Texas doctor Mary Bowden suspended for spreading COVID-19 misinformation and refusing to treat vaccinated patients

A doctor has been suspended from treating patients at a hospital in Houston for proliferation COVID-19 misinformation online and for refusing to treat patients who had been vaccinated, a hospital representative said.

Dr. Mary Bowden had recently joined the medical staff at Houston Methodist Hospital, a Houston Methodist Hospital representative told CBS News via email, and was suspended before she had ever admitted a patient to the hospital.

Bowden uses his social media accounts to express his personal and political views on the COVID-19 vaccine and the treatments, the representative said, adding that the statements are “harmful to society, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values ​​of the Houston Methodist.”

Bowden has used his Twitter account to share his opinions on COVID-19, primarily about the drug ivermectin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued health advice on ivermectin, which reiterates that it does not treat or prevent COVID-19. The drug is commonly used to treat parasites in humans and animals. The National Institutes of Health has determined that there are “insufficient data” to recommend the drug for COVID prevention and treatment, nor has the FDA approved it for such uses.

The hospital has treated more than 25,000 COVID-19 inpatients, the representative said. Staff are vaccinated to protect patients, and while Bowden told the hospital she was vaccinated, she sent an email to patients saying she would only treat the unvaccinated, the representative said.

“Despite what she has posted, the Houston Methodist never refuses and will never care for a patient based on vaccination status,” the spokeswoman said. “Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient to Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation that is not based on science.”

Three COVID-19 vaccines are available for adults in the United States – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone older than 5 years. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense security surveillance in U.S. history, and they are safe and effective, the CDC says.

Bowden is an ear, nose, throat and sleep medicine doctor at BreatheMed in Houston. She is also involved in a lawsuit with another hospital over the use of ivermectin. The family of Jason Jones is suing Texas Health Huguley Hospital to allow Bowden to administer ivermectin. Jones has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for over a month and the hospital says ivermectin would be medically inappropriate, according to the Forth Worth Star Telegram.

A lawsuit issued a ruling that would give Bowden temporary privileges at the hospital, and the hospital has appealed to block it. The case has now been put on hold, the newspaper informs. CBS News has contacted Texas Health Huguley Hospital for a comment and is awaiting a response.

On her practice website, Bowden wrote earlier this month that she “shifts my practice focus to treating the unvaccinated.”

“To accommodate the unvaccinated who cannot find care, I will not accept new patients with routine ENT problems who have been vaccinated,” she said, adding that she will continue to care for established patients and will not reject someone with life-threatening illness, based on their vaccination status. She also wrote that she is not anti-vaccination.

In an interview with the iHeart Radio show “Houston’s Morning News” on Monday, she said she has been practicing since 2003.

Bowden told the show that she has “loose” ties to the Houston Methodist and is not employed, but she had privileges there if one of her patients were to be admitted.

In the radio program, she said she would no longer send her patients to the Methodist Emergency Room.

The doctor also said she has received a complaint from the Texas Medical Board and she is sure she will see “many complaints” from them about her COVID-19 treatment.

In a statement to CBS News, Bowden said she first heard about her suspension when the Houston Chronicle reached out to her to confirm it. “No one from Methodist bothered to pick up the phone and talk to me about their concerns,” she said, adding that she received an email about the suspension from a hospital staff member she had never met before. “I have been very disappointed with how Methodist has handled this.” CBS News has contacted the Houston Methodist for a comment.

“I do not consider myself dangerous and I sent my letter of resignation to them this morning,” Bowden told CBS News. “I have been overwhelmed by the positive support I have received from my patients and from people around the world who thank me for standing up for my convictions. This will not change my practice and I will continue to treat COVID early and aggressively. “

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