The pressure on doctors to misinformation about COVID-19 is increasing – archyde

They called COVID-19 a sham, promoting unproven treatments, and false claims about the vaccine, including the fact that the injections magnetized the human body.

The promoters of this disinformation were not unknown personalities operating in the darkest corners of the Internet. They are a small group of doctors who practice in communities across the United States.

Medical associations are now under increasing pressure to act. Health organizations have urged them to take a tougher stance on disciplining doctors, including revoking their licenses.

The campaign comes when the pandemic enters its second winter and the United States exceeds 800,000 deaths.

At least a dozen regulators in states like Oregon, Rhode Island, Maine, and Texas recently sanctioned some doctors, but many of the most prolific proponents of COVID-19 falsehoods still have impeccable medical approvals.

“Just because they are doctors is no different than when someone calls you on the phone and pretends to be the IRS to steal money from you,” said Brian Castrucci, President and CEO of the Beaumont Foundation. “It’s a scam and we’re protecting Americans from scams.”

Castrucci’s public health organization and No License For Disinformation, which combats false medical information, released a report Wednesday highlighting some of the cases. The study was published a week after the Federation of State Medical Boards published a survey that found 67% of boards had seen an increase in complaints about misinformation about COVID-19.

This number “is a sign of how widespread the problem has become,” said Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Association.

Dr. Kencee Graves, a doctor at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, said one of her patients chose not to get vaccinated after hearing false information from a doctor.

“She was deceived” by someone to trust, said Graves, who described the patient as a “very, very sweet old lady.”

The woman later admitted her mistake by saying, “I realize now that I was wrong, but I thought it was a person to listen to.”

There is widespread support for punishing these doctors, according to a national survey by the Beaumont Foundation. In a survey of 2,200 adults, 91% of respondents said that doctors do not have the right to intentionally spread disinformation.

But disciplining doctors isn’t easy for boards that were created long before social media. Your investigations are usually slow, take months or years, and much of the process is private.

Castrucci said it was time for boards to “evolve”, but it’s tough. This month, under pressure from Republican lawmakers and a new law imposing sweeping restrictions on the coronavirus, the Tennessee Medical Licensing Board removed a newly-passed disinformation policy from its website.

Even board members were harassed. In California, State Medical Association President Kristina Lawson found that an anti-vaccine group had molested her at the side of her residence and followed her to her office last week. He said people said they were among America’s frontline doctors, a group that criticizes COVID-19 vaccines and spreads misinformation.

The leader of the group, Dr. Simone Gold, arrested during the January 6th attack on the Capitol, tweeted this month to nearly 390,000 followers that “Nurses know that COVID patients are dying from government-subsidized hospital protocols (remdesivir, intubation) , not by COVID. “

Gold continues to have its medical certification in California even though its emergency medicine certification expired last year. The complaints and investigations are not public in the state, so it is not known if there are any against them.

In Idaho, the state Medical Association was so frustrated with pathologist Ryan Cole’s promotion of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin that it filed a complaint with the state Medical Association. Susie Keller, the association’s executive director, said she believed it was the first time the group had filed a complaint against one of their own. Many doctors, he said, were very upset.

The spread of falsehoods “has resulted in our doctors and nurses being verbally abused by patients” who believe the false information is true, Keller said.

Cole did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, but his work mailbox stated that he “cannot prescribe medication or issue exemptions for vaccines or masks”. The mailbox also instructs callers to enter the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance portal, a group promoting the use of ivermectin.

Under Idaho law, all medical examinations are conducted privately, unless a formal hearing takes place. Meanwhile, the Washington State Medical Association is investigating five complaints against Dr. Cole said spokeswoman Stephanie Mason.

Investigating misinformation is “very difficult because many of the actions are undocumented,” Mason wrote in an email. Many examples “happen quietly in an office”.

In Ohio, the state Medical Association automatically renewed Sherri Tenpenny’s license last September after the osteopath testified to the State House of Commons Health Committee months ago that CVID-19 vaccines cause magnetism.

Those who receive the vaccine “can put a clip on their forehead and it will stick,” Tenpenny said.

Jerica Stewart, a spokeswoman for the state medical committee, said the recent medical license renewal did not prevent the board from taking action.

“Making a false, fraudulent, misleading or misleading statement” is a sanction ground, Stewart said.

In Texas, Dr. Stella Immanuel in a video promoting hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug. “You don’t need masks. There is a cure ”.

In October, the Texas Medical Association ordered Immanuel to pay $ 500 and improve his consent process after finding out she had prescribed hydroxychloroquine to a COVID-19 patient without properly explaining the potential health consequences according to documents.

Immanuel didn’t respond to an AP message on Facebook and the doctor’s office he works at didn’t respond to an email.

Dr. Nick Sawyer, who heads No License For Disinformation, said the move against Immanuel was “a pat on the wrist” and accused the nation’s top medical bodies of “failing to do their job of protecting public health.”

He said he saw the damage in person as an ambulance in Sacramento, California. He claimed that a diabetic patient in her seventies insisted just that month that she did not have COVID-19 despite a positive diagnostic test, requested ivermectin immediately, and was discharged against the recommendation of doctors who once denied the drug.

“She said, ‘If I have COVID, you gave it to me,” she recalls.

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