Date: November 02, 2020
“As I put my stethoscope on her chest, I noted suspicious marks. She was a Black teen runaway and a victim of sex trafficking. I parted her exam gown to get a better look, thinking it was a rash, only to make out a word of profanity across her chest. She had self-engraved the letters, possibly with a pencil. Unfortunately, many sex trafficking victims are homeless youth of color. They are not suburban children snatched up at pizza parlors, as conspiracy theorists would lead one to believe.
I try not to get caught up in conspiracy theories, like QAnon, but when it comes to the well-being of kids, I draw the line. President Trump’s recent endorsement of QAnon as a group fighting pedophilia was wrong. It was dangerous. The spread of these lies makes it harder for actual victims to get help.
Let’s start with the obvious: In my 20 years of practice as a child abuse pediatrician, none of my patients have disclosed their trafficker was a satanic ring of high-ranking Democrats or Wayfair, the home décor company, as purported by QAnon. Most victims are trafficked by someone they know — frequently, a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
QAnon has actually incited more violence than it has prevented. Earlier this year, Jessica Prim, a QAnon supporter, drove to NYC with a carload of knives, thinking she was going to free children from a Biden-Clinton trafficking ring allegedly run on a ship designated for COVID-19 relief. It’s no wonder that QAnon has been declared a domestic terror threat by the FBI.”