For many people, chiropractors are de facto primary health care providers, particularly in medically underserved rural areas like the western slope. Many people find it easier and more affordable to see a chiropractor than an M.D., and tend see their chiropractors far more often than they do M.D.s., generating familiarity and a relationship of trust with these health professionals. This puts chiropractors in a unique position to deliver vital public health information to a good portion of the community. They could, for example, be educating people about positive health behaviors, informing them about what’s scientifically proven to keep people safe from contracting Covid-19, telling people what works best to keep them of the hospital if they get Covid-19, and helping them know when to seek further medical care.
But instead of using their valuable position to benefit public health, it turns out many Grand Junction chiropractors are dispensing egregiously false medical information about vaccines and how to prevent Covid-19. And these chiropractors aren’t just flushing their value as a community public health asset down the toilet. They are lying to the people who support them financially and trust them the most, misleading people in very dangerous ways and often doing it for profit.
Rimrock Wellness Center strikes again
Another Grand Junction chiropractor spreading false medical information about Covid-19 vaccines and the coronavirus is Charles Daniel Vaden, D.C., who goes by the name Daniel Vaden.
Vaden works at Greg Haitz’s Rimrock Wellness Center at 12th and Patterson in Grand Junction. Last December, we saw how Haitz was profiting from the pandemic by marketing his own “Rimrock Wellness Center” proprietary brand of “immune support” supplement by inferring it would give “protection and support” against Covid-19.
To date no supplement has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent, treat or mitigate Covid-19, and claims like that about supplements of any kind are health fraud. The FDA has sent hundreds of cease-and-desist letters to businesses across the country like Rimrock Wellness Center that are doing the same thing.
Irresponsibly and militantly anti-vaccination
Vaden uses his status as a health care professional to actively militate against Covid-19 vaccines on social media.
Covid vaccines are now among the most widely administered and closely studied vaccines in history.
FDA-approved Covid vaccines have been administered hundreds of millions of times in this country alone, and are proving to be extraordinarily safe and effective at reducing deaths from Covid-19 and keeping people out of the hospital, saving thousands of lives and helping save the American health care system from collapse.
Despite this, Vaden refers to Covid-19 vaccines “death shots” and falsely claims the vaccines have an exaggerated death rate.
“Real scientists have proven this vax [the Covid vaccination] is 800 times more deadly than the smallpox vaccination and has killed over 150,000 Americans.”
This is untrue. Smallpox was a highly deadly disease that had been around for at least 3,000 years and killed an estimated 300 million people just since 1900. The World Health Organizations (WHO) began the push to eradicate smallpox in 1959. Between 1959 and 1968, the heaviest period of smallpox vaccination in the U.S., there were 68 deaths from complications of the smallpox vaccine. The WHO declared the world free of smallpox on May 8, 1980 in what was widely considered to be the biggest international public health achievement in history.
Yet on October 31, 2021, Vaden wrote that “Vaccinations cause much much more harm than any perceived benefit. Vaccinations are a scam…”
Most of the 330 million people in the U.S. who have gotten childhood vaccines against smallpox, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, chicken pox, tetanus and a host of other diseases knows this claim is false.
Vaden is a co-facilitator of StopTheMandateGJ
Vaden is working to make things even more difficult for local hospitals as they struggle to care for a large number of patients being admitted for Covid-19. Vaden started a Change.org petition for StopTheMandateGJ, a group that fights against policies requiring health care workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. These policies protect the public, protect health care workers themselves and their families, create a safer workplace, reduce sick time and other liabilities for hospitals, and assure hospitals will keep getting federal funding to continue operating.
Recommending potentially harmful drug regimens
Vaden, whose license does not qualify him to prescribe medications, posts information on how people can get the horse de-worming drug Ivermectin to use as an “early treatment” or prevention of Covid-19.
Ivermectin is not approved to treat Covid-19 and the FDA warns that taking it for this reason can be dangerous or even lethal. NPR reported last September that poison control centers nationwide were getting a dramatic surge of calls from people who were self-medicating with Ivermectin. This kind of advice is beyond the scope of a chiropractor’s license and endangers the public.
On Nov. 23rd, citing questionable sources, some of whom don’t even have full names, Vaden wrote that people who are fully vaccinated are nine times more likely to be hospitalized. This is not the least bit true. Consistently, here in Mesa County an average of about 80% of people hospitalized for Covid-19 have been unvaccinated. As of January 15, 2022, three quarters of Colorado’s hospitalizations for Covid-19 have been coming from the one quarter of the population that remains unvaccinated.
In a December 5, 2021 post, Vaden wrote that “it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Omicron “Variant” (or ANY variant) to exist, let alone be tested for.”
All of these are dangerous and easily verifiable lies that spread misinformation and discourage vaccination — the best tool we have to reduce harm from the virus. Statements like the above put the community in danger.
Vaden was previously fined for practicing without a license
Vaden previously had disciplinary action taken against him by a state chiropractic board.
In July, 2016, Vaden, then under the name Charles Vaden, was fined $4,000 by the Tennessee state Chiropractic Board for practicing without a license.
We can assume that what Vaden says on his Facebook page is the same thing he is telling patients he sees at Rimrock Wellness Center, to the detriment of our entire area. Chiropractors like this are no doubt contributing to the extraordinarily low vaccination rate we suffer from in our area. To that end, he has been reported to the Colorado State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for making false and misleading statements about Covid-19. The complaint has been assigned a case number. It is Case No. 2022-693.