Over the final decade, Dr. Mercola has constructed an unlimited operation to push pure well being cures, disseminate anti-vaccination content material and revenue from all of it, mentioned researchers who’ve studied his community. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his internet value was “in excess of $100 million.”
And fairly than instantly stating on-line that vaccines don’t work, Dr. Mercola’s posts typically ask pointed questions on their security and talk about research that different medical doctors have refuted. Facebook and Twitter have allowed a few of his posts to stay up with warning labels, and the businesses have struggled to create guidelines to drag down posts which have nuance.
“He has been given new life by social media, which he exploits skillfully and ruthlessly to bring people into his thrall,” mentioned Imran Ahmed, director of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which research misinformation and hate speech. Its “Disinformation Dozen” report has been cited in congressional hearings and by the White House.
In an e mail, Dr. Mercola mentioned it was “quite peculiar to me that I am named as the #1 superspreader of misinformation.” Some of his Facebook posts had been solely preferred by a whole lot of individuals, he mentioned, so he didn’t perceive “how the relatively small number of shares could possibly cause such calamity to Biden’s multibillion dollar vaccination campaign.”
The efforts towards him are political, Dr. Mercola added, and he accused the White House of “illegal censorship by colluding with social media companies.”
He didn’t handle whether or not his coronavirus claims had been factual. “I am the lead author of a peer reviewed publication regarding vitamin D and the risk of Covid-19 and I have every right to inform the public by sharing my medical research,” he mentioned. The Times was unable to confirm the claims in the study, which was printed by Nutrients, a month-to-month journal from Molecular Diversity Preservation International, a nonprofit in Basel, Switzerland.
A local of Chicago, Dr. Mercola began a small personal observe in 1985 in Schaumburg, Ill. In the Nineteen Nineties, he started shifting to natural health medicine and opened his primary web site, Mercola.com, to share his therapies, cures and recommendation. The website urges folks to “take control of your health.”