California is set to adopt medical misinformation bill targeting alternative COVID-19 treatment. If AB 2098 passes, it will create a precedent that California will be the testing ground for new legislation.
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Assembly Bill 2098, also known as the “medical misinformation bill,” is on its way to becoming law in California. If approved, the proposed law would make it illegal for doctors to freely give medical advise or treat their patients if their actions contradict the official state perspective.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the California Medical Board released a statement (pdf) in April 2020 about the “improper prescribing of medications related to treatment of Novel Coronavirus,” such as hydroxychloroquine, alerting that “inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.”
“Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license,” the Federation of State Medical Boards said on June 29, 2021.
Dr. Anthony Fauci stated in August 2021 that there is no proof that ivermectin works and that it is more likely to be harmful. The Food and Drug Administration published a warning titled “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19” in December 2021. The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials,” according to an updated report released on April 29, 2022.
If AB 2098 passes, physicians who prescribe medications that have not been authorized by the state or who claim that unapproved drugs are helpful will have their licenses withdrawn and will face harsh penalties and disciplinary measures from the Medical Board of California.
In brief, AB 2098 would label the spread of information about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which produces “COVID-19,” that has not been certified by the state as “misinformation” or “disinformation,” which would be considered unprofessional conduct.
Dr. Syed Haider, a physician, has previously been reported to four state medical boards by pharmacists who “don’t like filling ivermectin prescriptions,” according to him. He also had to hire an attorney to maintain his medical license.
Since December 2020, when he realized that the US had outsourced almost every prescription medication production to unwelcoming countries like China, Haider has concentrated his online effort mygotodoc.com on the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus, by supplying easy web access to off-label prescriptions like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and protocols for COVID, long COVID, and vaccine injuries.
“There was such a huge demand for it, it just took over my life,” Haider, who used to be “a hospital doctor,” told The Epoch Times. “Then, the pandemic hit.”
“There was such a huge demand for it, it just took over my life,” Haider, who used to be “a hospital doctor,” told the media. “Then, the pandemic hit.”
Haider caught Covid while working in a hospital in early February 2020. His career as a temporary traveling physician across a variety of medical practices and institutions was coming to an end, and he expected plenty of work with the pandemic breakout. Despite having sought for a post at a New York hospital, Haider had heard about online prescribing and began working with an undisclosed online telemedicine firm in the United States.
“Once I heard about ivermectin and off-label prescribing, people would show up on the online website looking for help with COVID and I would try to tell them about off-label medications,” Haider recalled. “And they would just give me a blank stare. Aside from hydroxychloroquine, they had never heard about drugs like ivermectin. They thought I was crazy. I think the thought was, ‘If this stuff works, why haven’t I heard about it on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC?”
Dr. Pierre Kory’s (pdf) statement before Sen. Ron Johnson and the Homeland Security Committee Meeting on Dec. 8, 2020, concerning initial treatment of COVID-19, “not only as an individual physician,” but also on behest of his non-profit organization, the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, changed some things for Haider.
“Although we, like many, are extremely encouraged by the apparent successes in developing effective vaccines,” Kory said, “we also are dismayed at the near complete absence of guidance and research on effective early, at-home, or preventative treatment options apart from vaccines—a reality we find unconscionable.”
It was “with great pride as well as significant optimism” that Kory noted that his team, “led by Professor Paul E. Marik,” had “developed a highly effective protocol for preventing and early treatment of COVID-19,” and that “emerging publications” had supplied “conclusive data on the profound efficacy of the anti-parasite, anti-viral drug, anti-inflammatory agent called ivermectin in all stages of the disease.”
“It was real clear in his face and in his demeanor that he was really upset and very sincere and it went viral on the internet,” Haider recalled. “Then, people started hearing from family and friends that they had used ivermectin and it made a difference for them, and people went online to find doctors who would prescribe it. At that point, things got very busy and I had to basically start my own website and prescribing it online to patients. Over the next year and a half, things really ramped up. More and more people had begun hearing about ivermectin, so more and more people were looking for it.”
According to the website, “mygotodoc makes it easy to safeguard you and your family, serving three important needs the wider medical community tends to ignore: (1) emergency antibiotics to have on hand in case disaster strikes and prescription drugs are unavailable, (2) 1-month backup supplies of your regular medication, and (3) safe off-label COVID protocols designed for prevention and treatment.”
“Myself and other doctors from all over the world have had incredible results with off-label protocols including ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and a number of other protocols,” Haider explained. “What you hear over and over again is about the successful treatment of 5,000, 7,000, or 10,000 patients and maybe one death. They are shocking numbers compared to what you’re hearing with conventional treatments the CDC or FDA are recommending and what hospitals and other doctors are doing that are not using off-label protocols.”
Haider has directly treated over 50,000 COVID-related patients, the vast majority of whom are elderly. He claims that there have been no fatalities and only five hospitalizations among his patients. Despite his success, California’s planned Bill AB 2098 would force the state to intervene and prosecute doctors who use similar tactics to provide autonomous care.
