Regulators Move Against Two ‘Misinformation’ Doctors

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Two doctors accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are facing challenges from state and national medical organizations.

Peter McCullough, MD, and Sherri Tenpenny, DO, are facing scrutiny from a specialty board and a state medical board, respectively.

McCullough, who is still facing a lawsuit for allegedly using his former Baylor affiliation while conducting “dozens” of media appearances to share his contentious views on COVID-19 vaccines, told Steve Kirsch that his board certifications in internal medicine and cardiology were revoked last week by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Kirsch — who runs the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation and who has criticized the COVID vaccines — reported in his Substack newsletter that McCullough had been “stripped” of those certifications as part of an ongoing effort to silence McCullough for his views on COVID-19 vaccines.

News of the sanction spread from there. On Twitter, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) shared the alleged disciplinary action against the doctor with his nearly 400,000 followers.

“Hearing Dr. Peter McCullough has been stripped of his medical certifications. On what basis did this occur? He has dedicated his life to saving others. This is outrageous and must be reversed,” Johnson wrote in his tweet.

ABIM’s website still lists McCullough as certified in both specialties. ABIM confirmed to MedPage Today that the information is up to date, and McCullough confirmed to MedPage Today that his status on ABIM’s website is correct, stating that he is “fully board certified” in both specialties as listed.

“There is no dispute that my clinical care in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases is top-notch and I am a leading academic physician in both fields,” McCullough told MedPage Today in an email. “I am concerned that the ABIM is attempting medical censorship of my cited statements made in Senate testimony and national TV interviews and using intimidation tactics including threatening unprecedented reprisal.”

McCullough did not elaborate on how ABIM was attempting to censor him, and he did not clarify the discrepancy in Kirsch’s report and Johnson’s tweet suggesting he lost his credentials.

However, it appears the process to revoke McCullough’s credentials has been put in motion.

A closer look at ABIM’s disciplinary sanctions policy revealed that the process for revoking a physician’s certification can take months, and a physician is allowed to retain their board certification until the disciplinary recommendations made by its Credentials and Certification Committee (CCC) are made final.

Before any sanctions can be made final, the committee must notify a physician of any recommended disciplinary sanctions against them in writing and allow them time to file an appeal.

If a physician declines to appeal the decision, the committee’s recommended sanctions are adopted by ABIM, according to the website.

McCullough confirmed to MedPage Today that he’s appealing the ABIM committee recommendation, and has until November 18 to do so.

As for Tenpenny, she was revealed to be under investigation by Ohio’s medical board, according to a board citation filed against her on September 14.

The board issued the citation for “failure to cooperate in an investigation conducted by the board,” according to a spokesperson for the medical board. Tenpenny failed to comply with a “subpoena or order issued by the board” or “to answer truthfully a question presented by the board in an investigative interview, an investigative conference, at a deposition, or in written interrogatories,” the spokesperson said.

Tenpenny has requested an administrative hearing that has been scheduled for April 7, 2023, the spokesperson added.

In total, the medical board’s citation listed four violations related to the investigation. The first occurred on July 14, 2021, when a board investigator attempted to interview Tenpenny at her office. The investigator reportedly attempted to reach Tenpenny for a week without success.

The second and third incidents — occurring between September and November 2021 — involved formal questionnaires related to the investigation that were sent to Tenpenny, but she allegedly failed to respond to those inquiries.

The fourth incident occurred last summer when she allegedly failed to appear for questioning related to the board’s investigation.

Tenpenny once told lawmakers that COVID-19 vaccines could magnetize people, according to the Washington Post. MedPage Today previously reported that Tenpenny and several other doctors accused of promoting COVID-19 misinformation had not been sanctioned for their role in spreading those lies.

  • author['full_name']

    Michael DePeau-Wilson is a reporter on MedPage Today’s enterprise & investigative team. He covers psychiatry, long covid, and infectious diseases, among other relevant U.S. clinical news. Follow

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