Romney: 'Nuts' to invite doctor who questioned coronavirus vaccine to Senate hearing

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyEx-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress Five takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner MORE (R-Utah) on Tuesday slammed the decision to invite a controversial doctor who has questioned vaccines and advocated for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 before a Senate panel. 

"I think it's nuts to bring that into the Senate," Romney said. 

Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, was invited by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and its Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (R-Wis.) to testify about early outpatient treatments for the coronavirus. 


Johnson defended the invitation in a statement to The Hill on Monday. 

“As Dr. [Peter] McCullough pointed out in our first hearing, there are four pillars in fighting a pandemic. Early treatment and vaccines are two of them," Johnson said. "I continue to support development of a safe and effective vaccine. Had others been as supportive of early treatments, thousands of lives could have been saved. Our hearing tomorrow will again focus on early treatments as an essential part of a COVID-19 solution.”

Congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (N.Y.) this week called Orient a "conspiracy theorist" who has peddled "myths and falsehoods about COVID vaccines." 

"[It's] downright dangerous and one of the last things Senate Republicans should be doing right now," Schumer said. 

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is a group that seeks to push back on government involvement in medicine. 


Orient was one of hundreds of doctors who penned a letter to President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE in the spring asking him to reopen the American economy amid the pandemic. 

In an interview with The New York Times this week, she again questioned the morality and safety of vaccines. 

“It seems to me reckless to be pushing people to take risks when you don’t know what the risks are,” she said. “People’s rights should be respected. Where is ‘my body, my choice’ when it comes to this?”