice is not hard, folks. As ER doctor Anand Swaminathan wrote on Twitter, "Hydroxychloroquine propaganda from America's Frontline Doctors is complete nonsense. This is the message of hucksters, not doctors."
The scariest thing about this is that people believe this stuff. They see a handful of doctors in white coats standing on the Supreme Court steps (um, why?), and because they say things that run counter to "mainstream" science and align with their conspiratorial views, they believe it.
Perhaps it has to be repeated a thousand times. When a tiny group of voices loudly go against the majority of scientists and medical professionals, that's when you need to be extra skeptical and exercise those critical thinking muscles to their fullest.
Why would the famously apolitical Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world's leading infectious disease experts and most well-respected professionals in his field, toss away all of his life's work under six different presidents in the final years of his career to be part of some kind of bizarro conspiracy to mislead the masses? Why would the vast majority of doctors do that (and rest assured, it would have to be the vast majority of doctors in on it if things really were not what mainstream science claims)? It doesn't even makes sense on its face.
On the other hand, Donald Trump desperately wants to be reelected, and this pandemic and the mitigation measure that have to be taken to control it are seriously hurting his chances. And there are some people who are desperate enough to do or say anything to help keep him and/or the Republican party in power, including some doctors who will claim that everyone else is pushing "disinformation" and claim they're the only ones brave enough to tell the truth. They're a teeny tiny minority, but they're loud. It's an old trick. Don't fall for it. Doctors can be quacks. Just because they're wearing a white coat, that doesn't make them credible.
The good news is that despite the amount of virtual oxygen videos like this take up, public opinion still backs up actual science. The vast majority of Americans are wearing masks in public, at least sometimes. And according to a poll by The Hill, most Americans support some kind of mask mandate.
I'm still maintaining hope that most people won't fall for stuff like this video or the astral sex argument. I mean, wow. I knew 2020 was handing it to us by the shovelful, but the president pushing a doctor who pushes demon dream sex as medical issue was definitely not one I saw coming.
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