A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) an extreme right Questionable source based on the promotion of quackery level pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, use of poor sources, a lack of transparency with funding as well as numerous false claims and failed fact checks.
Reasoning: Extreme Right, Poor Sourcing, Lack of Transparency, Pseudoscience, Conspiracy Theories, Numerous False Claims, Failed Fact Checks
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1944, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is an ultra-conservative political advocacy group that frequently publishes misinformation and pseudoscience. According to their about page “The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons – AAPS – is a non-partisan professional association of physicians in all types of practices and specialties across the country.” The current President is Melinda Woofter and the Executive director is Jane M. Orient.
AAPS also publish a medical journal since 1996, called the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS). This journal is not listed in academic literature databases such as MEDLINE/PubMed due to the publication of information that lacks scientific validity. Further, the U.S. National Library of Medicine declined repeated requests from AAPS to index the journal. Finally, JPandS was listed on Beall’s list of potential or probable predatory open-access journals, with Chemical and Engineering News describing the journal as a “purveyor of utter nonsense.”
Funded by / Ownership
AAPS is a 501(c)(6) organization that is funded through donations as well as membership fees. The website lacks transparency as they do not disclose funding information. According to Open Secrets they contribute 100% to Republican candidates and causes.
Analysis / Bias
In review, AAPS is a hyperpartisan conservative association that advocates for policy that aligns with conservative positions. Some of the issues they advocate are as follows:
- Opposition to Medicare and Medicaid
- Opposition to the Affordable Care Act
- Opposition to Abortion
- Opposition to Gun Control
- Human Influenced Climate Change Denial
AAPS has also advanced numerous questionable claims related to science and health such as these:
- Promotion of Autism-Vaccine connection
- HIV does not cause AIDS
- President Barack Obama was covertly hypnotizing people with his speeches, and that this might explain why Jews voted for him.
AAPS has also promoted that abortion increases breast cancer risk, which according to the American Cancer Society, the consensus of studies indicates that “induced abortion is not linked to an increase in breast cancer risk.” Further, AAPS is listed on Quackwatch as a source that is “untrustworthy and non-recommended.”
Editorially, all information promotes a far-right conservative agenda. When reporting on politics they routinely have a favorable view of the Trump administration Physicians Thank Trump, Say More Freedom Needed to Fight COVID-19, while advancing right-wing conspiracy theories directed at Democrats such as this: Is Hillary Clinton Medically Unfit to Serve?. Further, during the Coronavirus outbreak of 2020, they have frequently promoted misinformation such as the promotion of Hydroxychloroquine, which has been proven to be ineffective against Covid-19. They have also published an article titled Mask Facts that points to cherry-picked information demonstrating that masks are not effective in preventing the transmission of Covid-19. While a mask may not be 100% effective in stopping the transmission of Covid-19, or any virus for that matter, extensive research, over many years has demonstrated that masks significantly reduce the transmission of disease. In general, AAPS is a quackery level pseudoscience source that promotes conspiracy theories and medical misinformation to support a conservative agenda.
Failed Fact Checks
- Say “71 percent of doctors say Hillary’s health concerns are ‘serious’ and ‘could be disqualifying.’ “ – False
- Do 90 Percent of COVID-19 Patients Treated With Hydroxychloroquine Recover Successfully? – False
- ACA Hurts ‘Struggling Families’? – Misleading
- The FDA has ruled that homeopathic drugs are now illegal. – False
Overall, we rate the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) an extreme right Questionable source based on the promotion of quackery level pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, use of poor sources, a lack of transparency with funding as well as numerous false claims and failed fact checks. (D. Van Zandt 7/1/2020)