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Controversial Bakersfield doctor back in national spotlight after aligning with group downplaying COVID-19 threat

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Dr. Dan Erickson, the Bakersfield businessman-slash-physician who made a name for himself by publicly rejecting the consensus of the nation’s medical community regarding the COVID-19 threat, is back in the news.

Erickson was among 10 physicians in the nation’s capital this week, holding media events criticizing the country’s response to the coronavirus as overkill. Erickson is part of a newly formed group called America’s Frontline Doctors, which preaches, among other things, that the the anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID-19 — despite medical consensus that it is not — and that masks are not necessary to control spread of the virus — despite medical consensus that they are.

The group posted portions of its Monday press conference on social media — President Trump retweeted it — but Facebook, Twitter and YouTube took it all down.

The doctor group’s web host, Squarespace, shut down the group’s website, citing “activity that’s false, fraudulent, inaccurate or deceiving.”

It’s not the first time Erickson — a former ER doctor who now co-owns Accelerated Urgent Care, a local chain of five clinics, has been accused of perpetuating false narratives about COVID-19.

He and business partner Artin Massihi held a press conference in April in which they claimed the virus is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu and that businesses should be allowed to reopen.
That earned Erickson a rebuke from the Kern County Department of Public Health as well as physicians such Dr. Navin Amin.

It also earned Erickson and his business partner an appearance on Fox News.

And now he’s front and center once again — this time with America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization affiliated with the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative group that’s part of a coalition to end state lockdowns.

None among the group of 10, according to Medpage Today, work in hospitals with significant numbers of COVID-19 patients.

But the Covid-19 pandemic, for all the damage it may have done to businesses across the country, hasn’t hurt Erickson’s national profile — not one bit.

KGET reached out to Erickson on Wednesday, but as Thursday morning still had not heard from him. Calls to all five Accelerated Urgent Care locations in Bakersfield went to an outgoing voicemail message that directed callers to simply call back later.

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