Trump's pet medical association
May 24, 2020 7:14 AM   Subscribe

There's a medical association that supports Trump's misinformation.
Among the most ardent proponents of these claims is the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a fringe group of less than 5,000 doctors. The group was recently cited by Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, to explain the president’s stunning announcement that he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine in an attempt to protect himself against Covid-19 despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness.
The group has questioned whether HIV causes Aids (it does), argued abortion causes breast cancer (it does not), linked vaccines to autism (repeatedly debunked), and even alleged former president Barack Obama used hypnosis techniques to trick voters, especially Jewish people, into supporting him (no).
posted by Kirth Gerson (42 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Stuffing Tide Pods up my butt will still cure cancer, right?
posted by chasing at 7:17 AM on May 24 [8 favorites]


Another bit from the article:
AAPS was formed in 1943, in opposition to a proposal to provide Americans the sort of universal, government-run healthcare established just a few years later in the UK. The NHS would become one of the country’s proudest achievements.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:19 AM on May 24 [33 favorites]


Another way to choose a physician (i.e., if they belong to this group, avoid like the plague they don't believe in).
posted by maxwelton at 7:20 AM on May 24 [22 favorites]


We really are tumbling toward a new Dark Ages, aren't we?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:55 AM on May 24 [21 favorites]


Historians of the Future (if such things exist for humanity) will note the 21st century's culturally definitive act of "Flooding the Zone with Shit" and the consequent mentality that it enabled "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible"....... heralded the end of the anthropocene.

As a species, we really are dumb toddlers with toys we neither use responsibly nor deserve.
posted by lalochezia at 8:04 AM on May 24 [19 favorites]


Age of Subway Pole Licking
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 AM on May 24 [3 favorites]


stunning announcement

When a fool announces to the world that he is doing something foolish, it's hardly 'stunning'.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 8:41 AM on May 24 [7 favorites]


More about AAPS: Rise of the quacks (Judd Legum, Popular Information)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:43 AM on May 24 [6 favorites]


I was depressed by that membership number - 5,000 may be fringe compared to the AMA's 240,000, but it's still a terrifyingly large number for people who by definition have received more years of science education than almost anyone. Having gone through too many doctors who seem to approach medicine as anything but a science, it's really depressing to think (a) that these people are treating patients, and (b) that extensive education is not enough to correct the tendency to gut-based thinking and selective analysis.

On the other hand, I had a look at their membership page and it has a category to join - without dues! - as "Patients, Public, and Supporters of Medical Freedom". So hopefully that 5,000 figure is mostly a reflection of the right's own special form of intellectual honesty, and I wish journalists would dig in for more specific numbers.
posted by trig at 9:15 AM on May 24 [39 favorites]


I first ran into the AAPS a few years ago when I was trying to figure out where my (subsequently Trump-voting) relatives had gotten the idea that immigrants were spreading diseases... I traced it back to Lou Dobbs, who while still on CNN in the aughts cited an article in The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, written by someone with a doctorate in literature or something like that, which itself misreported a statistic. Here's Dobbs being interviewed in 2007 about it on Democracy Now!

Last I checked, the AAPS web site still serves up the uncorrected version of the journal article under discussion there.
posted by XMLicious at 9:35 AM on May 24 [8 favorites]


AAPS is also viciously anti-trans.
posted by mediareport at 9:42 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


First, do no good.
posted by delfin at 9:59 AM on May 24 [35 favorites]


The 5000 members aren't actually listed anywhere I don't think.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:29 AM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Paging Dr. Lysenko.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:53 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


The AAPS is the group frequently cited by Conservapedia about a variety of medical topics. That was enough for me to discount them for the future.
posted by Hactar at 12:08 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]


Stuffing Tide Pods up my butt will still cure cancer, right?

No, but underwear streaks will be a thing of the past.
posted by nickmark at 12:19 PM on May 24 [15 favorites]


Yes, Hactar, Conservapedia was founded by Andrew Schlafly, general counsel of AAPS. Yes, that Andrew Schlafly
posted by Glomar response at 12:20 PM on May 24 [9 favorites]


> Yes, that Andrew Schlafly

Good grief, sometimes I think Undead George Wallace is like a shadow president or something. So many ghouls influencing public policy.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:23 PM on May 24 [6 favorites]


On a hunch, I looked at his wiki, and yes, of course he's the son of Phyllis Schlafly, who afflicted my youth with the same sort of assholery. The rotten apple doesn't fall far from the rotten tree.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:13 PM on May 24 [8 favorites]


It sounds similar to the UOBPFCS (Union of Bought and Paid For Climate Scientists). I have no doubt a lot of members of AAPS (like the UOBPFCS) are members exclusively for the opportunity to spout falsehoods on Fox News, AM radio and where other propaganda is sold spewed broadcast.
posted by ensign_ricky at 1:43 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Waiting for the AAPS announcement that Trump's touch can cure scrofula.
posted by dannyboybell at 1:51 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


On a hunch, I looked at his wiki, and yes, of course he's the son of Phyllis Schlafly, who afflicted my youth with the same sort of assholery. The rotten apple doesn't fall far from the rotten tree.

Someone with some national visibility needs to turn the name Schlafly into a disgusting word like Dan Savage did for Rick Santorum. That family is right up there with Norquist, Laffer, Koch, Luntz and others that worked so hard to destroy the good parts of the United States.
posted by ensign_ricky at 1:54 PM on May 24 [6 favorites]


The 5000 members aren't actually listed anywhere I don't think.

