Increase calls to discipline doctors who spread misinformation about the virus.

Standing in front of a local school board in central Indiana this month, Dr. Daniel Stock, a state physician, issued a barrage of false claims about the corona virus. He noted that the recent increase in cases showed that vaccines were ineffective, that people were better off than cocktails of medications and supplements to prevent the virus from entering the hospital, and that the mask helped prevent the spread of infection. Did not help

Since then, its appearance has become one of the most-watched videos of corona virus misinformation. Videos – Many versions are available online – about 100 million likes and shares on Facebook, 6.2 million views on Twitter, at least 2.8 million views on YouTube, and more than 940,000 video views on Instagram.

The popularity of his discourse points to another striking contradiction of epidemics. Even the small number of medical colleagues who fight to save the lives of patients with Covid 19 have been instrumental in spreading misleading and misleading information about the virus and vaccines.

There is now a growing voice in medical groups for disciplining physicians who spread misinformation. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents groups that license and discipline doctors, recommended last month that states consider taking action against doctors who make false medical claims, including suspending medical licenses. Or cancel. The American Medical Association says spreading false information is a breach of the code of ethics that licensed doctors agree to abide by.

Dr Humayun Chaudhry, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards, said people pay attention when a doctor speaks. “The title of a physician gives credence to what people say to ordinary people. That is why it is so important that these doctors do not spread false information.

Dr. Stock joined doctors, including Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Judy McVotes, and a group that calls itself America’s Frontline Doctor, creating a huge audience for its false claims. Public health officials say their and others’ statements have contributed to vaccine hesitation and mask resistance, which has exacerbated the epidemic in the United States.

Doctors often stand in a lab coat and use simple medical terms, which give the impression of authority. They often benefit from an online audience through live streaming news conferences, and keep the interest alive by promising new evidence that will expose corruption and support their arguments.

Some state medical boards have disciplined doctors for their conduct during infectious diseases. In December, the Oregon Medical Board ordered the immediate suspension of a doctor’s medical license for violating a state order requiring patients not to wear masks, or to wear masks. Authorities barred the doctor from prescribing medicine in Oregon until the governor lifted the state of emergency for epidemics.

In January, a San Francisco doctor who falsely claimed that 5G technology voluntarily surrendered his license to the California Medical Board due to an epidemic.

Carlos Vlatoro, a spokesman for the California Medical Board, said in a statement that “spreading misinformation about Covid 19 in general could be considered unprofessional and could be the basis for disciplinary action.”

But Dr Chaudhry said it was impossible to know how many states had opened investigations into doctors who spread false information. Such investigations are usually not published until a decision has been made, and this process can take several months.

Dr. Stock, 59, did not respond to a request for comment. He has been a licensed doctor in Indiana, one year after graduating from the Indiana University School of Medicine. According to her profile on LinkedIn, she has worked in several state hospitals, emergency care centers and private facilities.

On Dr. Stock’s website, he distinguishes himself from traditional medicine. The website reads, “By offering patients all of their treatment options – whether it’s a pill, lifestyle changes, therapy, or supplements – I help patients choose the option that works best for them. works.” “This results in permanent healing, not just the temporary relief found in the traditional system.” He sells dozens of vitamins and supplements on site.

In a video that has been widely circulated this month, Dr. Stock is seen addressing a board meeting of the Mount Vernon Community School Corporation in Fort Val, just east of Indianapolis. Standing with his back to the camera, and talking on a sharp, almost mon monochromatic clip, he opened his statement with this line, “Everything proposed by the CDC is actually the principles of science. It’s the opposite. ” He then selectively cites academic studies that give the impression that large-scale medical advice, such as wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, does not work.

YouTube, which bans videos that spread false information about the virus, said it would not download the full video of the meeting that the school board posted online. “Although we have clear policies to remove the misinformation of Covid 19, we also recognize the importance of organizations such as school boards using YouTube,” said YouTube spokeswoman Elena Hernandez.

The original video of the meeting has more than 620,000 views. Each of the previous Mount Vernon School Board videos on YouTube garnered only a few hundred views.

YouTube has released videos of the meeting, which have been edited to show only Dr. Stock’s speech. According to a New York Times analysis of available YouTube data, some of these versions were widely circulated before YouTube’s decision, rising to 15,000 per hour in the days following the meeting.

People shared their conversations on alternative video platforms such as Beachoate and Rumble, and on blogs such as Hancock County Patriots and DJHJ Media. A version of the video was shared on Twitter by a one-time adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, who garnered more than six million views. Another was shared by Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio.

Dr. Stock also appeared on Fox News on “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, repeating the false claim that “there is no consensus that the mask works – the data is very dirty on it.”

Eric Sears, a spokesman for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, which oversees the issuance of medical licenses in the state, said the Indiana Attorney General’s Office is responsible for investigating public complaints about doctors who spread false information about Coved 19. The attorney general’s office sends its findings to the Indiana Medical Board.

“So far, we have not been notified by the attorney general’s office of the investigation under investigation,” Mr Sears said. “The board will not take action until the investigation is completed by the attorney general’s office.”

Indiana Attorney General’s spokesman David A. Keltz said the office could not discuss whether a complaint against Dr. Stock was under investigation. Mr. Keltz said the state will only issue a public statement about any such investigation if the office decides to file a formal complaint with the Indiana Medical Board.

Doctors who spread false information about the corona virus “take advantage of the reputation of their titles and medical expertise to make their arguments more authentic,” said Rachel E. Moran, a researcher at the University of Washington. Study, including about the Covid 19 vaccine.

“The most frustrating thing about this is that opponents of vaccination usually spread suspicion among medical professionals unless it is a useful strategy for them.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

“Then comes a ‘doctor’ who lives up to his values,” Ms Moran said, “and suddenly that institutional skill is credible.”

Jacob Silver And Michael H. Keller Collaborative research

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