Thursday, July 30, 2020

Who is this strange "doctor" Trump has latched onto?

So, who is this wacko doctor that Donald Trump has latched onto? Essentially, she is a nobody, medically speaking, but Trump finds her "very impressive" and an "important voice" (which should in itself be enough to warn most sensible people away).
Dr. Stella Immanuel is originally from Cameroon, and obtained her medical degree at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. She is licensed to practice medicine in Texas, and is currently based in Houston. She also has a double life as a practising pastor in Texas, and founded her own church called the Fire Power Ministries, which she uses as a platform to promote conspiracy theories about the medical profession and her own non-scientific theories. These include that alien DNA is being used in medical experiments, that scientists are working on a vaccine to make people irreligious, that prayer can be used to remove a generational curse transmitted through the placenta at birth, that gay marriage can somehow result in people marrying children, and that some medical conditions can be blamed on witches and demons which have sex with people in their dreams.
Hoo boy. "Important voice"? You bet.
She only came to Trump's attention because she has been touting the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and cure for COVID-19 (sound familiar?) Facebook and Twitter have both taken down Dr. Immanuel's video as contravening their policies on misinformation, but not before Trump retweeted it. Her response was, reasonably enough, that Jesus Christ will personally destroy the social media platforms if her video is not reinstated.
Hydroxychloroquine, as you might remember, has been shown by numerous studies to be ineffective agaist the virus and potentially dangerous for many people, and the World Health Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration, and top American doctor Anthony Fauci have all warned strongly against it. Trump, though, seems to think it is a good idea, and he doesn't like to be proved wrong.
Dr. Immanuel's rise to fame has also highlighted a shady organization called America's Frontline Doctors (AFD), a name that must really rankle with America's actual frontline doctors. AFD is a collection of doctors critical of the scientific consensus around how to deal with COVID-19. It is backed, by among other equally shady organizations, the pro-Trump Tea Party Patriots, Breitbart News, and at least one Republican House Representative, Ralph Norman.
The group believes that masks and shut-downs are not necessary to deal with the pandemic, and have been calling for an end to the lockdown since May. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has also tried to close down their accounts for spreading false information after they broadcast a video press conference this Monday.
And these are doctors? What a place this America is?

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