“Print this article and hand it to frightened mask-wearers who have believed the alarmist media, politicians, and Technocrats in white coats,” stated a public post on the Facebook page of Dr. Bruce Lantelme, founder of Robinhood Integrated Health in Winston-Salem, “Masks are proven ineffective against coronavirus and potentially harmful to ordinary people and those with pre-existing conditions.”
The July 26 post included a link to “Masks are Neither Effective nor Safe: A Summary of the Science,” a July 14 article on the website Technocracy.News credited to “Colleen Huber NMD.” The acronym stands for “Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.”
On July 16, two days after Huber’s article was posted at Technocracy.News, David Kyle Johnson replied to it in the Psychology Today article "Masks (Still) Work: Debunking (More) Pseudoscience," in which Jonson stated that “Huber cites 42 articles in total, and none I (or my colleague) looked at support her position in the way she describes.”
Huber’s article is preceded by a two-paragraph statement attributed to “TN Editor,” the first paragraph of which consists of the same text that Dr. Lantelme posted with the link. The text has subsequently been deleted from Dr. Lantelme’s post, which now consists only of the link to the Technocracy.News article.
Technocracy.News was founded in 2015 by Patrick Wood. The site’s “About Us” page lists Wood as Editor-in-Chief and describes him as “a leading expert on the elitist Trilateral Commission, their policies and achievements in creating their self-proclaimed ‘New International Economic Order’ which is the essence of Sustainable Development on a global scale.”
It also states that “Wood maintains a Biblical world view and has deep historical insights into the modern attacks on sovereignty, property rights and personal freedom.”
The website Media Bias/Fact Check calls Technocracy.News “a conspiracy and pseudoscience website that reports on technology and its supposed dangers that lead to government control.”
Dr. Lantelme’s Facebook page includes a preview video for “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” a pseudoscientific 2016 documentary that alleged vaccines cause autism. In March, 2019, Business Insider reported that Amazon Prime had removed the documentary due to it’s “being based on junk science that’s been debunked for years.”
Dr. Lantelme’s Facebook page is not the only way he shared the Technocracy.News article. Former patient Heidi Scheer told YES! Weekly that she was appalled by a message from Dr. Lantelme which included not only a link to Huber’s article, but the following statement:
“In our state we are being mandated to do something contra to good health. There are few instances where marks are helpful. Even in an operating room, it has not been shown to make a difference on post-surgical infections.” Scheer provided YES! Weekly with a screenshot of that message.
Scheer stated that she has been a patient at Robinhood Integrative Health for five years, and that while her primary physician there was another doctor, she has also received care from Dr. Lantelme. Scheer said she logged onto the RIH portal on Monday morning and saw a message from Dr. Lantelme in her inbox. It had the heading “comprehensive analysis of masks” and consisted of the link and statement described above.
Scheer stated that, after reading this message, she messaged her primary physician that “I am very disappointed that your practice is sharing information disseminated through a known conspiracy theory website and further, promoting unsafe advice in the middle of pandemic.” Scheer called that advice “contrary to all guidelines coming from public health advisers.”
Scheer said that she is now searching for a new medical provider, and that she has contacted the Medical Board and filed a complaint about what she alleges are dangerous claims by Dr. Lantelme.
Both the website and Facebook page for Robinhood Integrative Health (RIH) advertise a wide variety of vitamin supplements and other products bearing the logo “Health as It Ought to Be”. The “About Us” page at that company’s website states “The team at Health as it Ought to Be consists of Dr. Weston (Wiggy) Sanders and Dr. Bruce Lantelme.”
On July 27, YES! Weekly reached out to Doug Allred, external communications manager at Cone Health, for a response to Dr. Lantelme’s claims that masks are ineffective in combating COVID-19. The next day, Allred called back and put this writer on a conference call with Dr. Cynthia Snider, infectious disease specialist at Cone Health.
“We have multiple examples of face masks as an intervention working to prevent the spread of SARS CoV-2 [the virus that causes COVID-19],” Dr. Snider said. “The use of face masks plus social distancing and hand hygiene are great measures in mitigating this epidemic.”
Dr. Snider cited as “a great example of how face mask implementation reduced the risk of secondary infections,” the case of the two Missouri hair stylists who became infected while working at the same salon, and who saw 140 clients over the course of a month while both stylists were symptomatic.
“The state had mandated face coverings for both employees and clients in that business, and no other cases were identified, even though both of the infected stylists here were working in close contact with a number of clients for more than fifteen minutes each. That’s a very powerful example.”
She also addressed Dr. Lantelme’s claim that masks “have not been shown to make a difference on post-surgical infections.”
“It’s very important for surgeons to wear masks while evaluating surgical wounds,” said Snider. “Not only because there’s a risk of spreading bacteria from the surgeon’s s mouth onto a sterile wound, but because there have been outbreaks associated with Streptococcus that resulted from the surgeon not wearing a mask.”
Snider emphasized that the data “absolutely supports” that masks help prevent or reduce outbreaks of influenza as well as COVID-19. “It’s a very simple intervention to do. We just need a lot of people to do it consistently. Even if you look at the states of Florida, Texas and Arizona, you’ll see that, when they started to mandate face masks, their rates of outbreak decreased.”
YES! Weekly has made multiple attempts over the past week to contact Dr. Lantelme for a statement, via phone calls, Facebook messages and emails. On July 31, a receptionist at Robinhood Integrated Health said “he got your message,” but declined to give further information.