A registered nurse helped the US on its seemingly inevitable descent into terminal conspiracy-induced intellectual collapse last week when she stood in front of the Ohio state legislature and attempted to convince lawmakers that COVID-19 vaccinations "magnetise" their recipients.
Joanna Overholt was appearing at a hearing about House Bill 248, a piece of Republican-sponsored legislation which would forbid schools and businesses in the Buckeye State from refusing service or admission to individuals on the basis of whether they have been vaccinated.
Overholt's bizarre testimony then progressed to a demonstration of her alleged newly gained magnetism, which involved her resting a key on her chest and then trying to stick metal items to her neck.
Although the key stuck to her chest, neither the key nor a hairpin stuck to her neck at all, to the obvious amusement and embarrassment of some of the bill's supporters standing behind her.
Having taken up the legislature's time performing an underwhelming parlour trick [5:59 in the video above] that failed to prove her point in any meaningful way, Overholt then defiantly fronted up to the assembled lawmakers and asked: "Any questions?"
Pin-tumbler lock keys of the sort used by Overholt in her demonstration are invariably not made from ferrous metals, meaning they would not be attracted to magnets under the conditions prevailing in most US statehouses even if she had been magnetised.
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Overholt's peculiar slapstick outburst came after Ohio osteopath and globally renowned anti-vaxx hairdryer Dr Sherri Tenpenny made similar claims earlier in the session, along with equally unfounded allegations that COVID vaccinations can alter patients' DNA and cause recipients to "interface" with 5G phone towers.
Dr Tenpenny alleged that COVID vaccines cause these effects due to the presence of "magnetic vaccine crystals", an entirely fanciful substance that only exists in discernible quantities in the imaginations of the osteopath and her supporters.
While both medical professionals made wild claims about vaccination-induced magnetism, neither seemed to notice or be troubled by the fact they both wore partially metal-framed glasses during their testimony.
House Bill 248 still has to clear votes in the Ohio State House and Senate. If it passes these hurdles – which it may do, due to the fact that the GOP have a majority in both houses of the state General Assembly – it will require the signature of State Governor Mike DeWine to become state law.
DeWine, also a Republican, has already signalled his opposition to the bill, partly due to the negative effect the testimony of Overholt and Dr Tenpenny has had on the image of his state and its legislative process. ®