Marjorie Taylor Greene faces backlash for cancer tweets

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) answers questions in front of the House steps while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy holds a press conference November 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) answers questions in front of the House steps while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy holds a press conference November 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Photo credit Getty Images

When Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene compared cancer and COVID-19 in a series of tweets Saturday arguing against virus prevention protocols, others pointed out that cancer is not contagious.

“Every single year more than 600,000 people in the US die from cancer,” said one of the Republican politician’s tweets.

“Shutdowns, masking, and vaccines are not stopping covid, that is just government control,” said another.

Instead of vaccines, which are free and described the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective and safe, Greene recommended “working towards ending obesity, promote covid treatments that are proven to work.”

She claimed that ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies are “saving lives.”

While monoclonal antibodies can be effective if administered within 10 days of illness onset, according to the CDC and Food and Drug Administration, ivermectin – an anti-parasitic drug – had not been FDA approved to treat COVID-19. In fact, the agency has warned people not to take the drug to treat or prevent the virus.

Last week, Greene posted another thread of tweets about ivermectin. According to Newsweek, Greene is not vaccinated.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Soon after Greene posted the tweets mentioning cancer on Saturday, others on social media pointed out that school shutdowns, vaccines and masking are not put in place to prevent cancer because it is not transmissible.

“You cannot ‘catch’ cancer from someone else,” according to the American Cancer Society. “Cancer cells from someone with cancer are not able to live in the body of another healthy person. The immune system finds and destroys foreign cells, including cancer cells from another person.”

COVID-19, on the other hand, can be transferred from person to person via respiratory droplets. The recently identified omicron variant has mutations that could make it even more contagious than other variants of the virus.

Though cancer cannot be spread in the same way, there are some germs that can play a role in the development of certain types of cancer that can be spread from person to person, such as the human papillomavirus. There have been rare cases cancer cells from an organ donor have caused cancer to grow in the person who got the organ and mothers passing on cancer to their babies during pregnancy.

As of Saturday, close to 60 percent of the U.S. was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and nearly 71 percent had received at least one dose of a vaccine.