COVID-19 denial making doctors’ jobs harder

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Challenges lie in treating unvaccinated

Healthcare workers “are growing weary of Covid-19 denial and misinformation that have made it exasperating to treat unvaccinated patients during the Delta-driven surge,” The Associated Press reports after interviewing doctors from across the country, including one in Kentucky.

“They describe being aggravated at the constant requests to be prescribed the veterinary parasite drug Ivermectin, with patients lashing out at doctors when they are told that it’s not a safe coronavirus treatment,” reports AP’s Heather Hollingsworth. “People routinely cite falsehoods spread on social media, like an Illinois doctor who has people tell him that microchips are embedded in vaccines as part of a ploy to take over people’s DNA. A Louisiana doctor has resorted to showing patients a list of ingredients in Twinkies, reminding those who are skeptical about the makeup of vaccines that everyday products have lots of safe additives that no one really understands.”

Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician in Lexington, “recently had a patient who began their conversation by saying, ‘I’m not afraid of any China virus.’ From that point on, he knew what he was up against in dealing with the patient’s politics and misguided beliefs about the virus.”

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Stanton, who makes frequent media appearances, “blamed people like far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for spreading some of the misinformation that has taken root among his patients. Among them is that the vaccine contains fetal cells. Another said it ‘is a simple fact that the vaccine has killed millions’.”

“In fact,” he told the AP, “that couldn’t be more wrong.”

Hollingsworth reports, “It’s tough to watch, especially after living through the early surges. . . . There was hope after the vaccines arrived, but then came the delta variant and a slowdown in immunizations.”

“Really,  it amazes me, the number of people who have this huge fear, conspiracy theory about vaccines and will, honest to God, try anything, including a veterinary medicine, to get better,” Stanton said.