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Sioux Falls conference raises concerns with medical community

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Several health care professionals are sounding the alarms over a conference taking place in Sioux Falls this weekend.

Although this is the third annual Advanced Medical Conference, it is the first year it has been held in South Dakota. Organizers say the state is more accepting of their views.

However, it’s those views that are concerning for physicians who care for our most ill on the medical front lines.

Kenneth Williams just flew in from Washington D.C. for the conference.

“It’s almost like a celebrity match for medical people,” said Williams.

He’s anticipating being in the same room as the speakers he has been watching on social media.

“So I’ve taken my own health in my own hands for the last 10 or 15 years, so this is just right up my alley,” said Williams.

But his views may raise some eyebrows. Williams says he would label himself in “the camp of anti-vax.”

“Which seems like even the most naive person should be suspicious by now, of what’s been rammed down their throats,” said Williams.

Williams used to watch videos from Dr. Rashid Buttar, until his YouTube channel was deactivated. Buttar claims he is concerned about people’s health and what he calls “the powers that be.”

“They want to keep people dependent upon the government upon Big Pharma upon anybody else that would take away their power,” said Buttar.

Although the event’s website describes it as a conference focused on preventative medicine, individual speakers’ social media sites are more telling about opinions on vaccines.

“All issue with vaccines is, I’m not against vaccines. I’m against stupidity and anybody who says that vaccines are for health. That’s a stupid statement,” Buttar said.

The group Immunize South Dakota is aware of the conference. Pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Fernando Bula-Rudas practices in Sioux Falls and has seen unvaccinated children become sick.

“The medical community, we are concerned about like these types of conferences, because they take the information and deliver it in a misleading way,” said Dr. Bula-Rudas.

Dr. Bula-Rudas is confident in vaccine safety measures.

“I mentioned before the development of vaccines is probably one of the safest processes that we have available in any industry, it goes through like so many layers of research and development,” said Dr. Bula-Rudas.

If more people choose to say no to vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, the community could suffer.

“When we have non-vaccinated people, then the virus continues to circulate. And that poses a risk for the community, because if we continue to have the virus circulating, then it’s going to find individuals who are not immunized,” said Dr. Bula-Rudas.

Talking to your primary care doctor could provide answers, and ease vaccination concerns.

“Any fear any doubt, any concerns, please talk to your doctor,” said Dr. Bula-Rudas.

The city-owned convention center booked the event, despite meassing from the City Health Department, which has been asking residents to get vaccinated.

But for Williams, he believes he has chosen a healthier lifestyle without vaccines.

“Great, physically I feel emotionally high I’m, I’m really excited. I don’t know what I’m in for, for this conference, but I know it won’t be a disappointment,” said Williams.

While the City of Sioux Falls has recently celebrated the introduction of 5G cell phone service, some of the speakers at this conference oppose the technology, claiming health and government control issues.

Attendees are paying between $450 and $2300 to attend the conference, which runs through Monday.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said, “The City contracts with ASM Global to run our convention center campus facilities, and they do an outstanding job. Despite what some may think, our office does not get into the business of picking winners and losers to use our public venues.”

City Health Department officials didn’t want to comment, saying they do not want to add credibility to the event.

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