Movies of sweaty nurse Joanna Overholt at a Ohio listening to went broad on social media over the surreal hilarity of watching a lady attempting to stay a key to her neck as proof that merely associating with somebody who had taken a vaccine was sufficient to make an individual “magnetic.” However Overholt was truly there as a backup to a different medical skilled, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, who was the unique supply of this declare. Foolish because it was, the vaccines make you magnetic declare was simply one in all a really, very lengthy line of claims from Dr. Tenpenny that included arguments that masks make individuals sicker, social distancing causes sickness, vaccines trigger autoimmune illness, vaccines trigger males to change into sterile, vaccines might trigger ladies to have mutant infants, and vaccines create an “interface” to speak to 5G cell towers.
Dr. Tenpenny and Overholt didn’t burst into that Ohio listening to on their very own. They have been invited there by Republican state consultant Jennifer Gross. Not solely is Gross a member of the Home Well being Committee, she’s additionally the creator of laws that might cease any authorities company, college, hospital, or enterprise of any form from requiring vaccination. Not simply COVID-19 vaccine. Any vaccine.
In 2021, we’re in a world the place deaths from a worldwide pandemic are being actively exacerbated by purposeful anti-science motion in one of many world’s finest educated nations. As a result of one social gathering has waged a deliberate marketing campaign towards science. As a result of they know that when individuals don’t perceive the fundamentals of how the world round them operates, they will get them to imagine completely something. As a result of ignorance is their trigger.
The Ohio Capital Journal reported on Dr. Tenpenny’s testimony earlier than the well being committee. That testimony included exhibiting footage of individuals with spoons hanging from their nostril, or keys pressed to their brow, as “proof” of her magnetic vaccine claims. It additionally included her testimony wherein she tied this baseless conspiracy idea to a different baseless conspiracy idea. “There have been individuals who have lengthy suspected there was some form of an interface,” mentioned Tenpenny, “but to be outlined, an interface between what’s being injected in these photographs, and the entire 5G towers.”
In Might, the Center for Countering Digital Hate ran by the statistics and decided that simply 12 individuals have been accountable for a lot of the disinformation about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. Quantity two on that listing is Nazi-organized convention attendee Robert Kennedy Jr. Quantity 4 is Dr. Susan Tenpenny. Amongst her claims on the time was that “the longer you put on a masks, the unhealthier you get” and “cease getting examined; should you get examined you’re a part of the issue.” She additionally joined up with disgraced former physician Andrew Wakefield for a video chat wherein Wakefield claimed that vaccines had killed extra kids than they saved.
For all this, Dr. Tenpenny was banned from Fb … however invited to talk as an “knowledgeable witness” to the Ohio Home by anti-vaxx consultant Gross. Gross had completely no compunction towards going on the record to say that she was performing “to permit individuals to decide on to do what they really feel is finest for their very own physique and defend people from any penalties or hardships for selecting in some way.”
If that was producing any doubt about Gross’ positions, she helps banning Deliberate Parenthood, and believes that medically mandated abortions are “by no means” acceptable as a result of “No individual has the ethical proper to decide on who lives and who dies.”
And all of this appears a superb demonstration of Ambrose’s corollary to Clarke’s regulation. When somebody doesn’t perceive vaccines, or microchips, or cellphone know-how, it’s attainable to get them to imagine something about any mixture of these applied sciences. It’s attainable to carry hearings in Ohio wherein a lady repeatedly tries to stay a key to her neck, after which calls for to know why a vaccine she proudly didn’t take made her magnetic, even after the important thing received’t stick. It’s attainable to bludgeon the Tennessee division of well being into backing away from supporting any vaccine.
There’s a New Testomony passage in First Thessalonians (that might be “One Thessalonians” for Trump followers), which begins “I’d not have you ever ignorant, brothers.” However that’s precisely how Republicans would have their supporters. Ignorant. There’s a cause Trump loves the poorly educated. Oh brother, they’d have you ever ignorant. As a result of what’s wanted to maintain a nation the place revenue equality matches that of medieval serfs, is a info inequality that feeds these serfs on ignorance and superstition.
For what it’s value, even another Ohio Republicans managed to be embarrassed about Gross, Tenpenny, Overholt, and the snake oil being peddled of their halls of their state capitol. Or at the very least, they did. Home Well being Committee Chairman Scott Lipps at first complained about Gross bringing in Tenpenny. After Gross claimed that Lipps had praised testimony from Tenpenny—in addition to testimony from Tom Renz that included a harangue on the “tyranny” of vaccinations—Gross at first responded with a textual content saying, “I’d count on nothing completely different from Rep. Gross. I’ve rapidly discovered she [accepts] no accountability for her actions or selections and is fast responsible anybody and everybody. Additionally, the primary agenda we [put] out for proponent testimony had NO Renz and NO Tenpenny. Rep. Gross vehemently objected.”
However then, after per week of cellphone calls to his workplace, Lipps flipped and defended Tenpenny’s testimony, saying, “Please step outdoors your personal little world and perceive that individuals are not all the identical, they usually don’t all imagine the identical.”
The “little world” Lipps would have individuals abandon is the one the place logic, cause, and data are key to figuring out the reality of an argument. And sure, that world is seeming smaller on a regular basis.