The Perils Created by Medical Misinformation Must be Challenged

May 7, 2020

The Perils Created by Medical Misinformation Must be Challenged

Senator Anna M. Caballero (D-12) Comments on Recent Medical Misinformation and Invites Ceres’ Jeff Benziger to Work a Farm

Senator Caballero applauds the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) for its admonishment and rejection of medical misinformation coming from two Bakersfield area doctors, featured in various online videos the past few weeks.

“I will not get sucked into this fake fight, politicalizing a global health crisis as some grand conspiracy theory,” said Senator Caballero.

Caballero continued, “As we begin to venture out of our homes after weeks of isolation, it is paramount for communities to unite. We simply cannot further divide our nation on false lines. In this case, the federal Center for Disease Control and the state’s Department of Public Health provide guidance based on real science and data. The spread of medical misinformation must be immediately challenged, in order to ensure that conflicting messages do not encourage public behavior that, frankly, increases risks for everyone. Good job ACEP and AAEM for monitoring and correcting this dangerous video.” (The full ACEP and AAEM joint press release can be found HERE.)

Senator Caballero, also, invites Mr. Jeff Benziger, Managing Editor of The Ceres Courier, to work alongside California’s farm workers, and spend a night in farm worker housing.

Mr. Benziger opined that farm workers are not at risk of COVID-19 infection because they work outside in the open air, and that Senator Caballero’s efforts to deliver personal protective equipment to farm workers (deemed essential workers by the state and federal governments) is all just a stunt. Mr. Benziger has been railing in his columns against the stay home orders implemented by Governors from both political parties across the country.

Clearly, Mr. Benziger is unaware of Senator Caballero’s decades-long commitment to the California farm worker, which preceded her run for political office. Senator Caballero began her legal career advocating for farm workers, and the idea that she is only now working on farm worker issues for political gain not only ignores Senator Caballero’s work as a private attorney, but is repugnant.

“Mr. Benziger shows a complete lack of understanding of how disease is spread. He does not know that farmers, farm workers, dairy and ranch workers often do their jobs working shoulder to shoulder. He completely ignores the crowded living conditions that workers face, the high density living required in order to afford the high cost of housing. Farm workers also ride share to their jobs in their own vehicles and in labor buses, which puts them in close proximity during commutes.

His cavalier attitude and bravado in the midst of the pandemic are disconcerting and dangerous to the Ceres community,” said Senator Caballero.

The Ceres Courier can be of great service to its community by providing accurate medical information to keep Central Valley residents safe. It’s a shame it has resorted to political puffery. COVID-19 does not infect based on political parties. It’s dangerous and potentially deadly for a community, to confuse what needs to be a consistent message, so that we all protect each other,” Caballero continued. “I encourage people to find a trusted, reliable news source, and am certain I can arrange for Mr. Benziger to spend the day working and sleeping alongside California’s farm workers, if he wants some real world experiences.”


Senator Anna M. Caballero represents the 12th Senate District, composed of Merced, Madera and San Benito Counties, and portions of Fresno, Monterey, and Stanislaus Counties.