Gavin Newsom and the Democrats who run California are doing their best to criminalize speech and points of view that run afoul of their narratives on issues like COVID-19.
The governor just signed a new bill that essentially declares certain medical perspectives regarding the virus ‘wrong-think’ and subject to punishment by the state.
According to reports on Sunday, the new law punishes doctors and surgeons who don’t echo the ‘accepted’ and ‘approved’ viewpoints regarding COVID for spreading “misinformation,” resulting in the potential loss of their medical license to practice in the state.
“Assembly Bill 2098 provides that the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19 by physicians and surgeons to a patient under their direct care constitutes unprofessional conduct,” Newsom said in a Friday statement after signing the bill.
Newsom specified that AB 2098 only applies to “discussions directly related to COVID-19 treatment within a direct physician-patient relationship.”
Translated: Doctor-patient conversations regarding abortion are sacrosanct; doctor-patient conversations about select medical conditions including COVID are subject to ‘approval’ by the left-wing speech police in California.
“The spread of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has weakened public confidence and placed lives at serious risk. Major news outlets have reported that some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines are licensed health care professionals,” says the text of the new law.
The text of the law also references the Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents state medical and osteopathic boards around the country.
“The Federation of State Medical Boards has released a statement warning that physicians who engage in the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk losing their medical license, and that physicians have a duty to provide their patients with accurate, science-based information,” the California legislation threatens.
“Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of physicians and surgeons by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California,” it adds.
The legislation itself states: “This bill would designate the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or ‘COVID-19,’ as unprofessional conduct.”
The Medical Board of California notes that the minimum punishment for spreading ‘COVID misinformation’ is five years probation, with the maximum punishment loss of medical licensure.
“It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” the bill reads.
There was no small amount of pushback to the legislation including from the medical community, which obviously made no difference to Newsom and the Democrat supermajority in the state.
In April, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya – an epidemiologist and professor of Health Policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine — wrote an op-ed speaking out against the bill, calling it dangerous.
“According to California Assembly Bill 2098, physicians who deviate from an authorized set of beliefs would do so at risk to their medical license,” Bhattacharya wrote. “The bill, written by Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat in Silicon Valley…is motivated by the idea that practicing doctors are spreading ‘misinformation’ about the risks of COVID, its treatment, and the COVID vaccine.
“The language of the bill itself is intentionally vague about what constitutes ‘misinformation,’ which makes it even more damaging,” he added. “Doctors, fearing loss of their livelihoods, will need to hew closely to the government line on COVID science and policy, even if that line does not track the scientific evidence.”
The epidemiologist then warned: “What is abundantly clear is that this bill represents a chilling interference with the practice of medicine. The bill itself is full of misinformation and a demonstration of what a disaster it would be to have the legislature dictate the practice of medicine.”
Some California lawmakers — notably, Republicans — pointed out that the legislation is a massive violation of the First Amendment’s speech protections.
GOP state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley wrote on Twitter, “On Friday Newsom took a sledgehammer to the First Amendment by signing the medical censorship bill. The courts will strike down AB 2098 in short order.”