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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Antivaxxer Might Lose Medical License

  In The Politics of Autism, I write:

Many articles and blog posts arguing for the vaccine-autism link have the trappings of genuine academic research: tables, graphs, citations, and scientific jargon. Some of the authors have credentials such as M.D. or Ph.D. degrees. None of these things is a guarantee of scientific value, as the history of science is full of crackpot theories (e.g., AIDS denialism) that are the heavily-footnoted products of people with letters after their names. But most people will not be able to spot the scientific weaknesses of such work. Outside of academia, few understand concepts such as peer review. Jordynn Jack describes one dubious article that appeared in a non-peer-reviewed publication: “Regardless of the scientific validity of the article, though, the writers perform the writing style quite effectively. It would be difficult for the layperson to distinguish this article from any other scientific research paper, especially if one did not investigate the nature of the journal … or of the scientific response to the article.”

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is one of the Disinformation Dozen,  In an example of the overlap of multiple conspiracy theories, her name appeared on a whiteboard at a Flynn-Lindell event.

Jake Zuckerman at
A Cleveland area physician who told an Ohio House committee in the summer of 2021 that coronavirus vaccines could “interface” with cell towers and magnetize recipients now is in danger of losing her license to practice medicine in Ohio.

A state board that licenses doctors notified Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, a Cleveland area osteopathic physician, that it’s considering punishment that could go as far as revoking her license to practice medicine in Ohio after she ignored investigators and flouted a subpoena. Tenpenny made national headlines in June 2021 when she appeared before the Ohio House Health Committee to spread false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

A Sept. 14 letter from the State Medical Board doesn’t specify what prompted the regulators to launch their investigation. However, it alleges that Tenpenny for months ignored investigators’ requests for information and defied a subpoena seeking her deposition.

Ohio law allows the board to limit, revoke or suspend a medical license for an array of offenses including failure to cooperate with an investigation. Tenpenny, per the letter, told the board it had no “lawful basis” issuing her a subpoena.

Tenpenny’s conspiratorial June 8, 2021, testimony to the Ohio House Health Committee included a series of false claims about purported dangers of vaccines. She baselessly claimed vaccines run a risk of causing ALS, cancer, and other potentially lethal diseases. Her claims about vaccines’ magnetizing effects drew Ohio into lampooning national media coverage and cemented enough political opposition to kill a broad anti-vaccination bill Tenpenny testified to support.