Pharmacy manager reports receiving death threats over the phone after taking a hard-line stance against anti-vaxxers
Umesh Chaudhury, co-owner and pharmacy manager at Youngsville Pharmacy in North Carolina, US, has reportedly spent the past several weeks butting heads with customers and COVID-19 vaccine-resistant users on Facebook.
“The idea behind engaging on Facebook is just about getting the word out,” Dr Chaudhury told ABC 11.
“Not just, ‘hey we’re doing vaccines,’ but getting the word out with the scientific information.”
When anti-vaccine users pushed back, the pharmacy reportedly responded, “Conspiracy theorists are not welcome at Youngsville pharmacy.”
We’re talking to the local pharmacist going to toe-to-toe with vaccine-resistant customers on social media. Umesh Chaudhury says he’s simply promoting science. Some critics say his confrontational approach is unprofessional and may be doing more harm than good. AT 11 • #abc11 pic.twitter.com/ucEuRlEZ8B
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 28, 2021
ABC 11 said Dr Chaudhury told one customer they were banned from the store because they were anti-vaccine.
The outlet asked him if he was fearful that being combative or confrontational could defeat his purpose or turn more people off to his message than attract them to it.
“This was a conscious decision,” he said.
“The way we have been operating has hurt our business tremendously. But we are proud! I would rather take a pay cut. I would rather take less money and keep our people protected.”
One local Facebook user told ABC 11 that they’ve reported Dr Chaudhury to the state pharmacy board. The person believes the pharmacist crossed the line by telling people they’re not welcome to come for other medicines.