California’s legislature passed a bill in August that would allow the state’s medical board to punish doctors who spread so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19. Governor Newsom has until Friday to sign it into law. Will he go to war against doctors?
Newsom’s delay in signing the bill reflects the gravity of his decision. The governor knows that what happens in California usually doesn’t stay in California. If he signs this bill into law, other states will follow, and he’ll be tied to the outcome. Pundits across the aisle worry that the outcome could be ugly. With Newsom on the shortlist of Democratic White House hopefuls in 2024, this could be a profoundly consequential decision for his political career.
Writing in Fox News, Dr. Pierre Kory and Senator Ron Johnson explain what’s at stake.
The bill in question, AB 2098, would allow the Medical Board of California to revoke a doctor’s license to practice medicine in the state for expressing an opinion “contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.” The problem is that “contemporary scientific consensus” has fluctuated wildly over the past two years.

One year ago, President Biden declared COVID as, “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Earlier that summer, he had stated, “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.” Now the bar has been lowered to, “preventing severe illness.”
Who can forget the whiplash on masks? In the early days, we were told to “STOP BUYING MASKS!” because “they are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching Coronavirus.” On day one of his presidency, Biden ordered a mask mandate for federal workers and on federal land. Last summer, Biden said “if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t wear a mask,” before reversing course months later and urging Americans to mask up.

You might also recall that in July 2020, Dr. Fauci disagreed with medical professionals that the predominant form of transmission was via airborne spread. During that same month, FLCCC had conclusively, “determined that a major mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is via aerosol droplets,” and published our findings publicly. In fact, so did a coalition of 239 scientists in an open letter urging the World Health Organization to take note, advice that was sadly ignored by the Centers for Disease Control for another year and the WHO for even longer. Today, both agencies acknowledge ours was the correct position. As Dr. Kory and Senator Johnson note:
Medical knowledge never stops evolving. It is constantly shaped by emerging data and trends. No single doctor – or politician – has a monopoly on good ideas. Society should be encouraging doctors to come forward with promising new ideas, not threatening to strip their livelihood.
In 1983, Senator Johnson’s infant daughter had corrective surgery at the age of eight months for a serious congenital heart defect. Her life was saved because doctors had the ability to improve open-heart surgical techniques and procedures by practicing medicine. The California law would severely limit future medical advancements like this.

In a surprising development, even avowed Democrats like former president of Planned Parenthood, Leana S. Wen, are urging Newsom to ditch the bill. She correctly assessed in a recent Washington Post column that the “legislation will have a chilling effect on medical practice, with widespread repercussions that could paradoxically worsen patient care.”

Her plea is a clear signal from the Democratic party to Newsom: enacting this law would galvanize conservative voters heading into pivotal midterm elections — don’t do it. Let’s see if he gets the message.

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