CASPER, Wyo. – An official from the Wyoming Department of Health who was involved in the state’s response to the coronavirus questioned the legitimacy of the pandemic and described a vaccine in preparation as a biological weapon in a recent incident.
Russia and China are planning a so-called pandemic and vaccine development efforts to spread communism worldwide, said Igor Shepherd, head of department preparedness and countermeasures at the Keep Colorado Free and Open group’s Nov. 10 event.
Shepherd was introduced and talked about being an employee of the Wyoming Department of Health at the extra hour lecture in Loveland, Colorado.
Shepherd’s unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated allegations undermine Wyoming’s public health measures – and public calls – to limit the spread of the virus, as well as its plans to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months.
Nevertheless, Wyoming officials, including Governor Mark Gordon, who called people not taking the virus seriously “knuckles,” at a recent press conference, declined to comment.
Head of Department Mike Ceballos and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist did not answer questions on Friday, including when they became aware of Shepherd’s conversation and what if anything was done in response.
Telephone and social media messages that left the Shepherd on Friday were not returned.
Shepherd has been working in the health department since 2013 and was part of the state team that responds to Covid-19, although he is not a leader, said Kim Deti, a spokesman for the department.
“Everything we have said for months and our staff and local partners have done thousands of hours of dedicated work on this response effort, and our excitement about the hope the vaccine provides clarifies the overall situation of our department in the pandemic.” Deti made the same statements Thursday to the Casper Star-Tribune, which reported for the first time on Shepherd’s performance, and to the AP on Friday.
Researchers have been worried for months that politicized skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines could undermine their effectiveness. Vaccines are more effective when a large portion of the population is vaccinated.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Texas State University wrote a dissertation in July, emphasizing that concern, the Star-Tribune wrote.
“If poorly designed and executed, the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the United States could undermine the increasingly stringent belief in vaccinations and the public health authorities that recommend them, especially among people most exposed to Covid-19,” the researchers wrote.