HANCOCK COUNTY, Indiana — The VERIFY team looked into the science behind Dr. Dan Stock's claims. Click here to see a fact check on Dr. Stock’s COVID-19 claims from the Mt. Vernon school board meeting.
It's not often local school board meetings get a lot of eyeballs online. But Friday night’s public comment period at the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is now traveling the world.
All eyes are on a local family physician’s critical comments about how schools and the government are handling pandemic guidelines.
"We're getting our sources of information from the Indiana State Board of Health and the CDC, who actually don't bother to read science before they do this,” said Dr. Dan Stock.
Stock, of McCordsville, cited studies that he said claim recommendations like mask mandates and vaccinations aren’t useful.
“Everything being recommended by the CDC and the state board of health is actually contrary to the rules of science,” he said.
Stock made several claims which have been widely disproven. He claimed masks don’t stop respiratory particles from going through masks which is not supported by CDC research. He also believes the vaccine does not work when it comes to preventing COVID-19 which is also incorrect according to the CDC.
"COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death," CDC.gov stated. "COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19."
During the meeting, he offered to testify as an expert witness for school board members if the district is sued.
The presentation comes amid frustration by some parents who believe their children should not be required to wear a mask or be vaccinated.
The doctor’s comments went viral, getting more than three million views on YouTube and over 10,000 shares on Facebook in the days that followed.
Tuesday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health responded.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on data and science to make recommendations," said an ISDH spokesperson in a statement to 13News. “The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, as evidenced by the fact that more than 98 percent of Hoosiers who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since mid-January are unvaccinated.”
"What I would encourage everyone who has heard his testimony at the meeting is to do their own research, their own homework,” said Mt. Vernon Community Schools board member Shannon Walls, who said she contacted ISDH and local health officials after the Friday meeting and talked with them for more than two hours.
“I am very pleased with their guidance. We coordinated our plan in conjunction with all legal responsibilities and recommendations from them and they have been a great partner,” Walls said.
School board members will take up COVID-19 safety measures during their next meeting, later this month.
13News reached out to Stock to speak with him.
The voicemail at his practice says he's overwhelmed by the response to his comments and because of that response, he's not taking any new patients.
He said he planned on uploading the documents and studies he referenced onto his website.
According to public records, Stock is a licensed primary care physician who runs a concierge family practice in Fishers. In a YouTube video connected to his practice, Stock says he went to undergrad at Notre Dame and then graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Complete response from ISDH:
Throughout this pandemic, we have relied on data and science to make recommendations, and we will continue to do so. The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, as evidenced by the fact that more than 98 percent of Hoosiers who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since mid-January are unvaccinated. Even with the current surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, more than 97 percent of Hoosiers who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since June 1 have not been vaccinated.
We have the ability to turn the tide of this pandemic, but only if we use all of the tools at our disposal. The CDC continues to recommend layered mitigation measures, including vaccination, masks and handwashing, and we will continue to urge Hoosiers to employ every strategy available to protect themselves and the people they love.
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