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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor 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 JohnsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel McConnell pushes vaccines, but GOP muddles his message Ron Johnson: 'I may not be the best candidate' for 2022 midterms MORE (R-Wis.) to testify about early outpatient treatments for the coronavirus. 

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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 SchumerMcConnell pushes vaccines, but GOP muddles his message Biden administration stokes frustration over Canada Schumer blasts McCarthy for picking people who 'supported the big lie' for Jan. 6 panel 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. 

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Orient was one of hundreds of doctors who penned a letter to President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? 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?”