Before we talk about that, however, we want to address some higher level questions, like “why the hell is a brewery weighing in on politics, Covid, conspiracy theories, and the Trump Cult?”
The answer to that question is because our newspapers and tv news in this part of Wisconsin are very weak, and are populated in large part by inexperienced reporters just out of college, who have been taught to “report both sides of the story at all costs,” but don’t have the life experience nor the background information to understand that on many issues, one side of the story is anti-intellectual authoritarian propaganda, while the other side is based in science and driven by experts in their fields.
Why is our local media weak? Because by and large, the populations that read newspapers or watch network news have shrunk dramatically over the last few decades, and small, regional media companies can’t afford to hire more experienced journalists or reporters.
So to answer the question of why the heck a brewing company weighs in on these issues, we answer “we think there needs to be a stronger voice for the truth in the #northwoods than what we’ve currently got.”
And, of course, because here in America we're allowed to speak our minds.
Now let’s get back to the issue of Wausau cardio-thoracic surgeon Fritz Riveron, who spoke at an anti-vaccine rally last weekend.
We watched the video of Riveron’s comments. Here are a few of his quotes from the rally:
“The National Education Association is evil for insisting that kids must wear masks in school”
Now, since we posted about this last Sunday, we’ve been asked to give Dr. Riveron a platform to speak on our Facebook Page--because he is (was) a respected doctor in Wausau, we have almost 50K “followers,” and people think we should be more “balanced” in our “reporting.”
Well folks, being “balanced” is what got us into this mess in the first place. You can’t employ “both-side-ism” when it comes to a global pandemic that has killed more than 600K Americans.
We’re sorry, but we believe dangerous rhetoric should not get the light of day.
We think Dr. Riveron’s comments are too dangerous to allow him to have a platform—specifically because his dangerous views are deemed credible given his occupation. Although a heart surgeon is definitely not, by definition, an expert on virology or infectious diseases, the average Joe doesn’t care—"he’s a doctor, he knows more than me, he must be right.”
No, one doctor in Wausau isn’t necessarily right. The best practices agreed upon through expert studies backed by the MAJORITY of doctors around the world are what we should be listening to as a society.
He chose his platform to speak, and that was at an anti-vaccine, anti-intellectual, and anti-science rally that espoused quackery and undermines the work of his own medical colleagues and the coordinated effort by the worldwide medical community to eradicate this virus.
Why did he do it? He recently weighed running for Congress as a Republican in Wisconsin’s 7th district. There were reportedly 700 Republicans in the anti-vaxx crowd this weekend. Of course he wanted to speak at this rally—to get his name out there.
He made his bed with the Trump Cult because that’s what it takes to get elected as a Republican today. Now let him lie in all the horse manure that is being spewed by that Cult, and let the consequences of his actions be heard throughout the medical community.
Would you want your or your children’s heart to be operated on by a guy who is anti-CDC, anti-American Medical Association, anti-American Pediatric Association, and anti-American Gynecological Association?
Sometimes if you think the vast majority of other doctors in your field are wrong, you might want to look in the mirror and question your own judgement.
Because we think he’s swerved into dangerous territory, we're providing a link for people to complain about doctors they think are spreading misinformation. Fritz, go ahead and run for office as a Trump Cult Republican, but do it without a license to practice medicine.
And finally, we were informed that Dr. Riveron retired from Aspirus two years ago, so it was unfair of us to ask Aspirus Health to weigh in on one of their retired doctors spewing anti-vaxx rhetoric.