Tag: public health

Another Rimrock Wellness Center chiropractor dispenses dangerous medical disinformation

Charles Daniel Vaden

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 an atmosphere of trust with these health professionals. This puts chiropractors in a great position to deliver vital information about public health to good portion of the community, like educating people in positive health behaviors, informing them about what’s scientifically proven to work to keep people safe from Covid-19, and informing them about when to seek further medical care.

But instead of using their position to benefit public health, it turns out many Grand Junction chiropractors are dispensing egregiously incorrect medical information about vaccines and prevention of Covid-19. And these chiropractors aren’t just flushing their opportunity to be a community asset down the toilet. Chiropractors engaging in this behavior have effectively turned on the people who trust them, by misleading them in a very dangerous way, 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.

Vaden calls Covid-19 shots “death shots”

Irresponsibly and militantly anti-vaccination

Vaden uses his status as a health care professional on his Facebook page to actively militate against Covid-19 vaccines, which 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

“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 had killed millions of people. 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.

Facebook has slapped warning labels on many of Vaden’s posts in an effort to correct health misinformation.

Vaden, whose license does not qualify him to prescribe medications, tells people how to get the horse de-worming medication Ivermectin to use as an “early treatment” or prevention of Covid-19. Ivermectin has not been approved to treat Covid-19 and FDA warns that taking it for this purpose 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.

 

Vaden refers to Covid-19 vaccines as the “death shot.” Facebook has slapped messages on many of his posts telling people where they can get truthful information about Covid-19 vaccines.

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. Consistently, an average of about 80% of people hospitalized locally for Covid-19 have been 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.”

Scientists use genomic sequencing to track variants of the virus.

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.

Mesa County Concerned Citizen meme demonstrates local cluelessness about respiratory transmission of disease

Meme in an email blast sent out by the far right group Mesa County Concerned Citizen on 11/15/21, showing that likely many local people lack any understanding of how respiratory disease and its transmission work — information that is massively important to getting a pandemic under control

The above meme was sent out in an email blast last November 15, 2021 by the far right extremist group Mesa County Concerned Citizen.

The meme makes it clear that many Mesa County residents likely lack an understanding about how the transmission of respiratory diseases works — information that is massively important to our ability to bring the virus under control. This could be one reason why the coronavirus has been able to spread so efficiently in Mesa County, and why it is likely to persist here.

Former KKCO weatherman Butch McCain now shilling for anti-vaxxers

Former KKCO Channel 11 weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired last October for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stands in front of a fake weather map in a video promoting the anti-vax group Stop The Mandate GJ

Former longtime KKCO weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired from KKCO last October after refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine in compliance with his employer Gray TV’s Covid-19 vaccine policy, is now promoting the anti-vax group Stop the Mandate GJ, which is encouraging others in our area to also refuse the vaccine.

McCain now appears on the first page of StoptheMandateGJ’s website, talking in front of a fake weather map and saying in part,

“It’s not about Covid any more, it’s about forced compliance…Let’s be the resistance to their nationwide tyranny…

 

Another local chiropractor spreads dangerous misinformation about Covid prevention and treatment

Photo: YouTube, 2010

In October, 2021, the U.S. News and World Report revealed chiropractors are a major force stirring up anti-vaccine sentiment and spreading medical misinformation across the country in the pandemic. Often regarded as trusted health professionals, chiropractors who do this pose a potent threat to the public by hawking supplements as alternatives to vaccines, working to help people evade vaccine mandates, recommending unapproved and potentially toxic medication regimens to treat and prevent Covid, and abetting anti-vaccine movements at the local level.

That is certainly happening here in Grand Junction, too.

G.J. chiropractor recommends novel but fraudulent way for anti-vaxxers to try to avoid mandatory Covid vaccination

New Life Chiropractic on Patterson Rd., operated by Wesley Sheader, recommends “VaxControlGroup.com” to anti-vaxxers who are trying to evade vaccine mandates. The only problem is, it’s fraudulent.

Grand Junction chiropractor Wesley Sheader of New Life Chiropractic at 2532 Patterson Road is giving people trying to evade Covid-19 vaccine mandates a unique way to evade the jab: he suggests they join an unvaccinated study control group which can issue them an official-looking ID card saying they can’t be vaccinated because they are a participant in the study.

The only thing is, there is no study and the “control group” is a scam.

“Mesa County Concerned Citizen” fraudulently promotes $182 ripoff box of common OTC items as an “early and effective treatment of COVID-19”

Screen-shot from a January 6, 2022 email sent out by Mesa County Concerned Citizen in which the group links to this box of every day drug store items selling online that claims to be an “early and effective treatment for Covid-19.”  The box sells for $160.00 plus $20 shipping and $12.37 tax, for a total of $182.36 — all for about $60 worth of over-the-counter items.

In its January 3, 2022 email blast, the local extreme right wing group “Mesa County Concerned Citizen” included a plug for “The Defense Box,” an item selling online that contains about $60 worth of common over-the counter items like Pepcid, Listerine, Vitamin C and baby aspirin, that costs $182.36, including shipping and tax.

