La Crosse doctor to Johnson: ‘Get out of way’ of medical experts with anti-vaccine effort
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A La Crosse doctor castigated U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson for an anti-vaccine event he plans and told the Wisconsin Republican to “get out of the way” and let medical experts do their jobs.
Dr. Robert Freedland issued a statement urging Johnson to cancel the event scheduled for Monday.
Johnson, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump and vociferous anti-vaxxer with no medical training, says the event will feature eight people who have experienced adverse side-effects to the COVID-19 vaccines. Speakers are to include former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Ken Ruettgers, whose wife, Sheryl, had a severe neurological reaction after her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The speakers will highlight “how the medical community has repeatedly ignored their concerns,” according to Johnson, of Oshkosh.
In response, Freedland’s statement says, “As a physician and concerned constituent of Sen. Ron Johnson, I call on him to cancel his anti-vaccine event, or, better yet, use his platform and time to hold an event encouraging people to get the safe, effective vaccine.
“Johnson claims, clearly in bad faith, to just be sharing ‘the truth’ about vaccines, but the truth is that they’re safe, and they’re the best way for Wisconsinites to protect themselves and their loved ones from the deadly COVID-19 disease,” wrote Freedland, an ophthalmologist.
As Wisconsin’s senior senator, “Johnson has an obligation to do what’s right for the health of our state and country — and that’s promoting the vaccines.
“If he can’t stop spreading misinformation and undermining the best tool we have to protect against COVID-19 and dangerous variants, Sen. Johnson needs to get out of the way and let the rest of us do our jobs,” Freedland wrote.
Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers also clapped back at Johnson’s media event, labeling the senator as “reckless and irresponsible.”
“The #COVID19 vaccine is safe and effective and based on years of science and research. Every time you suggest otherwise, you’re jeopardizing the health and safety of the people of our state and our economic recovery,” Evers said in a tweet Thursday.
Johnson responded with his own tweet, saying, “We’re all supporters of vaccines. As I’ve repeatedly said, I’m glad that hundreds of millions of Americans have been vaccinated, but I don’t think authorities can ignore & censor some of the issues. On Monday, we’ll bring light to stories that deserve to be seen, heard & believed.”
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