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Billings doctor urges continued social distancing in response to viral video

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 12:44:03-04

A Billings doctor emphasized the importance of social distancing this week, urging people to ignore claims that keeping six feet away from each other is ineffective.

Dr. Brad Fuller of Fuller Family Medicine spoke to Q2 News in response to a in a viral video featuring two California doctors who criticized states' stay-at-home orders.

Fuller said that the claims of the two doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, to stop social distancing, if followed, could lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“We still don’t know the long-term sequelae from this infection. We don’t know if it increases your risk of lymphoma, we don’t know if it increases your risk of chronic lung disease, we don’t know if it increases your risk of heart disease, we don’t know enough about it now to say, if you get it, no big deal” states Fuller.

Videos of a news conference held by the two doctors went viral in the past week and have been repeatedly taken down by YouTube, which stated the videos violate community guidelines and disputes local health recommendations.

Both doctors said that the current stay-at-home orders around the country should be lifted and businesses should be open. They said they believe that people's immune systems have been weakened by the current stay-at-home orders.

Fuller disagrees.

“To say that if we quarantine ourselves in our house for a month or two, that we lose our immunity, that’s simply not true. Our immunity last for years,” said Fuller.

Fuller also took issues with the California doctors' comparison of COVID-19 to the influenza.

“We cannot compare the coronavirus to influenza. More people died in one month from coronavirus then they did the whole flu season,” said Fuller.

Fuller said that according to the doctor’s logic, the current mortality rate of COVID-19 would be 0.002% on a national scale- a number that conflicts with the CDC.

According to the CDC, the COVID-19 mortality rate is much higher, 7.1%.

Fuller urges the community to ignore the inaccuracies of the two doctors and continue to follow the guidelines that have been put in place by the CDC and Yellowstone Unified Health Command.

“Social distancing works. If we take the percentage of deaths by the percentage of population, it is clear as day how it works,” said Fuller.

For more information from the Yellowstone Unified Health Command visit https://riverstonehealth.org/