The group says the items are an “early and effective treatment option” for Covid-19.

None of the items in the box are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment, prevention, mitigation or cure of Covid-19.

Does Greg Haitz’s furtive editing of his “Immune Support Pack” page indicate consciousness of guilt?

Chiropractor Greg Haitz previously ran for Grand Junction City Council and lost. His wife, Andrea, is now on D51 School Board.

Last month we noticed that Grand Junction chiropractor Greg Haitz of the Rimrock Wellness Center at 12th and Patterson, was marketing his own proprietary “Rimrock Wellness Center” brand of dietary supplement, “Immune Support Pack,” with a description that inferred the product could help mitigate or protect against Covid-19, or “C19”:

Rimrock Wellness Center’s “Immune Support Pack” description as it appeared on December 25, 2021, linking the product to protection against and mitigation of Covid-19

The National Institutes of Health currently warns Americans that

Data are insufficient to support recommendations for or against the use of any vitamin, mineral, herb or other botanical, fatty acid, or other dietary supplement ingredient to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively monitoring for firms that are marketing products using fraudulent claims that they can prevent, mitigate or treat COVID-19.

After the blog about this product was published, we noticed Haitz edited his “Immune Support Pack” web page to remove the descriptive paragraph previously seen above, and instead he had substituted a list of five published studies:

Trump urges his supporters to get vaccinated. Will Mesa County listen?

“I recommend taking the vaccines. It’s good. I did it. Take the vaccines.”

“The vaccines do work and they are effective.” — Sept. 1, 2021

                                          — Donald Trump

An NPR analysis of more than 100,000 people across the country showed that people who live in counties that voted 60% or more for Trump in the November, 2020 election had 2.73 times higher death rate from Covid-19 than counties that voted for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump have even higher death rates from COVID-19.

65% of Mesa County voters voted for Trump in the 2020 election.

Mesa County, obviously a strongly pro-Trump county, would appear to be a death trap. Our County is sadly is averaging more than a death a day from Covid-19. Eighty-five percent of people admitted to local hospitals for Covid-19 are still unvaccinated. 

HD-55 candidate Cindy Ficklin (R) now blames taxpayers and a Daily Sentinel reporter for her getting Covid, and is taking unproven treatments for the disease

Ficklin says she “went underground” to get Ivermectin to treat her Covid-19 infection, and displays the bottle in a Facebook post. There is no evidence Ivermectin cures Covid-19, and the FDA urges people not to use it.

Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin is using non-medically approved treatments for Covid-19, including the animal de-worming medication Ivermectin. She also says she is inhaling “silver and Glutathione” with a nebulizer to “prevent conjestion [sic] from hardening in my lungs.”

Anti-mask, anti-vax Republican candidate for HD55 Cindy Ficklin has Covid-19, blames it on government

Cindy Ficklin announced on December 19 that she has Covid-19. Ficklin is a militantly anti-mask, anti-vaccination Republican known for spreading the ideas masks are symbols of oppression and vaccines contain “nanotechnology.”

Anti-mask, anti-vaccination candidate for HD-55 Cindy Ficklin (R-Mesa County) announced December 19 on Facebook that she has contracted Covid-19 and is blaming it squarely on the U.S. government.

Ficklin announced she had the disease after emerging from a 30 day ban from Facebook. Facebook has banned Ficklin numerous times for spreading lies and conspiracy theories on her page. Ficklin has repeatedly asserted without proof that the SARS CoV2 virus was created in a laboratory to target obese, elderly and unfit people; she has spread lies about vaccine deaths and about public health physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, profiting personally from the virus.

Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra announces mandatory vaccine and masking policy for patrons 2021/2022 season

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra has a grip on reality when it comes to the pandemic, and they’re acting on it

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (GJSO) appears to be the first local organization to grasp the gravity of the coronavirus infection spike currently gripping Mesa County and act on it by adopting policies aimed at minimizing the danger of transmitting the virus at its events.

The GJSO emailed its supporters today to let them know that due to the high number of Covid-19 cases locally, the low vaccination rate here and the very heavy burden being placed on local hospitals, starting December 10 all patrons will be required to wear masks and provide proof they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to attending all GJSO events at all indoor venues, including the Avalon Theater, Love Recital Hall at Colorado Mesa University and others.

HD 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin spreads false, dangerous misinformation about vaccines & Covid on her “Cindy Says” blog

Republican HD-55 candidate Cindy Ficklin has a track record of spreading harmful lies and conspiracy theories about Covid-19, Covid vaccines and other topics on social media. Facebook has tried to rein her in.

After Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin was banned from Facebook for 30 days on May 27, 2021 for spreading the lie that Covid-19 was man-made in a lab in China, she started a personal blog on the website of Coldwell Banker, the real estate office with which she is affiliated.

Ficklin has been banned from Facebook several times, including another 30 day stint in July of 2021. Facebook usually applies the 30 day ban — the longest ban they use before taking an account down completely — after a user willfully violates the platform’s “community standards” multiple times and after they give at least five prior warnings and multiple bans of increasing length before reaching the 30-day threshold.

