OK, it wasn’t really that close: Scott Jensen was defeated 52% to 44% by Tim Walz in the recent Minnesota gubernatorial race. It looks worse in the maps, but that’s because rural Minnesota is relatively thinly populated, with most people living in the dark blue lake of Democrats on the eastern side of the state. You mean to tell me that real estate doesn’t vote?
Scott Jensen would not be making the news now except that he’s under investigation by the state medical licensing board.
Dr. Scott Jensen, the family medicine doctor who lost his run at Minnesota governor in the midterm elections last year, announced on social media that he was under investigation by his state’s medical board, adding “If it can happen to me, it can happen to you!”.
It can only happen to me if I were a medical doctor, and if I spent an election campaign making grossly dishonest claims about the pandemic.
This “humble midwestern family doctor” has some pretty serious ties to international Bannon politics which would explain his shocking brashness. Jensen’s attempts to convey his overdue accountability as an attack not just on him but on anyone who speaks out as he so “courageously” does (in line with his political affiliations) is Trumpian. It’s also how fascists gaslight for undeserved support. He is the problem. His actions have had consequences on others and it is high time they have consequences for him. Thanks to his November loss, he’s just a regular citizen without the power to carry out his revenge fantasies on the medical board.
Fortunately, he got beat, badly. The news isn’t so great for Wisconsin.
In any case, accountability has come far too late for these politically-aligned disinformation doctors thanks in large part to politically-aligned lobbying efforts. One state over in Wisconsin, Senator Ron Johnson – who had hosted Jensen’s Pandata colleague McCullough on his conspiracy panels – won his re-election. He has joined the fight against medical license accountability for his allies, despite that falling completely outside his jurisdiction as a senator.
Doctors like Jensen and politicians like Johnson claim to want to take politics out of healthcare while politicizing medicine during a global crisis. There is no sympathy to be felt for power-hungry men like these who lie so brazenly and so destructively. Covid was not a political game; it has cost real people their real lives. Disinformation has been central to the global failure that has been the Covid response.
I hope disinformation will have a political cost. It’s a thin hope, though.