Friday, September 4, 2020

#2379: Lynette Volkers

There are many nurses in the US. Some of them promote ridiculous and dangerous pseudoscience, and a few are even antivaxxers. Lynette Volkers is a nurse and antivaccinationist. According to Volkers, vaccines do not do anything and are filled with toxins. Indeed, even if they did anything, they would apparently be unnecessary. For instance, as she argued in an article in the conspiracy theory and pseudoscience magazine Medical Voices, the flu only kills a 1000 people year in the US. It doesn’t, but if you do some trickery with the distinction between direct deaths and indirect deaths – which are also deaths – you can reduce 30,000 to 1000 for rhetorical purposes (that kind of gambit might be familiar to many readers in September 2020 given recent events). Otherwise, she uses standard antivaccine gambits, such as trying to scare people with scary-sounding ingredients – Volkers points out, for instance, that vaccines contain formaldehyde: Never mind that people make an ounce and a half of formaldehyde a day with normal metabolism and the vaccines have less than 0.1 mg; it sounds scary to those who aren’t quite aware that the dose makes the poison.

Volkers also employs a version of the standard appeal to package inserts (a common gambit that at least demonstrates the utter ignorance and incompetence of antivaxxers), claiming that the “manufacturer’s package insert indicate that the flu shot should NOT be given to pregnant women.” It does not. Volkers misreads the labels, and that is actually worth noting: Volkers is a registered nurse, but evidently unable to read package inserts for medications correctly. If she were ever assigned to you as a nurse, you’d probably do well to ask for a replacement. 


Diagnosis: Boring and scary at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Is this the same Lynette Volkers that is the same nurse LV that is the educator at Ministry Health Care. god help us.