Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: US doctor who called masks “dangerous” and vaccines a “human experiment” dies of coronavirus

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 15 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2796
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A Minnesota doctor who grew an online following spreading misinformation about covid-19 has died from the disease.

Christopher Foley’s obituary said he died from an “unexpected illness,” but his son Logan later confirmed at a memorial service that the 71 year old physician had succumbed to complications of coronavirus infection.

Foley worked for 22 years as an internist in a state-wide health system before quitting to found Minnesota Natural Medicine in 2001, which he described as an “innovative crossroads between conventional and so-called alternative medicine with chiropractic, naturopathy, massage, acupuncture, and herbal medicine all under one roof.”

From the first days of the pandemic, Foley used the blog of Minnesota Natural Medicine to offer his opinions on what he labelled the “Wuhan virus.” In March 2020 he asserted that the virus was “likely a bioweapon” and argued that homoeopathy could be “one of the better weapons” for fighting it.

He became a prominent voice in Minnesota’s anti-mask and anti-lockdown movement, which has held several protests in the state capital St Paul. “It is time to stop the lockdowns, take a careful look at the damage that will continue if they remain, and re-examine some of the rules regarding personal protection equipment,” he wrote in October 2020, as the US entered the biggest and deadliest wave of the pandemic.

Foley reposted content from America’s most prominent vaccine sceptic, Robert F Kennedy Jr, who has been banned from social media platforms for spreading misinformation. Foley called covid-19 vaccination a “human experiment,” proposing high doses of vitamins A, C, and D as alternatives. He also recommended ivermectin as a prophylactic and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment.

In one post he asked, “If one simply adds the benefits of vitamin D and the other micronutrients that we know prevent morbidity or serious illness with this Wuhan virus to the effect of ivermectin and carrageenan—all easily obtainable and inexpensive—why would anyone fear going about their business even in high density, ‘risky’ environments?”1

He described masks as “downright dangerous to the individual (especially children) if worn for extensive periods of time,” and called mask mandates for children “abusive and negligent.”

By March 2021 Foley was warning about 5G towers and a Rockefeller-led conspiracy to control the world’s resources, a “great reset” which he claimed was being facilitated by “massive amounts of disinformation about a so-called pandemic that by most conservative estimates yields a 99.7% survival.”

After Foley’s funeral, his son Logan told Newsweek, “My dad had a deep sense of love for this country, and the bedrock of American freedom that makes her great. Individual liberties coursed through his veins, especially when it came to healthcare.” He added, “He died of complications from covid. Was he vaccinated? No, he wasn’t. If he’d only been vaccinated, wouldn’t he still be here? Obviously, we’ll never know.”