Milwaukee County to consider making medical misinformation a public health crisis

Proposal comes as health officials track new COVID-19 variant

When Milwaukee OB-GYN Dr. Sheldon Wasserman meets with patients, he asks them if they’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccination.

Lately, their reasons for saying no have left him frustrated. A woman he’s known for more than 20 years told him the pandemic was a Chinese conspiracy against former President Donald Trump.

Wasserman tried to explain the vaccine is scientifically proven to be the best way to protect her and her three young children against COVID-19.

“She put her hand up and said, ‘I’ve had enough. I know I’m right, and I know you’re wrong,’ and at that moment, I knew I was not going to win,” Wasserman said. “We’re dealing with a reaction that I don’t think anyone in this country has ever seen.”

Wasserman, who is also a Milwaukee County Board supervisor, says he knows he’ll never be able to change that patient’s mind, but he hopes making more people aware of the misinformation being distributed online about COVID-19, will help.

Wasserman is asking his fellow county board members to declare health misinformation a public health crisis in Milwaukee County. The county board has done this before on other issues, including declaring racism a public health crisis in Milwaukee County.

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