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Texas mother who allegedly drove with COVID-positive son in trunk charged with child endangerment

A mother who allegedly drove to a COVID-19 testing site with her COVID-positive son locked in the trunk of her car was charged with child endangerment, CNN reported Monday.

Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old public school teacher, was arrested and charged after her 13-year-old son was reportedly found in the trunk of her car as she drove up to a testing site on Jan. 3.

According to the criminal complaint, Bevin Gordon, a health services official at the scene, called the police after "the defendant confirmed that her son … was in the trunk of the car due (to) the child having been tested positive for COVID" and that said she put him in the trunk "to prevent her from getting exposed to possible COVID while driving."

Beam was released from jail Sunday on a $1,500 bond and has been placed on administrative leave by her school district.

Some Twitter users cited this story as proof that "mass formation psychosis" exists. Fact checkers at The Associated Press defined the "mass formation psychosis" as "an unfounded theory spreading online that … millions of people have been 'hypnotized' into believing mainstream ideas to combat COVID-19."

The term gained popularity after Dr. Robert Malone, an mRNA researcher and COVID vaccine skeptic, used it during a Dec. 31 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. Malone cited Belgian psychology professor Mattias Desmet as the formulator of the theory.