Vaccine ‘conspiracy theories’ prompt threats, Mississippi health officer says

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Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, responds to a question during a news briefing regarding Mississippi’s COVID-19 response in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s top health official says he’s receiving threats from people spreading lies about his family as he urges the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mississippi has seen a rapid increase in cases since early July, driven by the delta variant of the virus and a low vaccination rate.

The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, says Tuesday that one “conspiracy theory” is that his son, who is also a physician, receives a World Bank-funded kickback when Dobbs promotes vaccinations. Dobbs says he receives no money from promoting vaccination.

More than 1,000 out-of-state medical workers are deploying to 50 Mississippi hospitals to help with staffing shortages.

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