A private school in Florida is barring teachers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 from coming into contact with students, arguing against all evidence that the educators pose a health risk.
Critics have held up the move by the Centner Academy as a particularly glaring example of the dangers of misinformation as the US works to get its population inoculated.
In an email to parents on Monday, co-founder Leila Centner wrote that vaccinated people "may be transmitting something from their bodies" that could harm others, in particular the "reproductive systems, fertility, and normal growth and development in women and children."
Centner acknowledged that the assertion, which is false, "is new and is yet to be researched."
The school urged faculty and staff who have not yet been vaccinated to wait until the end of the school year to do so.
Faculty and staff, the letter said, should hold off on getting vaccinated "until there is further research available on whether this experimental drug is impacting unvaccinated individuals."
US health regulators and the World Health Organization have said that the three vaccines being used in the US on an emergency basis are safe and effective.
The Centner Academy was founded in 2018, has about 300 students and charges some $30,000 a year in tuition for middle school, according to its website.
Centner founded the school with her husband David Centner, a former tech and electronic highway tolling entrepreneur.
He and his wife donated heavily to Donald Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican Party, while giving smaller amounts to local Democrats, said The New York Times, which first reported the school's email to parents.
Aileen Marty, a physician and infectious disease specialist at Florida International University, described the email as "sad."
"It gives the illusion that she's basing it on facts," Marty told the Miami Herald.
"But there's not one citation, there's not one physician or scientist whose name is spelled out in there. There's no references. There's nothing. There is no scientific evidence provided."