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As Mesa County cases surge, former Boebert aide, COVID doubters converge in GJ

June 5, 2021, 2:40 pm

As Mesa County, Colorado, COVID cases surge to concerning levels, conservative activists are hosting a conspiracist event featuring three pseudo-medical “doctors,” all of whom actively promote coronavirus disinformation.

Among the organizers of the event is Jessica Migliaccio, who serves on the board of Grand Junction’s Community Hospital Foundation.

Conservative conspiracist Sherronna Bishop, who formerly worked as U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) campaign manager, is the event’s lead organizer and also a speaker. Migliaccio and Bishop have attended previous anti-public health events together.

According to promotional materials, the event takes place at Orchard Mesa Baptist Church from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 5. Tickets start at $20, with VIP packages that include dinner with the speakers going for $75.

The three other speakers are Dr. Heather Canino, Dr. Stella Immanuel, and Dr. Eric Nepute. All three have spread debunked misinformation about coronavirus prevention and treatment. Of this trio, Immanuel is the only one with a medical license, which she received in Nigeria. She achieved national notoriety last year when Trump praised her for promoting the debunked claim that hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID while also rejecting masks and social distancing. Immanuel also believes that alien DNA is present in some current medical treatments and that some diseases are caused by patients having sex with demons.

Speaker Nepute is a St. Louis chiropractor who made headlines as the first person prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission for making fraudulent claims about COVID cures, specifically that the vitamin D and zinc sold by his company could prevent or cure the virus.

“Coach Dr. Heather Canino,” as she calls herself, says she is a “Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor and Life Coach,” who offers a variety of faith-based wellness courses for a monthly fee. She is an End Times believer who, like Nepute, pitches vitamin D as a preventive measure and claims that prayer prevents the coronavirus from entering the body.

Yesterday the Grand Junction Sentinel reported that Mesa County’s one-week positivity rate rose above seven percent—well above the World Health Organization 5% threshold for containment—for the first time in months. 96% of the county’s hospital beds are currently occupied. These numbers follow the recent news that a child died after contracting the Indian variant of the coronavirus, which has so far only been found in Mesa County.

With over 1150 employees, Community Hospital is the second-largest hospital in Grand Junction. It saw nearly 8,300 inpatient days in 2020.

Community Hospital spokesperson Karen Martsolf confirmed Migliaccio’s position on the foundation’s board but declined to comment on any statements made on personal social media pages.

“The opinions and views expressed by employees and/or board members do not necessarily reflect the official stance of Community Hospital,” said Martsolf. “Community Hospital strongly supports the COVID-19 vaccination and encourages people to get the vaccine to help protect themselves and others from COVID-19.”

In addition to her seat on the foundation’s board, Migliaccio works as a sonographer at Community Hospital’s OB/GYN clinic.

She initially agreed to an interview via Facebook message, but then blocked this reporter before providing any comment. Following the Colorado Times Recorder’s inquiry, Migliaccio removed both her board position and employment with Community Hospital from her Facebook page.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on the Colorado Times Recorder website.

7 Responses to As Mesa County cases surge, former Boebert aide, COVID doubters converge in GJ

  1. Samuel Moreno Reply

    June 5, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Who cares about cases if the vulnerable are vaccinated? This virus is not the plague.

    • Jim Cummings Reply

      June 6, 2021 at 6:39 am

      Yeah it is awful fishy how they were locking the gates to the backcountry prior to the 2020 election and then everything magically opened up. Active cases were higher when they opened things up then when they shut them down. I feel like they were trying to pull the wool over our eyes for political reasons.

  2. John B Reply

    June 5, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Anybody got pics of those aliens or demons having sex?

  3. Misanthrope's for a brighter tommorow Reply

    June 6, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    It’s a pity there are so many other confounding factors. Guess it’s too much to ask that nature creates a cure for gullibility.

    • mary l shero Reply

      June 6, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      Samuel – I totally agree. The problem is that Many of the vulnerable are not getting vaccinated. And it’s a serious issue to have so much hospital resources taken up by Covid.
      Start helping your friends get grandma vaccinated. I’m a great Gma. I’m vaccinated. I’m not worried for me or young you… But tired of it going on and on.

  4. Danielle Reply

    June 6, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    My vulnerable isn’t vaccinated, he’s only 9 years old and extremely high risk. We have to keep isolating and just do our best to stay safe – that’s unbelievably difficult in a place like Mesa County.

    • Janel Reply

      June 8, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Agreed. That is part of why I moved away from Mesa County as I believe it has become an unsafe place to live. The sense I had of the people in Mesa County in general is the lack of concern and caring for others when it comes to protecting others as many people have refused to wear masks or get vaccinated and none of the public health measures were ever enforced. I am sorry for your situation…the only solution for my family was to leave. Whenever I go back to the stores there I wear the best mask and goggles I can find and I am fully vaccinated…Take care.

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