The nonpartisan group Californians for Good Governance reported Monday night that the California Senate voted for an Orwellian bill that would allow the state medical board to designate doctors who don’t spout the party line on COVID as “unprofessional.” This would presumably lead to these docs losing their licenses for sharing their opinions. The bill now moves on to the House and then, after it’s been rubber-stamped by members, to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.
The bill, AB 2098, was introduced by Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low in February and reads like a textbook on censorship:
Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that unvaccinated individuals are at a risk of dying from COVID-19 that is 11 times greater than those who are fully vaccinated.
This is a highly questionable statistic, as there are many studies that come to different conclusions.
The CDC has also just admitted that it botched the COVID response and is now in need of re-organization. But we’re supposed to automatically trust every word that comes of Director Rochelle Walensky’s mouth?
The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines have been confirmed through evaluation by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the vaccines continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring by the CDC.
There are many, many doctors and researchers who do not have 100 percent faith in either the safety or efficacy of the mRNA shots, and many countries forbid their use in children. Meanwhile, new Omicron-specific boosters are expected to be approved this week—despite never having been tested on humans. But no one will be allowed to discuss or debate that if Newsom signs this bill into law. The bill also claims:
The spread of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has weakened public confidence and placed lives at serious risk.
Many arguments that COVID vaccine skeptics made have turned out to be correct. One of those skeptics was Los Angeles’ own Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, who admitted that marketing shots that “don’t work so great” was complicated. I bet.
Remember the authorities told us the vaccines would stop you from getting COVID? Are we supposed to blindly follow what they say despite their terrible track record?
The bill continues:
The Federation of State Medical Boards has released a statement warning that physicians who engage in the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk losing their medical license, and that physicians have a duty to provide their patients with accurate, science-based information.
So the state medical board will decide what doctors can and can’t say? “The board is made up of one half doctors and one half attorneys,” Senator Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) said in June. “The attorneys are no more qualified than I am.” And what exactly is misinformation? The bill provides us with a definition:
“Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensusto an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee. contrary to the standard of care.
The original bill contained the crossed-out words, which were amended to add the phrase “contrary to the standard of care.” Journalist Katy Grimes wrote in the California Globe about the “chilling” definition before that amendment had been adopted, but her words still ring true:
Many medical professionals have called this definition “medical tyranny.” Imagine if cancer was treated the same by this Legislature. Is there “contemporary scientific consensus” on treatments, and are physicians threatened with the loss of their licenses if they try new treatments or medications for cancer patients?
This bill will certainly face many legal challenges; in fact, the educational nonprofit organization Physicians for Informed Consent has already filed a First Amendment free speech lawsuit against the California Medical Board. Their lawsuit states:
AB 2098 and the Board’s position re Covid misinformation is anti-doctor, anti-public health, anti-science, and anti-free speech, which is why PIC is taking a stand for the constitutional rights of its members.
Let’s hope they win–because this terrible bill is an assault on doctors and free speech. It is censorship pure and simple, and it doesn’t belong in this country or in the practice of medicine.