Anti-vaccine Facebook groups are pushing for hazardous movements. They've been sending out messages to their followers instructing them to avoid emergency rooms and get their loved ones out of intensive care units.
Anti-vaccine Facebook Groups is Against ICUs
The anti-vaxxers are consumed by conspiracy theories claiming that doctors are preventing patients who are unvaccinated from getting "miracle cures." Some even went as far as claiming that doctors kill unvaccinated patients on purpose.
People active in the anti-vaccine Facebook groups tell their followers with COVID-19 to avoid going to hospitals and instead try at-home treatments, which is very dangerous as they've not been scientifically proven.
According to NBC News, the messages in the groups show an escalation in the mistrust of medical professionals that began in the past few months on social media like Facebook, which have attempted to remove COVID-19 misinformation.
Meanwhile, doctors stated that hospitals are filled up because of the recent delta variant wave, according to VOX.
Wes Ely, an ICU doctor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said that they were down to four COVID-19 patients two months ago.
Since the surge, they've had 50 patients with COVID-19 on four ICU units, and 97% of them are not vaccinated. He added that the conspiracy theories circulating online are increasing the steam.
The concerns reflect numerous local reports about the increasing threats and violence directed toward medical professionals.
In Missouri, a medical center installed panic buttons on employee badges because of the increase in assaults.
Violence and threats against medical professionals have been reported in Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Idaho.
While COVID-19 misinformation has been a problem since the pandemic's beginning, the introduction of vaccines has invigorated the anti-vaccine community. It sparked a new push to look for and promote alternative treatments, some of which are very dangerous.
Releasing Family Members From Hospitals
Other anti-vaxxers are turning away from hospitals. In the past few weeks, some anti-vaccine Facebook groups and influencers on Telegram have offered their followers instructions on how to get their family members released from the hospital even if they are not cleared yet.
According to the instructions, people can insist that their loved one be transferred into hospice care. The anti-vaxxers have recorded those removed from hospitals for viral videos, which were then posted on the platforms.
Some people in the Facebook groups formed recently are promoting the false cure ivermectin, an anti-parasite medicine for horses, according to The Washington Post.
The anti-vaccine groups claimed that removing COVID-19 patients from hospitals is important to "self-medicate" at home using ivermectin.
However, as the patients realize that the horse medicine is ineffective, the groups have begun recommending several other hazardous at-home treatments, like nebulizing and inhaling hydrogen peroxide, gargling with iodine, and more.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America had released a warning against the alternative medicine promoted online like nebulizing hydrogen peroxide.
With COVID-19 cases increasing among those who refuse to get the vaccine and disinformation about it continue to spread online, anti-vaxxers have given rise to what is called a "vigilante medicine."
The label was given because patients are not taking lifesaving care from medical professionals and would instead try alternative medicine posted on Facebook.
Anti-vaccine Facebook groups are now changing the names of their pages to avoid detection as Facebook launched a campaign to shut down groups and pages run by anti-vaxxers.