California Doctors Warn Against COVID-19 Censorship Bill

Hospital staff at UCI Medical Center
Hospital staff members walk down a hall at UCI Medical Center in Orange., Calif., on Dec. 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
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Some medical professionals are vowing to fight a possible new California law that attempts to threaten their medical licenses for spreading “COVID-19 misinformation”—calling the effort “unconstitutional” and “illegal.”

California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2098 on Feb. 15, which would prevent licensed physicians and surgeons from spreading COVID-19 misinformation. If passed, the law would inject disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to care providers promoting alleged misinformation.

“The idea that they’re going to come after physicians that spread misinformation, without defining what misinformation is, [is] frightening,” Physician Dr. Jeff Barke told The Epoch Times.

Amid the pandemic, Barke was among the minority of health care professionals unafraid of challenging the science behind masks and vaccinations pushed by the California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention—urging for individual freedom of choice.

Barke, a private practice physician in Newport Beach, has continuously fought against COVID-19 mandates and has urged for California schools to reopen—saying children are statistically unlikely to die due to the virus.

While Barke is against the mandates—especially lingering COVID-19 vaccine mandates for kids—he reassures that he is not anti-vaccine.

As the threat of censorship lingers among some health professionals, Barke said he fears scientific studies are at risk—as those who have challenged vaccines and masks will be potentially forced into compliance.

“Science is not about consensus. It’s not about agreement. It’s about sharing and debating ideas,” Barke said. “That sharing and debating ideas has not been allowed during the COVID crisis.”

Mark McDonald, a private practice psychiatrist in Los Angeles, said he is unfazed by the proposed bill—stating he will continue to voice his opinion against COVID-19 mandates until he is chased out of the state.

“If they want to challenge me, then I’ll take them to court,” McDonald told The Epoch Times. “We’re going into year three of this nonsense and I think when you stand up and you don’t give an inch, in most cases, the bullies are actually cowards, and they will collapse.”

By Vanessa Serna

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