Dr. Sherri Tenpenny didn’t do her profession any favors when she appeared before the Ohio state legislature yesterday. Lawmakers assembled to discuss the implications of vaccine mandates at businesses and schools. Dr. Tenpenny and several other guest speakers spent their time addressing strange conspiracy theories surrounding the shot.
Magnets in Shots?
Dr. Tenpenny is a licensed physician in Ohio and the author of “Saying No to Vaccines.” She was invited by Republican lawmakers to speak at the recent House Health Committee hearing on House Bill 248, which would prevent businesses and organizations from mandating the shot while emphasizing freedom of choice.
During her 45-minute presentation, she touted her credentials and shared her views on vaccines.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said. “You can put a key on their forehead, it sticks. You can put spoons and forks all over and they can stick because now we think there is a metal piece to that.”
There have been pictures circulating online of people sticking metal objects to their skin after getting vaccinated, but scientists say the jab isn’t magnetizing anyone.
Tenpenny seemed to be referring to the now-disproven conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 vaccines are somehow connected to 5G cellphone towers for tracking purposes.
“There’s been people who have long suspected that there is some sort of an interface, yet to be defined interface, between what’s being injected into these shots and all of the 5G towers,” she added.
She followed up her speech with a demonstration in which Joanna Overholt, a registered nurse from the state, placed a metal key against her chest and neck.
“Explain to me why the key sticks to me. It sticks to my neck too. So, yeah, if somebody could explain this, that would be great,” she said as the key slipped off her skin.
Tenpenny’s speech is attracting all kinds of attention on social media. Lawmakers were criticized for turning the hearing into a publicity stunt.
House Health Committee Chairman Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, said he only invited Dr. Tenpenny because his Republican colleagues insisted.
Checking the Facts
As these conspiracy theories spread online, public health officials are setting the record straight. Just last week, the CDC issued a bulletin saying:
“All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys, as well as any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors. In addition, the typical dose for a COVID-19 vaccine is less than a milliliter, which is not enough to allow magnets to be attracted to your vaccination site, even if the vaccine was filled with a magnetic metal.”
Some Ohio House members weren’t having it. State Rep. Beth Liston, D-Dublin, a physician with a Ph.D. in public health, questioned Dr. Tenpenny about her beliefs, saying Ohioans deserve to hear the truth.
“We are hearing testimony on a bill that will lead to outbreaks of disease and our invited ‘vaccine experts’ include a known conspiracy theorist talking about magnets and cell towers along with her followers. The only benefit of this testimony is that it exposes who exactly supports HB248: individuals with absurd, uninformed and dangerous beliefs,” Liston said.
If signed into law, House Bill 248 would dramatically change the vaccine landscape in Ohio. In addition to preventing vaccine mandates, it would allow Ohioans to skip any vaccination and require schools to tell parents and kids that they can opt out of the shot because of religious beliefs or “reasons of conscience.” It would also prohibit businesses and organizations from mandating that unvaccinated people wear masks.
Not everyone is in favor of the bill. More than 50 business associations, healthcare companies, and hospitals recently sent a letter to the House Health Committee last month, opposing the bill.
Ohio earned national headlines in April for becoming the first state to set up a lottery system for vaccinated adults. One lucky winner just became a millionaire after getting their shot. Young people in Ohio who get vaccinated have a chance to win free college tuition at any in-state university. At least 5.4 million people in the state have already received at least one dose.
We may see more legislation like House Bill 248 in Republican states as companies and individuals push back against the idea of vaccine mandates.