Doctors grow frustrated over COVID-19 denial, misinformation

Coronavirus

Medical personnel adjust their personal protective equipment while working in the emergency department at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan in New York. Hospitals and nursing homes in New York are bracing for the possibility that a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers could lead to staff shortages when it takes effect Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. Doctors and nurses — and also support staff, like food service workers and cleaners — have been given until Sept. 27 to get at least their first vaccine shot in one of the nation’s most aggressive plans to protect patients. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(AP) — The COVID-19 patient’s health was deteriorating quickly at a Michigan hospital, but he was having none of the doctor’s diagnosis.

Despite dangerously low oxygen levels, the unvaccinated man didn’t think he was that sick and got so irate over a hospital policy forbidding his wife from being at his bedside that he threatened to walk out of the building.

Dr. Matthew Trunsky didn’t hold back in his response: “You are welcome to leave, but you will be dead before you get to your car,’” he said.

Such exchanges have become all-too-common for medical workers who are growing weary of COVID-19 denial and misinformation that have made it exasperating to treat unvaccinated patients during the delta-driven surge.

The Associated Press asked six doctors from across the country to describe the types of misinformation and denial they see on a daily basis and how they respond to it.

They describe being aggravated at the constant requests to be prescribed the veterinary parasite drug Ivermectin, with patients lashing out at doctors when they are told that it’s not a safe coronavirus treatment. An Illinois family practice doctor has patients tell him that microchips are embedded in vaccines as part of a ploy to take over people’s DNA. A Louisiana doctor has resorted to showing patients a list of ingredients in Twinkies, reminding those who are skeptical about the makeup of vaccines that everyday products have lots of safe additives that no one really understands.

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