Blog | Monday, October 11, 2021

Health professionals lying about COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic continues. The 96% of COVID-19-immunized physicians in America are becoming infuriated by people resisting vaccine and masking. The unvaccinated population is dying at high rates and leaving their children orphaned. In case you lost track, we are averaging 1,800 deaths a day now and unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated. These COVID-19 patients are impacting the health system and in some states there are no hospital beds (or personnel to staff the beds ) available for strokes, heart attacks, cancer patients and accidents. Patients are being transferred hundreds of miles to other health facilities … if they are lucky to find one open and doctors that will accept the transfer. Why has this happened?

One very important cause is the tiny number of doctors spreading virus misinformation that has a huge influence on what people believe. Telling lies is easy and finding out the truth takes time. We have too much information and it is hard to sort it out. These lies take advantage of information overload and the fact that people are drawn to info that is novel and unusual. They appeal to people (lots of us!) that have distrust of the government. They use their titles and credibility, wearing lab coats, using simplified medical jargon and spouting “new evidence” that will expose corruption and cover-up. They quote their own research as if it is valid and accepted. Many of these doctors have had their licenses revoked (even before COVID-19) or have been kicked-out of medical societies and universities. Tucker Carlson on Fox News is happy to give them a platform and social media feeds us this info, no matter how fringe. One Indiana doctor spread lies in a video that has been viewed over 100 million times on Facebook, 6.2 million views on twitter and 2.8 million views on YouTube.

I have an on-line acquaintance who lives in Florida who told me his 50-year-old unvaccinated wife was fighting for her life in the hospital. I asked him if he was vaccinated and he said “No, there is a lot of confusion about that and the nurses in the hospital said don't get vaccinated.” This is malpractice. It is dangerous misinformation that kills patients, and those nurses should be fired.

Now there is a growing call among medical groups to discipline physicians spreading incorrect information. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the groups that license and discipline doctors, recommended that states consider action against doctors who share false medical claims, including suspending or revoking medical licenses. The American Medical Association says spreading misinformation violates the code of ethics that licensed doctors agree to follow.

It takes years for state boards to sanction professionals, and I don't see any end to the fraudulent websites, pseudo treatments, “Plandemic” videos, and intentional misinformation that is being spread by health professionals. At a time of world crisis, we are failing.

This post originally appeared at Everything Health. Toni Brayer, MD, FACP, is an ACP Internist editorial board member who blogs at EverythingHealth, designed to address the rapid changes in science, medicine, health and healing in the 21st Century.