By Physician’s Weekly blogger, Skeptical Scalpel

Sherri Jane Tenpenny, an Ohio family practitioner and outspoken anti-vaxxer, was, for some reason, invited to testify as an expert witness at the Ohio House of Representatives. She testified that coronavirus vaccines could cause people to become magnetized.

“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said. “They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that.” She also said vaccines may be interfacing in a “yet to be defined way” with cellular towers.

If that sounds like something from the Onion, it is not. Here is proof.

An article in the Washington Post says the legislators were receptive to her testimony on the subject of a proposed bill to prevent businesses or government from requiring proof of vaccination. Republican representatives thanked her and told her what an honor it was that she was there.

Tenpenny has claimed in a book she wrote that more than 5000 people in the US have died because of coronavirus vaccines. The Post’s fact checker had reported that not a single death has been proven to be caused by any coronavirus vaccine.

Let’s look at Tenpenny’s statements through the lens of common sense. Even if there was metal in the vaccines (there is not), the amount of vaccine injected is very small. For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given in two doses containing 0.3 mL (6 drops) of fluid in each shot. It is impossible for that amount of liquid to magnetize anything. Cell phone towers interfacing with vaccines? How this happens is undefined for a reason. It is impossible.

Bill 248 was still in committee at the time this post was written. Because the Ohio House and Senate have Republican majorities, I expect it to pass.

Anti-science is not limited to state legislatures. During a hearing on climate change, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R Texas) asked Jennifer Eberlien, Associate Deputy Chief of the US Forest Service, the following: “I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun. We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” he said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service … can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun? Obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate.” I think it would. It would probably kill us all.

Forbes has video of Gohmert’s comments which have also gone viral on Twitter. NBC News reported that Ms. Eberlein smiled and responded, “I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”

Don’t get me started on Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene who, among other things, doesn’t believe in evolution, said Jewish space lasers caused California wildfires, and thinks mandates to wear masks are similar to the Holocaust.


Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chair and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and has re-certified in both several times. For the last 9 years, he has been blogging at and tweeting as @SkepticScalpel. His blog has had more than 3,700,000 page views, and he has over 21,000 followers on Twitter.