An alternative medicine conference featuring notorious anti-vaxxers kicked off Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, much to the dismay of local doctors and scientists. They’re worried the misinformation that will inevitably be spewed by the likes of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could dissuade some in the state to reject the COVID-19 vaccine. The annual event is usually held in North Carolina, but organizers said they decided to move it this year to some place that “does NOT oppose our belief systems,” the Argus Leader reported. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has encouraged residents to get vaccinated, but has opposed so-called vaccine passports.
Among the featured speakers are Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Ty and Charlene Bollinger, three well-known vaccine skeptics who regularly share medical information that isn't vetted with evidence-based science with their social media followers and through various media forms, according to the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
A recent study by CCDH found the three were among 12 of the most prolific sources for medical misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.