The very controversial AB 2098 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), to punish physicians and surgeons for “unprofessional conduct” for advocating for the potential benefits of early treatment with off-label drugs, or those who dare to ask questions about COVID vaccine safety, will be heard in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee Monday afternoon.
This is the bill of which in April, Assembly Business & Professions Committee Chairman, Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) dropped the “F” bomb after becoming outwardly upset at members of the public who showed up to testify in opposition to the bill.
“Increasingly legislative committee chairpersons are showing their frustration with members of the public who call in to the hearings in support or opposition to whatever bill is being heard,” the Globe explained. “Yet this is the system the majority party demanded during the COVID lockdowns, partial re-openings, and continues to insist upon.”
“Previously before COVID, even hearings for very popular or controversial bills would attract a large gathering of members of the public inside the hearing room, as well as from the Capitol community of lobbyists and industry representatives, but the public comment time usually went smoothly and quickly, managed in person by Sergeants and the Committee chairman/woman.”
That is the case with AB 2098.
The controversy is significant as the bill would undermine civil liberties, free speech, will stifle scientific debate, in addition to threatening physicians with a 1984-style medical board of speech overlords. AB 2098 passes will not only hinder the confidential relationship between doctor and patient, it will stifle effective, safe, new treatments and do far more harm than good.
Under AB 2098, doctors would be subject to disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California if they do not adhere to the approved COVID treatment consensus.
Physicians would be punished simply for doing what they believe is best for their patients, and sharing legitimate information necessary for their patient to make a true risk/benefit analysis but those who want everyone vaccinated no matter what would consider to be “misinformation.”
PERK, Protection of Educational Rights of Kids, explains:
“The Medical Board will base their consideration on “applicable standard of care” and “contemporary scientific consensus” neither of which currently exist for COVID-19. • (b) Prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a licensee under this section, the board shall consider both whether the licensee departed from the applicable standard of care and whether the misinformation or disinformation resulted in harm to patient health. • This will create a witch hunt for doctors and will drive more experienced doctors out of CA. • This bill goes after our trusted doctors and surgeons who understand that the science is never settled and continue to seek and share the best treatment practices for their patients.”
The bill is aimed at physicians who chose to prescribe therapeutics during COVID, rather only offering vaccines.
This is what Assemblyman Low said about his bill:
“This bill declares that disinformation and promotion of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation to the public as unprofessional conduct for licensed physicians and surgeons. Under this law, California Medical Boards will be given the tools necessary to bring discipline actions against a licensee. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore must be held to account. The spreading of misinformation, of inaccurate COVID-19 information, contradicts that responsibility and threatens to further erode the public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.”
“I introduced Senate Bill 1018 to address the amplification of misinformation and disinformation on online platforms by requiring platforms to publicly disclose how their algorithms work and to share data for research purposes. Ultimately, we shouldn’t have to wait for whistleblowers, like the Facebook whistleblower, to understand how platforms have been negatively influencing our lives, including our ability to stop this pandemic that has not only killed nearly 1 million Americans, but has disabled so many people as well. Transparency will allow the public to make informed decisions, and lawmakers and researchers need this necessary information so we can hold online platforms accountable and also set standards.”
AB 2098 was amended on April 20, 2022 to clarify “misinformation,” and “disinformation.”
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) has an update on all of the Vaccine Working Group bills – which he calls “the most radical, anti-scientific, and unconstitutional anywhere in the country” – three bills are dead, but 5 are still being heard in legislative committees.
PERK and the Children’s Health Defense oppose both of these bills, and provide more details of AB 2098, as well as providing ways to contact your lawmakers and/or attend the hearing remotely or in person.
The Globe will follow up on today’s hearing.
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