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Emergency Room Physician: ‘I Don’t Blame Unvaccinated Patients, I Blame Fox’

‘[I wish] people would just turn off Fox, turn off other media channels, turn off Facebook, and just go talk to their doctors’
By Grabien Staff

KEILAR: “But explain to us why you said what you did, that you don’t blame your patients, you blame Fox.”
DAVIDSON: “Listen, I’ve seen several Covid patients now every shift for the past week and every single one of them has been unvaccinated. When I see other patients you know, I offer them the vaccine. I try to talk to them about the vaccine. And so many of them are just shutting down the conversation. I had one patient tell me they’re afraid of the ingredients in the vaccine. And I asked, well, which ingredients, and he said well, I don’t know what’s in it. And we’re in a highly Republican area, about 40 percent vaccination rate, 70 percent voted for the former president. When you see what’s being put out there on the air waves, what Fox and other organizations and then that is shared on Facebook and it just hits that echo chamber, it’s undeniable that these messages are getting through to patients and they’re avoiding something that can prevent them from getting extremely sick or potentially dying.”
KEILAR: “Is there any specific misinformation that they’re citing? Or is it sort of vague as you just described, that you asked someone, you probed their concern and it turns out they don’t actually have a concrete concern?”
DAVIDSON: “It’s extremely vague. It’s just — some people it results in them getting very angry and they just shut down the conversation. They don’t want to talk about it. It’s just inexplicable from a healthcare standpoint. I’ve been doing this for 20 years when someone comes in with a chest pain and I recommended an EKG and blood test and X-rays and some times admissions to the hospital, I don’t get this kind of resistance because they’re relying on my expertise, my training, my knowledge of the issues. But unfortunately, with this one disease we have a huge number of people getting their information in so many other places including Fox and others it’s just going completely against what we, as healthcare professionals, are telling them to do.”
KEILAR: “You write, one predictor of vaccine refusal is Fox News viewership. And you also note they should listen to their family doctors for medical advice not Sean Hannity whom researchers connected to higher infection rates. That is frustrating that they’re not listening to you when it comes to Covid. That is the advice I think of a lot of public health officials. They say listen to the doctors. But it sounds like that’s going unheeded.”
DAVIDSON: “It is. And my wife is a family doctor. We talk about this nearly everyday after her days in the office. She spends half of her day talking about vaccines and some people get frustrated. She said, listen, just like I recommend mammograms and other screening tests, if I didn’t talk to you about this and then you catch it and get extremely sick or die, I’m going to lose sleep over it. I’m going to feel bad about it and feel like I didn’t do my duty. So, you know, bless the primary care doctors out there who are doing this everyday with most of their time with their patients unfortunately.”
KEILAR: “What do you think needs to be done to combat this misinformation?”
DAVIDSON: “Well, you know, I’ve said it in the piece and I believe it if people would just turn off Fox, turn off other media channels, turn off Facebook and just go talk to their doctors that would get us there. But short of that, it really is going to be those private personal conversations with people’s family doctors — take care of our health needs and their families. You know, it’s not going to work in every case, it’s maybe going to work in some of the cases and slowly I think we’ll get to a point where we get enough people vaccinated where we can see our way out of this, I hope.”

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