California’s AB 2098 bill introduced in February would open the door to doctors losing their licenses due to COVID “misinformation” or “disinformation”; the bill “would define the dissemination or propagation of false information or information related to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or COVID-19 as unethical conduct. The bill will require the board to take into consideration specific factors before bringing any disciplinary action against a surgeon or physician. The bill also makes findings and declarations on this subject.”
The bill also states: “Major news outlets have reported that some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines are licensed healthcare professionals.” It explains:
(a) It's an unprofessional act for a doctor or surgeon to spread misinformation relating to COVID-19, including incorrect or misleading information about the nature and dangers of the virus as well as its treatment and prevention and safety, efficacy, and quality of COVID-19 vaccines.
(b) The board must take into consideration the following aspects before bringing disciplinary actions against licensees in accordance with this section:
(1) If the licensee violated the standard of care applicable.
(2) If the licensee had the intention to deceive or committed a malicious act.
(3) If the false information or disinformation proved to have led to individuals being denied opportunities for COVID-19 treatment or prevention, which was in no way justified by a person's medical history or the condition.
(4) If the information or misinformation was refuted by current scientific consensus to the extent that its publication amounted to gross negligence on the part of the licensee.
According to a law firm representing doctors in disciplinary proceedings in California, when a doctor is found guilty of an act of professional misconduct, “the minimum penalty is a stayed revocation with five years of license probation, with a maximum penalty of revocation.”
Stanford Medical School Professor Jay Bhattacharya, one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration that supports “Focused Protection” over lockdowns during COVID spikes, wrote on Bari Weiss's Substack website that the California bill mirrors how the communist government of China has treated physicians who merely sought to inform the public regarding the coronavirus.
The bill's language in itself is intentionally vague as to what “misinformation” is, which makes the bill even more harmful. Doctors who are worried about losing their livelihoods must adhere to the official line regarding COVID science and policy, even if the line is not supported by scientific evidence. In the past, high-ranking government scientists, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, claimed that the belief that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan research lab was just a conspiracy theory instead of a plausible theory to be debated. The track record of the government in deciphering COVID facts is not great.
It is clear that this bill is an infuriating interference with medical practice. The bill is full of false information and a demonstration of how an utter disaster it would be to let the legislature control medical practices. We're not in the Soviet Union, of course, and we are not ruled by Chinese Communists. California legislators, thankfully, don't possess the power currently exercised in Shanghai. But this bill follows the same dangerous principle that government-authorized science should permit no opposition from people with the credentials and knowledge to oppose it. The false consensus imposed through AB 2098 will cause doctors to self-censor themselves in order to avoid government sanctions. It will be their patients, most importantly, who will be the ones harmed by their silence.
Prof. Jay Bhattacharya has reported on the current coronavirus-related lockdowns in Shanghai, China–the country's “most free” city. They have led to reported food shortages, deaths of household pets, and other ill-treatment by China's communist government.
The AB 2098 bill is sponsored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), who tweeted a racist cartoon in support of Black Lives Matter in 2020 prior to George Floyd's murder. Low has recently co-sponsored legislation that makes it mandatory for toy stores to offer gender-neutral areas.