The vaccination selfie, showing a gloved hand holding a needle and a smiling face hidden behind a mask, looked like thousands of others posted to Instagram as the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out across the U.S.
But the comments it drew did not. Sell out puppet, sneered one user in response to Dr. Michael Greger’s photo. Burning your book tonight in my fire pit, said a second. Another simply wrote: 👎💔💩.
Greger is a prominent advocate for a plant-based diet, with a devoted following among people who believe food is the best medicine. But his statement on vaccines — that sometimes, medicine is the best medicine — put him directly at odds with many of his fans, and thrust him into the ugly, conspiratorial fight over vaccination roiling the online worlds of wellness and nutrition.