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Joint statement issued by national physicians’ groups condemns ‘reckless,’ ‘dangerous’ remarks by two Bakersfield doctors

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UPDATE 4:13 p.m. April 28, 2020: A spokesperson with Accelerated Urgent Care provided KGET with the following response: “Accelerated has been serving Kern county for 8 years. Our company has supported many nonprofit organizations in Kern County. We have worked hard for the veterans association and started the convenient care pilot program. Our veterans are now able to get care at private medical facilities in Kern County. We are not interested in bickering with medical institutions. Accelerated is focused on solutions and caring for our patients with the highest level of compassion and integrity. Accelerated has been a leader in giving testing results to Kern County to help treat and manage Covid-19 illness.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A joint statement issued Monday by two national physicians’ groups slammed remarks by two Bakersfield doctors who called for an end to stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, saying their “reckless and untested musings” are inconsistent with the science and epidemiology of the coronavirus and shouldn’t be used as a basis for deciding whether to reopen.

The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine provided a scathing rebuke of comments made last week by Accelerated Urgent Care Drs. Daniel Erickson and Artin Messihi.

The statement, in part, says, “As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”

“COVID-19 misinformation is widespread and dangerous,” it continues. “Members of ACEP and AAEM are first-hand witnesses to the human toll that COVID-19 is taking on our communities. ACEP and AAEM strongly advise against using any statements of Drs. Erickson and Messihi as a basis for policy and decision making.”

During a press conference last week, the two doctors said everyone who doesn’t have symptoms should return to work immediately. They said they refuse to wear masks outside, and argued the longer people stay indoors, the more their immune system will drop.

Kern Public Health officials have said they strongly disagree.

“The Centers for Disease Control, the top medical minds of our nation, the World Health Organization, our local state officials—the guidance is clear,” said spokeswoman Michelle Corson on why social distancing and stay-at-home orders should continue.

ACEP represents more than 38,000 emergency physicians, emergency medicine residents and medical students, according to its website. Founded by a groups of physicians in 1968, it “set out to educate and train physicians in emergency medicine to provide quality emergency care in the nation’s hospitals.”

Established in 1993, AAEM  has as its goal “to promote fair and equitable practice environments necessary to allow emergency physicians to deliver the highest quality of patient care,” its website says.

Repeated calls and messages to Dr. Erickson and his spokeswoman went unanswered.

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