A Cleveland-area physician and prominent anti-vaccine activist falsely told Ohio state lawmakers on Tuesday that the COVID-19 vaccine causes people to become "magnetized."
Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopathic doctor who supports the debunked conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism, spoke as an invited expert witness to the Ohio House of Representatives, The Washington Post reports.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said to the lawmakers. “They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that.”
The Ohio doctor also baselessly claimed the vaccine could "interface" with 5G technology.
Tenpenny has written and published multiple books advocating against vaccine administration.
The Post reports that Tenpenny's baseless claims did not elicit any strong pushback from the lawmakers, with some GOP lawmakers expressing praise and gratitude toward her. They were listening to testimony in support of a bill that would bar businesses from requiring proof of vaccination.
Republican Rep. Jennifer L. Gross said to Tenpenny, "What an honor to have you here."
However, one lawmaker did offer some pushback to Tenpenny's claims.
State Rep. Brian Stewart (R) asked Tenpenny, “Of the 5 1/2 million Ohioans who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine shot through today or the last six months, how many do you believe have been killed by that shot?”
“So, I don’t know,” she replied.
Question: How many people in Ohio have been killed because of the vaccine?— Tyler Buchanan (@Tylerjoelb) June 8, 2021
Tenpenny: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/6IsHxK06WU
Tenpenny's testimony soon went viral, with many commenters ridiculing her unsubstantiated claims and some calling for her medical license to be revoked.
Standing by her testimony, Tenpenny told the Post, “I do believe greatly that people should have a choice on what gets injected to their bodies because once you have injected it you can’t uninject it."