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Dr. Drew Blasted on Social Media Over Vaccines and International Travel

Dr. Drew Blasted on Social Media Over Vaccines and International Travel
Joe Cortez

When famous TV and radio personality “Dr. Drew” Pinsky sent a tweet about vaccination requirements for international travel, the Internet was quick to corrected the misinformed internist. His tweet asks: “How would you feel if international travel also required other vaccinations?” Many responded with notes that at some destinations, vaccines are required.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain destinations required travelers to get vaccinated against diseases which are spread locally. However, noted television and radio medical personality “Dr. Drew” Pinsky may not have been immediately aware, after many Internet users were quick to respond to his latest tweet against vaccination passports and other solutions to reopen travel after the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Drew: “Vaccine passports segregate people and strip them of their freedom to travel internationally”

On the morning of April 5, 2021, Dr. Drew went on Twitter to express his opinion against COVID-19 vaccination passports. Accusing them of “segregating people” and “[stripping] them of their freedom to travel internationally, he then continued to ask: “How would you feel if international travel also required other vaccinations?”

Twitter users were quick to respond to the board-certified internist, informing him that vaccination passports are required to visit some nations. While some shared pictures of their vaccine documents from the United Nations or U.S. Centers for Disease Control, others pointed out that the U.S. requires those seeking a visa to enter the country to document their vaccine history.

The comments are the latest misstatements by the former host of “Loveline,” “Ask Dr. Drew,” and “The Adam and Dr. Drew Show” podcast. Between February and March 2020, Pinsky claimed that COVID-19 was not as bad as the seasonal flu and claimed it was a “press-induced panic.” In April 2020, USA Today reported Pinsky apologized for his comments, and in December 2020, the newspaper noted that the doctor ultimately contracted the novel Coronavirus.

Comments Made as U.S. Steps Back From a Digital COVID-19 Passport Standard

Dr. Drew’s misstep comes as health officials say they will not create a digital COVID-19 passport requirement. In an appearance on the Politico Dispatch podcast, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. would not create a mandate, despite travel stakeholders asking the White House to name a single standard among the development of the IATA Digital Pass and the Commons Foundation CommonPass.

View Comments (13)


  1. SaltyGB

    April 6, 2021 at 4:38 am

    There is certainly no end to the self-entitlement, your offending me, or your are disenfranchising me rhetoric because you ask me to conform to some standard for the better good.

    The fine print in the Contract of Carriage is NOT a statement of everyone’s right to travel, oh far from it, it clearly benefits the airline; just as the issuance of a Visa is at the discretion of the issuing government to establish any criteria they want.

    Folks need to understand 1000 opinions will never beat a single fact.

  2. cybdiver

    April 6, 2021 at 5:31 am

    This is dumb everyone that’s ever traveled knows you need a vaccine to travel to certain countries.
    Each country can make what ever rule it wants and if you choose to go there you have to follow their laws. You can’t show up and yell I’m an American I can do what I want, just does not work that way. I want to know what freedom you lose by not having a vaccine passport? I lose the freedom of life if you don’t get a vaccine. Get a vaccine, put on your mask and stop complaining.

  3. fanostra

    April 6, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Why don’t you write about the substantial differences between a measles or polio vaccine and the current crop of mRA gene therapy treatments (that lack FDA approval)? And the circumstances of the former being required in certain countries for travel in contrast to an electronic tracking device that is being discussed as requirement to enter a wide range of public places? One doesn’t need a flu shot to travel, so the equivalencies posed by the tweet responses require scrutiny themselves.

    Here’s a few differences:
    – still in experimental phase (until 2023)
    – long term effects unknown
    – length of protection unknown
    – impact on transmission unknown
    – companies indemnified against legal recourse
    – rushed through under emergency protocol (Emergency Use Authorization, not FDA approved)

    This column feeds misinformation, and casual dismissal of privacy and freedom concerns is irresponsible.. I encourage you to do some primary research if you are going to write about these matters.

  4. RGS5526

    April 6, 2021 at 7:48 am

    When I first visited the United States, as long ago as 1960, I was required to carry an Internal Certificate of Vaccination against Smallpox. This was just for a visit, no question of immigration, so the idea of certified vaccination as a pre-requisite for ravel is by no means new.

  5. azmojo

    April 6, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Did anyone else not miss that Immigration is different than travelling?

  6. seattlebruce

    April 6, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    You are playing word games, fanostra. Three covid vaccines HAVE been approved by the FDA for emergency use because a pandemic has killed 3 million people including more than half a million Americans and the case rate is still increasing. We never have perfect information about anything in life, but we have enough data on how the vaccine works for the scientific and public health community to recommend against certain activities for the unvaccinated. If we want people to (a) stay alive and (b) resume something resembling normal social and economic lives, we need to give them a way of assessing the likelihood that a deadly virus is being emitted by people near them. That’s why the USA requires a covid test of anyone entering our country — a policy that Trump started. And whether you like it or not, many countries will require it if we want to visit them in the coming years.

  7. awayIgo

    April 7, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Azmojo – yes, immigration is different than traveling but I suggest you reread the post by cybdiver. ( although the Southern border of the US is currently almost non existent)

    Anyone writing or using the internet already has huge amounts of information gathered about them. People share everything but their underwear size on Facebook! I have an overseas home that I have not gone to in over a year. Unfortunately, American vaccine cards are easily forged. I am willing to “risk” a passport. People can make a choice- stay home and don’t get it or get it and the opportunity to resume a normal life. If you don’t want one- don’t get one!

  8. Amlie Herry

    April 7, 2021 at 8:34 am

    good post

  9. lyst

    April 7, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Difference is that this is NOT a vaccine. You can still get covid and pass it on. Just ask the nurse who recently went to Mexico after being fully vaccinated in Jan, and tested positive for covid there recently. She needed to stay in Mexico an additional 14 days in her hotel room with a guard outside. Many others have also tested positive after being fully vaccinated!

  10. tkelvin69

    April 8, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Well, what do you expect from a TV doctor.

    Lyst- all vaccines have a percentage of people that will still contract the microorganisms and be contagious. The covid immunization is a vaccine.

  11. CDTraveler

    April 9, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    To lyst: no vaccine is 100% effect, but that doesn’t stop sensible people from getting them.

    Here’s what the CDC has to say about the measles vaccine, which had been around since 1963: “One dose of MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, 78% effective against mumps, and 97% effective against rubella. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps.”

    Not a single 100% efficacy rating there.

  12. CycloneSteve

    April 10, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    This is more than just a “Vaccine Passport” question.

    Will they decide having a contact tracing app is a requirement for a passport?
    Will they link your debit & credit cards to your passport?
    Will they disable your cards if you refuse to get a passport?

    “I’m sorry sir, your credit card was used in a business where you failed to check-in with the tracing app. We’ve temporarily suspended your vaccine passport until it can be cleared up.”

    I would prefer to not be living at the leave of whomever is in charge of the government at that moment.

  13. aresef

    April 15, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    The only thing worse than a quack is a quack with a camera or a microphone.

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