Sarah Al-ArshaniWed, October 20, 2021, 12:10 AM·2 min readIn this article:
- The Center for Countering Digital Hate has named Dr. Rashid Buttar as one of its “Disinformation Dozen.”
- According to CCD, the group of 12 anti-vaxxers is responsible for almost two-thirds of COVID-19 disinformation.
- Buttar, a licensed physician, told CNN: “If I’m wrong so be it,” when asked if his claims could cause death.
A physician spreading conspiracies theories and unsubstantiated medical claims about COVID-19 said, “If I’m wrong, so be it,” during an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
Dr. Rashid Buttar is a member of the “Disinformation Dozen,” a group of anti-vaxxers responsible for almost two-thirds of COVID-19 misinformation, according to a 2021 report by the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate. During an interview with CNN’S Drew Griffin, he repeated countless unfounded claims about COVID-19 vaccines.
Without any evidence, Buttar, who is licensed to practice in North Carolina, falsely said the COVID-19 vaccine killed more people than COVID-19 and is a means for mass genocide. He’s been using his Twitter, Telegram, and website to urge people not to get vaccinated.
Griffin told Buttar – who at one point had 1.2 million followers before many of his social media accounts were suspended for spreading disinformation – that he had an “outsized influence” on people in terms of medical advice, to which Buttar agreed.
Buttar said he was “more than confident” in his ability to “look at the data.” He did not specify to which data he was referring.
“If I’m wrong so be it, because I have to look at myself in the mirror every night when I go to bed and every morning when I get up, and I don’t lose any sleep,” Buttar said.
Countless studies have found that COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
A study of 23 million people by the French government-backed scientific organization Epi-Phare released last week found that five months after the jab, vaccines were over 90% effective at reducing severe illness in people who are 50 and older.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 deaths in the US have surpassed 726,000.
The vast majority of recent deaths have been among the unvaccinated. In September the CDC found that unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than people who got their shots.
Last week, The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, two leading nonprofits, found vaccines could have prevented as many as 90,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US between June and September.
Buttar, the North Carolina Medical Board, Twitter, Telegram did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.