“Like a lot of other doctors around the world, I’ve just been trying to raise awareness of this,” Haider explained. “But, like a lot of doctors in America, I’ve gotten letters from the American Medical Association, the Federal State Medical Board warning me that my license is at risk if I speak out about vaccines or if I spread misinformation or if I prescribe ivermectin. I’ve had pushback from pharmacists, insurance companies, from medical boards in multiple states, that have sent me complaints and asked me to explain why I am conducting experimental trials on patients and why I am prescribing ivermectin.”
Haider had served as a trained hospital physician in internal medicine for almost ten years prior to all this and had “never had a single complaint from anyone on anything” throughout that time.
“So, it was a very strange experience over the past couple of years to see what has happened to medical providers, including pharmacists,” Haider explained. “Pharmacists were pushing back at us because they were getting letters from their pharmacist boards warning them not to dispense it.”
Dissenting opinions, according to Haider, have been silenced and repressed since the beginning of the pandemic, and they are now facing the revocation of their medical licenses. As a result, Haider has had to hire an attorney.
“It’s very stressful to have to reply to a medical board,” he explained, adding that it’s a “very opaque process.”
“You don’t know who is going to see it or review it. You don’t know whether or not they’re friendly to what you are doing or if they disagree with what you are doing, and it’s not like a court of law where you can bring in witnesses in your defense. They just make a decision and sometimes they don’t even explain to you the reason behind it.”
Worse, Haider said it felt like they were attempting to persuade doctors like him to “get tripped up and say the wrong things” in order to implicate themselves.
“One of the medical boards accused me of conducting medical experimental trials,” he said. “It’s not like they don’t know I’m prescribing off-label. We do off-label prescribing all the time in medicine. About 40 percent of prescribing is off-label and it doesn’t fall under the classification of ‘experiment.’ It’s not an unauthorized experimental medical trial. But they use that wording to try to get me to defend myself against that attack. If I had foolishly replied to them and tried to defend myself against their terminology, I would have incriminated myself because I can’t run an experiment without having a review board, authorization, and specific consent forms for experimental drug trials.”
“Everyone seems to forget that, during the past six months, they had the same problems with prescribing hydroxychloroquine,” Haider said of the current push to demonize ivermectin.
“I can send a hydroxychloroquine prescription to any pharmacist and they’ll fill it without question,” he said. “But now, they won’t fill ivermectin. It almost seems political rather than medical. It’s not scientific. There’s something else going on and it’s very strange. We can now prescribe things through pharmacies they used to vilify. But because our entire medical establishment has now decided that ivermectin must be killed, pharmacists now have a problem with ivermectin.”
The goal of the “medical misinformation bill” currently before the California Legislature, according to Haider, is to restrict physicians from discussing things that the state considers to be false information. “That begs the question of who decides what is the truth?” he remarked.
“In any scientific field or endeavor, there is no absolute truth,” he explained, asserting that “Dr. Fauci is not science, like he claims to be.”
“He does not have the last word on what scientific truth is. We’re always getting closer to the truth, but we have never arrived at a final truth in medicine. So, there always has to be room for debate. Doctors have to be able to take multiple different sides of an argument. So physicians have to be able to hash things out among themselves and to prescribe off-label. You can’t single out one disease and say, ‘This is off limits for the way we’ve conducted medicine for the past 100 years.’ Patients should be able to consult with their physician, discuss treatments and risks, and make decisions without the interference of the government.
“In nearly every hospital and clinic in the United States right now, it’s considered to be some form of misinformation or disinformation to say anything other than the vaccines are safe and effective,” Haider noted. “To say there are any risks associated with the vaccines is claimed to be misinformation or disinformation, and the working definition of misinformation or disinformation seems to be anything that would prevent someone from submitting to or doubting the FDA and CDC guidelines and recommendations.”
This bill would effect all California doctors, including Haider.
If AB 2098 passes, any doctor who prescribes ivermectin—even at the request of a patient—risks losing their medical license in California.
“Once you lose your license in one state and you have licenses to practice in other states, you have to report that you lost your license in California to every other state you are licensed in, and then every medical board will start asking questions like, ‘Why did you lose your license in California.’ Once the snowball starts rolling, depending on what the medical board thinks about the reasoning behind the loss of your license in California, you can lose all of your licenses.”
Following the outbreak, Haider remarked that the nation has been severely harmed by unusual supply line delays. Almost all pharmaceuticals, including and particularly antibiotics, are no longer manufactured in the United States. In reality, China has a 97 percent share of the antibiotics market in the United States. With rampant inflation, food shortages, and skyrocketing gas prices, it is easy to envisage an America where drugstore shelves are barren, or where supply is restricted and prices are skyrocketing.
If AB 2098 passes, it will create a precedent that California will be the testing ground for new legislation, not just in medical, but in every field, according to Haider.
“Once you make this inroad in violation of physician autonomy on how to treat COVID for their patients, that could just be the beginning,” Haider warned. “What about after that? Do you go after a doctor’s ability to prescribe off-label for anything? Do we have to be restricted to what has been FDA approved for any indication? What happens when we don’t have an on-label drug for the treatment of an indication? What then? How do we treat our patients then?”
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