Lexington doctor working to combat COVID-19 misinformation

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Throughout the pandemic, the issue of masks and vaccines have been surrounded by controversy and misinformation. And that comes as health leaders are urging people to take both steps to prevent the delta variant.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Throughout the pandemic, the issue of masks and vaccines have been surrounded by controversy and misinformation. And that comes as health leaders are urging people to take both steps to prevent the delta variant.

Protests popped up across the commonwealth in response to recent school mask mandates made by Gov. Andy Beshear and then by the Kentucky Board of Education.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people that are not physicians, virologists and epidemiologists taking what they’re finding on the internet and using that as a sounding board to spread information that’s going to be quite dangerous,” Lexington emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton rejected the notion that masks could cause any harm to children.

“Now you’re telling me that the virus is small enough that masks are ineffective, but oxygen and carbon dioxide, which are many thousands of times smaller, get stuck in there… That is– it’s just not accurate,” Dr. Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton also said that vaccines are far safer for children or pregnant women than the virus itself.

For one Lexington resident, the politicized nature of masking and vaccination has cost him friendships.

“I don’t talk to a quarter of my family anymore. We’ve got weddings coming up in the family, I’m concerned about that. I’ve got friends who are on the complete opposite side of that. I’m concerned about those friendships,” Cooper Stofer said.

Stofer wishes people would unify across party lines to bring this to an end.

“The factual information is kids need to be wearing masks. I don’t like it, they don’t like it. But if they’re not wearing the masks, then this is just gonna continue on,” Stofer said.

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