Here you can see a list of 500 of them, MDs and DOs, who signed a letter to Trump asking him to end the shutdown.
posted by JackFlash at 3:18 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


This is weird even for this administration. I think we need to acknowledge that.

I know he likes associating with any conspiracy group that sounds good (ie Blacks for Trump) but I'm still surprised somehow.
posted by ikea_femme at 3:43 PM on May 24


Stuffing Tide Pods up my butt will still cure cancer, right?

We actually have a good vaccine for butt cancer, but most people in the US don't get it because it costs $300 or so. (this is true)
posted by ryanrs at 4:35 PM on May 24 [12 favorites]


A good time to search out and locate all the doctors receiving certifications from that medical school in Grenada, the protection of which was ostensibly the reason for the US invasion there in 1983. They should all have reached the age of eminence in their fields by about now, ready to prove their usefulness...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:24 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


I was just sad-laughing about this yesterday, particularly about the fact the AAPS fellates itself over its devotion to "individual liberty, personal responsibility, limited government" and a "free market medical system,' but is also rabidly opposed to any sort of abortion access, including OTC Plan B.

It's such rich and full-bodied cognitive dissonance.

*chef's kiss*
posted by Panjandrum at 6:14 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]




Waiting for the AAPS announcement that Trump's touch can cure scrofula.
posted by dannyboybell


As long as they are not claiming it works on obesity, baldness, facial discolouration, malignant narcissism, lawlessness, centaurian stance, or bone spurs.
posted by Pouteria at 11:14 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


To Panjandrum's observation: I've found that where a person stands on abortion is a pretty good litmus test to differentiate people who at least try to approach Libertarianism as a principled worldview, versus right wing assholes who claim the mantle of Libertarianism because they want to fuck people over without any consequences.
posted by Sublimity at 5:56 AM on May 25 [4 favorites]


We actually have a good vaccine for butt cancer, but most people in the US don't get it because it costs $300 or so. (this is true)

ryanrs, I'm not questioning or doubting you at all but my google-fu must be failing me. Do you have a name of the vaccine or some other key words I can search for to get more info?
posted by ensign_ricky at 6:16 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]


Most anal cancer is caused by HPV. Getting the HPV shot prevents not just cervical cancer, but oral and anal cancers, too.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:00 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]


Here you can see a list of 500 of them, MDs and DOs, who signed a letter to Trump asking him to end the shutdown.

There are also a few PhDs and DDS/DMDs (dentists) hiding in there, and even a stray DPM (podiatrist)...

Anyway it would be interesting to know how many of the remaining 4500 are actually doctors.
posted by AllShoesNoSocks at 8:25 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]


See also the Concerned Women for America (founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye), which is definitely not the League of Women Voters, the American Center for Law and Justice (founded in 1990 by Pat Robertson), which is definitely not the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Association of Mature American Citizens (founded in 2007 by Daniel C. Weber), which is definitely not the American Association of Retired Persons. There are 1.1 million AMAC members, and 38 million AARP members. Reality really does have a liberal bias.
posted by box at 8:49 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]


Most anal cancer is caused by HPV. Getting the HPV shot prevents not just cervical cancer, but oral and anal cancers, too.

Thank you hydropsyche!

Interesting! So even older people who haven't had the HPV shot should probably get one? Or is it too late for a couple of early 50s folks like me and my wife?
posted by ensign_ricky at 10:41 AM on May 25


So even older people who haven't had the HPV shot should probably get one? Or is it too late for a couple of early 50s folks like me and my wife?

I think it's still an option if you're older, but it's usually children/teens who are vaccinated. HPV is sexually transmitted so the aim is generally to vaccinate people before they become sexually active. The CDC apparently doesn't recommend it for over-26s: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine.html

And anyway, in my completely non-expert opinion, if you're already married there's probably not much to be gained now :)
posted by AllShoesNoSocks at 1:34 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


Stuffing Tide Pods up my butt will still cure cancer, right?

It will make your shites, shiter than shite!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:21 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


AllShoesNoSocks: There are also a few PhDs and DDS/DMDs (dentists) hiding in there, and even a stray DPM (podiatrist)...

Good to finally know where the hell that tenth dentist came from.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:08 PM on May 25 [7 favorites]


Fyi, the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was $600 for me last year. Three doses, $200 each, not covered by my medical insurance because I'm a man. Three cheers for AAPS' preferred style of free market medicine. /s
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 7:49 AM on May 26


Gives a whole new (and ominous) meaning to the statement "Do you know what they call the person who graduated last in his class from medical school? Doctor."
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:31 AM on May 26


Joining a organizational body with counter to science/generally accepted best practice views is hardly a phenomenon restricted to low performing (yet successful) students. It's a form of engineer's disease which can afflict any demographic because it only requires the afflicted to not be self aware of their limitations or to have drunk the flavour aid of some kooky viewpoint.

A lot of the doctors on that list are also members of, for example, the American College of Physicians or American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons which aren't quack organizations. I'd bet a significant percentage of the 500 were in the top half of their respective classes and not just at the Guadalajara Medical School.
posted by Mitheral at 12:06 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


See also: Dr. Ben Carson.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:25 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


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