Sherri Tenpenny is an anti-vaccination activist from the United States who believes in the debunked theory that vaccines cause autism. She is an osteopathic physician and the author of four anti-vaccine books.
A 2015 lecture tour of Australia was halted due to public anger over her anti-vaccination ideas, which defy scientific consensus.
Tenpenny is among the top twelve people promoting COVID-19 misinformation and pseudoscientific anti-vaccine misinformation on social media channels, according to a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
She claimed incorrectly that vaccines attract individuals and connect them to cellular towers. After speaking at a COVID-19 vaccine hearing, she went viral. At an Ohio House Health Committee hearing, Tenpenny highlighted a number of disproved and false conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus vaccine.
Anti-vax doctor Sherri Tenpenny – who falsely claimed forks stick to your forehead due to the Covid-19 vaccine – is a MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sidekick. Tenpenny, who hawks MyPillows, is Lindell’s go-to for all things Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/0dHT2w5Rc8
Tenpenny highlighted false conspiracy theories during the hearing on June 8, 2021, such that persons who received the COVID-19 vaccine had been magnetized and that there is a link between the vaccine and 5G cellular towers.
After being invited by Gop lawmakers, Tenpenny testified for over an hour before a House of Representatives committee. The hearing was held to debate an anti-vaccine bill offered by Republicans, which would restrict employers from requiring vaccinations and ban legislation requiring unvaccinated persons to wear masks, among other anti-vaccine initiatives.
NEW: Spokesperson for State Medical Board of Ohio emailed me this statement about Dr. Sherri Tenpenny who falsely told lawmakers that vaccines magnetize people. pic.twitter.com/R2WoLQ0zb2
Tenpenny falsely told lawmakers, according to clips of the session that have been widely shared on social media. She said, “I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. You can put a key on their forehead, it sticks. You can put spoons and forks all over and they can stick because now we think there is a metal piece to that.”
Tenpenny, the anti-vaxxer, also circulated misinformation, erroneously stating, “There’s been people who have long suspected that there’s been some sort of an interface, yet to be defined interface, between what’s being injected in these shots and all of the 5G towers.”
Tenpenny, who previously erroneously claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines caused more than 5,000 deaths in the US, told The Washington Post that she stands by her evidence and said, “I do believe greatly that people should have a choice on what gets injected to their bodies because once you have injected it you can’t uninject it.”
Tenpenny earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 from the University of Toledo and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 1984 from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri.
Tenpenny was the director of the emergency department at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay, Ohio, from 1986 to 1998. She started her first osteopathic practice in 1994 and went on to open two more in 1996 and 2011.
Tenpenny had planned a speaking tour in Australia to begin in February 2015, however after objections to her anti-vaccination ideas were raised in January, all of the venues where she was due to appear canceled the events, and the tour was canceled.
The Stop The Australian Anti-Vaccination Network has accused Tenpenny of “endangering people’s health” and “targeted vulnerable parents.”
Tenpenny and her business partner Matthew Hunt have been teaching a six-week, $623 course called “Mastering Vaccine Info Boot Camp” since 2017, with the goal of “sow seeds of doubt” about public health information.
Tenpenny discusses her ideas on the immune system and vaccines, while Hunt trains participants on how to effectively transmit knowledge using persuasive strategies in conversation.