Mississippi pediatrician to vocal farmer COVID-19 critic: Keep hurling insults at doctors, we’re busy caring for sick kids, kids with COVID

Published 11:56 am Saturday, August 7, 2021

One of Mississippi’s most vocal critics of public health guidelines aimed at slowing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic picked a social media fight Saturday with one of the state’s most ardent supporters of those same guidelines – and she’s fighting back.

Failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster, a farmer from DeSoto County, took to Twitter Saturday to take a shot at Hattiesburg pediatrician and president of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Anita Henderson.

“How do we have doctors this ignorant?” Foster wrote on Twitter. “Children have a higher risk of being harmed by the seasonal flu than by COVID. Masking them is not only ineffective but pointless.”

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Not only does Henderson disagree with Foster’s medical advice, so do the doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi State Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others.

Henderson fired back at Foster on social media.

“Hey (Robert Foster), You spend your days tweeting insults at doctors while we spend ours caring for Mississippians. Wish you could see
(Children’s of Mississippi) and the (pediatric ICU) right now. It’s full of sick kids, scared parents and COVID. Maybe pray for them.”

Foster has been a vocal critic of public health officials and seems to suggest one can “choose” to participate or not in the pandemic.

Last May he wrote, “I fully respect anyone that still chooses to participate in the pandemic who has an underlying health condition or otherwise. I am however done participating. I will still respect your personal space, as always. Please quit trying to force me to participate. It won’t work.”

Since then approximately 7,000 Mississippians have died from COVID-19.