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The Margin: Why a private clinic says it won’t test Candace Owens for COVID-19

Conservative pundit Candace Owens was trending on Twitter after she said that she was denied a COVID-19 test at a private facility in Aspen, Colo., because of her views on COVID vaccines.

Owens posted screenshots of an email on Wednesday that she says is from Suzanna Lee, co-founder of Aspen COVID Testing. The private testing facility opened late last year and offers rapid PCR tests with same-day results.

“I’ve just learned of this testing request and as the owner of this business am going to refuse this booking and deny service,” Lee wrote.

“We cannot support anyone who has proactively worked to make this pandemic worse by spreading misinformation, politicizing and DISCOURAGING the wearing of masks and actively dissuading people from receiving life-saving vaccinations,” it continued.

Lee added that the only other local testing option is a free public testing site by the town’s city hall, noting that they mail their tests to Texas for processing and therefore have inconsistent result times.

“My team and myself have worked overtime, to exhaustion, unpaid and underpaid this year, spending our own capital to ensure that our community remains protected,” Lee wrote. “It would be unfair to them and to the sacrifices we have all made this year to serve you.”

Owens responded that it was the “most hilarious e-mail I have ever received in my life.”

“Nothing screams ‘the virus isn’t political’ quite like Googling the names of people who book tests with you and determining on a case by case basis whether or not you will let them comply with your community COVID measures,” Owens wrote.

Owens has been accused of spreading misleading information throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been outspoken about not receiving one of the the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. She tweets often that she is proud to remain unvaccinated, and that no one in her family will “ever touch the COVID-19 vaccine.”

It should be noted that all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death. “No matter what study you look at, the protection against severe disease leading to hospitalization is always well within the 90%, regardless of the study, regardless of the country,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told NPR in July.

“Getting vaccinated is free. It’s easy and convenient. It’s safe and effective.  And it’s never, ever been more important,” Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Repsonse Coordinator, urged at a press briefing this week.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to  climb to their highest levels since winter as the delta variant continues its spread. And Fauci said recently that the U.S. could see another 100,000 deaths from COVID by Dec. 1, mostly from those who remain unvaccinated.

Read more: WHO warns of possible 236,000 new COVID-19 deaths in Europe by December, and Fauci says U.S. could see another 100,000

Joe Rogan, who has been known to spread misinformation around the vaccine on his podcast, was also trending on on Twitter this week after he announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

In an Instagram video posted on Wednesday, Rogan said that he started feeling sick after returning from a series of shows in Florida, which has recently seen a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.

What’s more, Rogan, a self-described “f—ing moron,” said he was taking a “kitchen sink” approach to treatment, including taking ivermectin — a drug most often used for deworming horses and livestock. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has urged people to stop taking this medication intended for animals, saying that the drug is “dangerous and can cause serious harm.”

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