Joe Mercola: An antivaccine quack tycoon pivots effortlessly to profit from spreading COVID-19 misinformation
Joe Mercola is a physician whose nearly quarter-century of promoting quackery and antivaccine misinformation has garnered him a net worth north of $100 million. It is therefore not surprising that in the age of the pandemic, he has pivoted to fatten his bottom line promoting misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the COVID vaccines.
Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all forms of science denial are a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, science denial represents a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.
Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...
The tragic consequences of a boy with leukemia and a mother who believed an alternative medicine documentary-maker over her son's oncologist.
In the online echo chamber promoting alternative medicine, there are varying degrees of deception. There are true believers (who are often victims), entrepreneurs (who are often true believers who found a profitable business), and scammers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.
There is tremendous potential to improve the medical industry through robust adoption of electronic systems for training and improving practice. So why aren't we doing it?