Dr Ryan Cole talking to KTVB from his Boise, Idaho lab in December 2020.
A doctor who called the COVID-19 vaccine “needle rape” made it to one of Idaho’s top health boards.
Dr Ryan Cole, a pathologist with no public health experience, was championed by the GOP.
His victory came as Idaho was overrun with severe COVID-19 cases, its lowest ebb in the pandemic.
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In Boise, Idaho, a doctor in a lab coat offered comforting words to concerned parents and school governors about COVID-19 restrictions for the new semester.
“There’s really statistically no efficacy in masks,” Dr. Ryan Cole said airily, and incorrectly, on an August 26 Zoom call with Peace Valley Charter School, which was deciding what measures to implement when lessons restarted.
“I think we need to be prudent and say it’s time to let children be children,” Cole said.
Cole’s specialism is dermopathology – a discipline focused on diseases of the skin which has little relevance to respiratory conditions like COVID-19.
Nonetheless, Cole is a celebrated figure among anti-vaxxers. He made headlines in July by calling the vaccine the “clot shot” and “needle rape” in a presentation to America’s Frontline Doctors (AFD), a group known for COVID-19 misinformation.
By the end of the Peace Valley school meeting, the board had scrapped its plan for a mask mandate, as the Idaho Statesman reported.
Across the state, cases were surging. With just 39% of the state fully vaccinated – one of the lowest rates in the country – hundreds of people needed hospital treatment, stretching the system to its limits.
Two weeks later, that system broke. Ten of the state’s hospitals were put under crisis protocols, under which patients are told they may get care below the usual minimum standard, like being treated in makeshift wards or without proper equipment.
-Dr. David Pate (@drpatesblog) September 11, 2021
On the same day, Idaho’s largest public health board, the Central District Board of Health (CDH) announced that Cole would become its seventh member.
According to campaigners and former officials in Idaho who spoke to Insider, Cole’s elevation demonstrates how the state’s public health apparatus was stripped back and politicized as the pandemic rages.
The CDH is Idaho’s biggest health authority, covering Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley counties. Its board is elected by 12 commissioners, three from each county.
Cole made it onto the board thanks to a backlash against CDH restrictions which propelled coronavirus skeptics into positions of power.
Vaccines ‘a poisonous attack’
Dr Ryan Cole giving a talk on COVID-19 testing for Crush The Curve Idaho in 2020.
Dr Ryan Cole/Crush The Curve Idaho
In an interview with Insider, Cole denied being anti-vaccine, saying that he supports vaccination in general and has had many himself.
But he said he has not had the COVID-19 shot, and argued that geting it should be a personal choice. He did not address his “needle rape” remarks.
He has also derided the vaccine as “experimental,” a common insult among anti-vaxxers. All vaccines used in the US went …read more
Source:: Business Insider