By Sasha Tucker ’21
On July 27, President Donald Trump retweeted a viral video in which doctors promoted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure and dismissed mask-wearing. Donald Trump Jr. called the since-deleted video a “must-watch.” It racked up over 20 million views before Facebook removed it for “sharing false information.”
The doctors in the video call themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors.” The Daily Beast writer Justin Baragona calls them “fringe doctors.” Notable among the group is Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based pediatrician and religious minister, who was retweeted by the president later that day. The video tweeted by Immanuel, as well as many others the president shared, were later taken down by Twitter.
Immanuel operates a medical clinic out of a strip mall next to her church, Firepower Ministry. Originally from Cameroon, she attended medical school in Nigeria and has, as she said at the America’s Frontline Doctor’s press conference on July 27, “treated over 350 patients with COVID.” Her treatment?
“I put them on hydroxychloroquine, I put them on zinc, I put them on Zithromax, and they’re all well,” she said at the press conference. “We’ve not lost one patient.”
She said that she is working on publishing her own data, but that her data “is not important” because “right now people are dying.”
Dr. Immanuel has made a number of bizarre medical claims over the course of her career, many of which reference witches, demons, and aliens. Her most popular sermon, uploaded to YouTube, is entitled “Deliverance From Spirit Husbands and Spirit Wives,” and has over 700,000 views. In it, she preaches that medical issues like endometriosis and impotence are a result of dream sex with witches and demons (“spirit husbands” and “spirit wives”).
Gynecological problems, according to Dr. Immanuel, stem from the demonic sperm left after demon dream sex. “We call them all kinds of names—endometriosis, we call them molar pregnancies, we call them fibroids, we call them cysts, but most of them are evil deposits from the spirit husband,” she said.
In another sermon, Immanuel claimed that scientists are attempting to wipe out the world’s religious population. “They found a gene in somebody’s mind that makes you religious, so they can vaccinate against it,” she said.
Not all of her claims have a scientific foundation—she is a firm believer in the Illuminati. In a 2015 sermon, she described the Illuminati plan of “a witch” that used abortion, gay marriage, and children’s toys to destroy the world. In the same sermon, she said that doctors are using “all kinds of DNA, even alien DNA, to treat people,” reports The Daily Beast.
She also subscribes to the popular lizard-people theory. “There are people that are ruling this nation that are not even human,” she said.
In 2015, Immanuel posted a video with a “10 Point to Disciple American back to God.” Some of her points included reducing abortion through teaching abstinence and putting “prayer back in the fabric of America.” Her fifth point was to “Deal with the spirit of homosexuality,” which “terrorized” and “tormented” individuals.
Immanuel claimed that members of a Houston networking group for women physicians are attempting to take her medical license away. Although there is no proof this is true, a GoFundMe legal defense fund raised $1,526 in the hours after her speech, reports The Daily Beast. The campaign has since been taken down, as has her ministry’s website.
Immanuel has taken her fame in stride, and tweeted on July 27, “Mr President I’m in town and available. I will love to meet with you.”