|Known for||Anti-vaccine activism|
|Saying No to Vaccines|
Sherri Tenpenny is an American anti-vaccination activist who supports the disproved hypothesis that vaccines cause autism. An osteopathic physician, she is the author of four books opposing vaccination, and her 2015 lecture tour of Australia was cancelled due to a public outcry over her views on vaccination, which go against the established scientific consensus.
Education and career
Tenpenny graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toledo in 1980 and received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri in 1984.
From 1986 to 1998, Tenpenny was the director of the emergency department at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay, Ohio. She opened an osteopathic practice in 1994 and went on to establish two more practices in 1996 and 2011.
Tenpenny had scheduled a speaking tour in Australia to occur starting in February 2015, but in January, after objections were raised to her anti-vaccination views, all the venues at which she was scheduled to speak cancelled the talks, and the tour was called off. Tenpenny has been criticized by the Stop The Australian Anti-Vaccination Network for "endangering people's health" and "targeting vulnerable parents".
Since 2017, Tenpenny and her business partner, Matthew Hunt, have taught a six-week, $623 course titled "Mastering Vaccine Info Boot Camp" designed to "sow seeds of doubt" regarding public health information. During the course, Tenpenny explains her views on the immune system and vaccines, and Hunt instructs participants on how best to use persuasion tactics in conversation to communicate the information.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenpenny advocated against the use of face coverings as a mitigation tool despite scientific evidence in favour of their effectiveness.
A Facebook page managed by Tenpenny was deactivated in December 2020 as part of the social network's efforts to reduce the amount of misinformation. Nevertheless, a March 2021 analysis of Twitter and Facebook anti-vaccine content found Tenpenny to be one of 12 individual and organization accounts producing up to 65% of all anti-vaccine content on the platforms. Some of her interviews with anti-vaccination activists and conspiracy theorists have attracted a large audience on Rumble, a video-sharing platform that doesn't have policies against disinformation.
Despite her prolific promotion of disinformation, her Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center received a federal loan of $72,000 as part of the Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic.
In a February 2021 video, Tenpenny falsely stated that COVID-19 vaccines cause death and autoimmune diseases, saying "Some people are going to die from the vaccine directly, but a large number of people are going to start getting horribly sick and get all kinds of autoimmune diseases, 42 days to maybe a year out." However, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines cause autoimmune diseases or death.
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