Doctor deleting health articles after misinformation claims

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website has a slew of blogs on health advice, COVID-19, and vaccines. One post claims to treat COVID-19 for less than $1 a day. On Wednesday morning, he announced that he would remove all of his content in 48 hours.

Mercola stands by its information — but says it will remove all of its content — because of a New York Times article published just days ago.

“So the course of action I am now forced to take is to delete my entire article archive,” he said.

The article it references points to researchers and regulators who have called Mercola a disinformation disseminator. This claim is based on his published writings, such as the one posted on his website which references Italian studies which indicate that prior infection with COVID-19 is just as effective as vaccination, claiming that antibodies to the virus last in your body for at least nine months. The Centers for Disease Control, however, say there’s no way to know how long do antibodies last inside each person.

Lyn Millner, a journalism professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, said spreading false information during a pandemic is especially dangerous, referring to the hundreds of people currently battling COVID-19 at Lee Health hospitals as of Wednesday.

“Wherever there is fear, there will be hoaxes. There will be misinformation,” she said.

She suggests that when reading Dr. Mercola’s blogs or someone else’s information, ask yourself several questions.

“Who is he? What degrees does he have? Does he have an agenda? And it looks like he might. Sure, he sells stuff on his website,” she said.

But, Dr. Mercola is held in high esteem in Cape Coral, where his headquarters are located. It is the first company name to appear on the Cape Coral City Headquarters website. When Fox 4 asked the city if they planned to pull it given the controversy, they said there had been talks about it, but they didn’t make a decision.

A city spokesperson sent the following statement to Fox 4:

Mercola has invested millions in our community and created over 125 well-paying jobs in the city.

In 2019, a job creation incentive agreement with the company was approved for jobs offering an average annual salary of $60,000. The Local Job Creation Incentive Program promotes jobs that pay at or above the Lee County average salary. The agreement provided an incentive of $1,500 for each new job, as well as for any jobs transferred to Cape Coral, with a maximum incentive of $132,000.

The company is featured on the city’s website due to the number of jobs created in Cape Coral and the job creation incentive that was granted in 2019. There have been internal discussions about the possibility of making changes to the web page you are referring to due to recent news. article, which is disputed by the company.

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