One year ago, I was enjoying a constructive debate on the big issue of the day on the thread of one of my LinkedIn posts. People from all over North America were weighing in with their insights. Some even commented about how nice it was to be having a respectful discussion featuring many viewpoints.
Then a prominent Calgary doctor joined the discussion with what he intended to be a mic-drop moment. I challenged him, as I do with any “expert” who appears to be spouting nonsense.
Apparently, that did not sit well with him. He sent a direct message to lecture me.
Among his comments: ” … believe me I am tired of it… tired of intubating patients; tired of secondary serious disease side effects. What am I missing?”
Now, I am a fan of (actual) fact checking, and a quick online search of his name was all I needed to see that he was almost certainly lying. His bio showed that he was a sports doctor who likely had zero contact with patients severely afflicted with COVID.
My response: “I think you are drinking too much of your own Kool-Aid … I have spoken with medical experts who have very different perspectives from you. I have a hard time believing you have intubated anyone with COVID, given the extremely low incidence.
“I have close friends in the medical community who are offended by those who exaggerate their credentials or experience. Please try to avoid doing so. Then we can have a respectful discussion.”
The esteemed – or should I say “steamed” – doctor responded by immediately deleting all of his comments and apologizing to me via email and voicemail. I reckon he will stick closer to the truth in future commentary.
Earlier this month, a well-educated friend of mine said in a Facebook comment that he has lost five clients with no pre-existing health conditions to COVID.
I replied saying that my team and I take fact checking very seriously and that his claim was statistically improbable. I asked him to provide names of the deceased so that my team could look into the validity of his claim.
He responded by deleting his comment. He is in a profession in which honesty is important, so it was a good call to destroy the evidence.
I reckon he will stick closer to the truth in future commentary.
Making sense of our world is difficult at the best of times, and it is made much more confusing when highly educated professionals bend the truth to help justify their viewpoints.
Please join me in challenging those who spread misinformation and hatred.
The biggest bullies of today are not hanging out in schoolyards; they are wearing lab coats and three-piece suits, and they will take much more than our lunch money if we do not stand up to them.
Often, one proverbial punch in the face is enough to stop a bully in his tracks.
Our team of accomplished scientists at BIG Media has assembled an extensive arsenal of data-backed, logic-laden articles on the big issues. Feel free to take them into battle. Dropping a link to a BIG story is a great way to end an argument and reduce vitriol.