Deprived of her main social media conduit, Ficklin was in need of an outlet where she could spread conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19 and other topics without restriction.

A look at where Mesa County is now with Covid, and how other places are doing by comparison

New York Times’ calendar of average Covid cases per capita in Mesa County dating from January, 2020 until now. We are clearly back where we were last Dec-January, when we were in the thick of the pandemic the first time and had full precautions in place. For months, the NY Times has rated Mesa county as “extremely high risk for unvaccinated people.”

Arguably, Mesa County citizens’ denial of the science around Covid-19 transmission, and the overall lax attitude of our area’s elected officials toward reining in the pandemic are worsening and prolonging the pandemic in our area, making more people sick, putting more people in the hospital and giving Mesa County a good chance of staying a perpetual pandemic state into the foreseeable future.

For comparison, here are how some other areas around the country are doing in managing the pandemic compared to Mesa County:

Mesa County fiddles while Covid-19 rages

The Center for Independence recently displayed one white flag for each of the 337 people who have died of Covid-19 so far in Mesa County. If these people’s coffins were lined up end to end, they would extend half a mile. (Photo: KJCT 8)

Back on March 22, 2021, the Mesa County Commissioners, none of whom have a medical degree or any experience in epidemiology, immunology, virology or any other medical field, signed a “Free to Choose” resolution (pdf) that ended all Coronavirus protections in the county, including physical distancing, masking, capacity limits in businesses and hand washing. Their rationale was that hospital use in Mesa County was decreasing, everyone had access to vaccines, and people had spent plenty of time wearing masks already and enough was enough.

Well maybe things were looking up at the time, but the virus doesn’t go by how angry we are at it.

Election conspiracy theorist Sherronna Bishop compares G.J. blogger to a top U.S public health physician

In what apparently was meant as a slur toward trangender people, Garfield County election conspiracy theorist Sherronna Bishop, who calls herself “America’s Mom,” in this Instagam post today compared Grand Junction blogger Anne Landman to Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., newly-appointed as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and among the most accomplished public health physicians in the country.

In what was meant to be a slur aimed at transgender people, Garfield County election conspiracy theorist Sherronna Bishop, who bills herself as “Americas Mom,” today in an Instagram post compared AnneLandmanBlog author Anne Landman to Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., the highly accomplished public health physician who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the nation’s new Assistant Secretary of Health in the U.S. Department of Human Services.

My Pillow Guy appears with Sherronna Bishop at Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting

Mike Lindell appears alongside election conspiracy theorist/anti-mask activist/Tina Peters defender Sherronna Bishop at a Wednesday, Oct. 13 Garfield County RE-2 School Board meeting held via Zoom

In a bizarre scene, “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell made a cameo appearance alongside Rifle election conspiracist and Tina Peters defender Sherronna Bishop at a Zoomed Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting on October 13.

Bishop appears about three minutes into the meeting, speaking during the public comment period and accusing School Board members of abusing children by “forcing medical devices on them.” She condemns the Board for how her “kid had to wear a mask to his homecoming dance” and how the students were “interrupted” by an adult at the dance who reminded students how to correctly wear their masks. Bishop accused the school board of “assaulting and abusing” children by having them wear masks for protection at school amid the pandemic.

After a member of the school board warns Bishop she has 30 seconds left to speak, a man wearing a shirt and tie moves into the frame with Bishop. He then bends down to where viewers can see his face, and it was the clear the man is Mike Lindell. One of the school board members can be heard in the background saying “Jesse, turn it off!”

As Bishop ends her comments, Lindell starts weighing in with the District RE-2 School Board, saying “There’s more science than you guys even know of” about masking, and “[inaudible] suicide and addiction…”

The school board then cuts the couple off, and lets a student present know that it is her turn to speak.
Video of the meeting is below:

Free financial help available for families of Covid-19 victims to pay funeral expenses

309 people have died so far in Mesa County from Covid-19 in Mesa County, thirteen of them in just the last two weeks, according to the Mesa County Public Health Department, and there’s no end to the pandemic in sight. Over 700,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 nationwide since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

All of those deceased people have family members who were suddenly burdened not just with grief from the death of their loved ones, but also with unexpected costs from funerals, cremations, interment, buying burial plots and other expenses.

The Biden administration wants to ease some of the financial burden and stress placed on American families who are dealing with deaths caused by Covid-19. To that end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial help for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred as far back as January 20, 2020.

Far right wing slate of school board candidates gin up anger and spread misunderstanding to raise funds

“Stand for the Constitution” supports Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board. They are ginning up hatred against the U.S. Department of Justice to try to raise funds for their campaign. The three are running as a far right wing extremist slate.

The three far-right wing candidates for District 51 School Board backed by the extremist group “Stand for the Constitution” — Angela Lema, Willie Jones and Andrea Haitz — together sent out a fundraising email today, titled “It’s Time to Get Politics Out of the Classroom,” aimed at generating anger towards the U.S. Department of Justice to raise money to help get them onto the school board.

The email’s subject line screams:

“The DOJ is coming after parents!”