Texas doctor's privileges suspended for 'spreading dangerous misinformation' about COVID-19

A Houston-based doctor has had her privileges suspended from her job for “spreading dangerous misinformation” about COVID-19. 

Houston Methodist Hospital spokesperson Patti Muck confirmed to The Washington Post on Monday that Mary Bowden's privileges were suspended.

Bowden, an ear and throat doctor at the hospital, has tweeted multiple times on her personal account that “vaccine mandates are wrong.”

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“The physician’s privileges at Houston Methodist have been suspended,” Muck said in an email to the Post. 

Bowden also used her account to promote the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. 

“Ivermectin might not be as deadly as everyone said it was," Bowden wrote in a tweet on Nov. 10. “Speak up!” 

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Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended ivermectin, a drug used to kill parasites in animals and humans, as an actual COVID-19 treatment. 

Muck also said the hospital granted Bowden her doctor privileges last year, according to the Post. 

She's just the latest medical professional to be suspended for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and ivermectin, a drug that former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE and celebrity podcaster Joe Rogan have both highlighted. 

Bowden attorney Steve Mitby said in an email to the Post that his client has treated more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients, reassuring them that she isn’t “anti-vaccine.”

“Like many Americans, Dr. Bowden believes that people should have a choice and believes that all people, regardless of vaccine status, should have access to the same high quality health care,” Mitby said.

Bowden's attorney Steve Mitby said in an email to The Hill that his client has treated more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients, reassuring them that she isn’t “anti-vaccine.”

"Dr. Bowden also is not anti-vaccine as she has been falsely portrayed," Mitby said in the email. "While Dr. Bowden has expressed her opposition to vaccine mandates, she recognizes the importance of vaccination along with early treatment in responding to this global health crisis. She just doesn’t believe that anyone should be forced to take a vaccine." 

"Dr. Bowden has the utmost respect for Houston Methodist and is proud of the work she has done along with her colleagues at Houston Methodist," Mitby continued. 

In a statement to The Hill, Houston Methodist Hospital said Bowden's social media remarks "do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist," adding it "will never deny care to a patient based on vaccination status."

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"Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science," HDH said in their statement.

"Furthermore, