Mayo Clinic: Ending the Pandemic of Misinformation

(ABC 6 News) – It’s the same message that’s been hammered by vaccination officials and the media for months, getting vaccinated against COVID continues to be a major focus, and people on both sides of this issue are passionate about their feelings.

ABC 6 News heard from Mayo Clinic’s leading infectious disease doctor.

"You get to choose what risk you want," Dr. Gregory Poland, general internal medicine for Mayo Clinic.

The rise of the delta variant has changed the way health officials are viewing the pandemic and Dr. Gregory Poland with Mayo Clinic says as we navigate around it, you have a decision to make.

"Either you will get infected and if you’re not vaccinated or previously infected, you will get infected. And if you do survive it, perhaps have some of the consequences," Dr. Poland said.

And with vaccine hesitancy and misinformation out there, Dr. Poland wants to get to the bottom of this.

"If you abandon science as a way to determine truth, you enter into a world of hurt," Dr. Poland said.

Dr. Poland says human behavior plays a role in people’s views on the pandemic.

"We live in a culture that’s narcissistic. We are very much in a me than we are a we society," Dr. Poland said.

So what’s the answer to this? Well, Doctor Poland knows there’s not one answer to solve all of the pandemic’s problems, but rather he thinks of it like an onion, with each layer comes different levels of mitigation to keep people safe such as vaccination, masking, and distancing.

And as people get vaccinated, Dr. Poland says breakthrough cases can happen, it’s normal, but when you get vaccinated, it saves people’s lives.

"Out of this number of people who get infected, you increase the number of people who are asymptomatic and you decrease the number of people that die, get hospitalized, and get severe disease," Dr. Poland said.

This is a touchy subject, but Doctor Poland wants to leave you with this.

"We are now in a desperate, but unseen and barely noticed race of variant versus vaccine, of ignorance versus knowledge, of disease versus health and we are losing. To know science, to believe one knows absent data is simply ignorance," Dr. Poland said.