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Scott Jensen Refuses COVID Vaccine, Going Against Medical Consensus
Physicians and the DFL Party condemned Jensen for spreading dangerous vaccine misinformation
Today, physicians and DFL Party leaders criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen for his making false and misleading statements about the COVID-19 vaccine during a recent interview, including suggesting that those who’ve had COVID and those who are young and healthy do not need to be vaccinated.
During an interview with WCCO Radio on March 16th (roughly 14 minutes in), Jensen was asked if he was vaccinated and responded:
“No, I won’t be. I had COVID-19, I have antibodies. I have been donating my plasma for the purpose of treating people who are struggling with COVID-19. The blood bank said that I’ve got the ideal set of antibodies so they have asked me to come back and give plasma. So, the science would not indicate that I should be vaccinated.”
A full transcript of Jensen’s answers on vaccination is available here. The idea that those who have previously been infected with COVID-19 do not need to be vaccinated is false. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19. But it’s not clear how long this protection lasts. Because reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications, it’s recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve had COVID-19, you might delay vaccination until 90 days after your diagnosis. Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after you are first infected.”
The CDC has echoed that message. When asked who should be vaccinated, roughly 16 minutes into the interview, Jensen said he has not been recommending one third of his patients, particularly those who are “so healthy and so young” to be vaccinated.
Jensen has previously spread misinformation about COVID-19, posted anti-vaccine videos on social media, and has made numerous appearances on anti-vaccine celebrity Del Bigtree’s web show.
Matt Klein, Internal Medicine physician and State Senator from District 52, released the following statement:
“It is again harmful and dangerous that Dr. Jensen continues to value his experience as a family physician more than the expertise of the overwhelming majority of virologists and public health experts across the country.
“As doctors, when we encounter an issue outside our area of expertise, it is our practice and our creed to seek the opinions of experts in order to provide the best possible medical advice. Time and time again, Scott Jensen has refused to do so and misled the people of Minnesota about the COVID-19 pandemic as a result. The people of Minnesota cannot afford to place a man like Jensen at the helm of our battle against this deadly virus and our recovery from it.”
Kelly Morrison, physician and State Representative from District 33B, released the following statement:
“Scott Jensen is misrepresenting the best available science about COVID-19 vaccination. It is irresponsible to suggest that young, healthy people should not be vaccinated. Anyone can catch and spread the virus to vulnerable communities or become seriously ill themselves. We know that pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those who are pregnant should consult with their provider about whether or not to be vaccinated. It is just not true that those who have had COVID-19 already do not need to be vaccinated. People who have had the virus before can catch it again and infect others, which is why the CDC recommends that those who have been infected before should get vaccinated if they are able.”
Dr. Aleta Borrud, a geriatrician from Rochester, released the following statement:
“By spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccination, Dr. Scott Jensen is undermining Minnesota’s efforts to put our state on a path to recovery at a moment when Minnesota is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. He has been denounced nationally for falsely stating that COVID-19 deaths are inflated, attacking the integrity of our frontline medical providers, asserting they stand to gain financially by inflating death statistics.
“This is an affront not only to those exhausted providers, working to save people’s lives, but also to the families who mourn the loss of loved ones and those suffering persistent COVID-19 symptoms. And he defies reality, continuing to assert the innocuousness of the coronavirus in the face of the deaths of over 6,800 Minnesotans and 536,000 US residents to this virus. He has put politics over science, defying the accepted body of medicine, spreading dangerous misinformation. We cannot allow him the power to put further lives at risk by giving him the top job in Minnesota.”
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement:
“Scott Jensen just cannot help himself. He spread misinformation about COVID-19 right after the pandemic first hit, he spread misinformation about COVID-19 the day his gubernatorial run became public, and now he’s spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
“Jensen’s statements about the COVID-19 vaccine go against the recommendations of a vast majority of public health experts and risk driving up the already-high rates of vaccine skepticism among his fellow Republicans. Furthermore, it is deeply disturbing that Jensen would dismiss encouraging skeptics to get vaccinated as mere ‘pandering’ rather than an important measure to combat the pandemic that has already taken so much from so many. Minnesotans deserve leaders they can trust and that’s not Scott Jensen.”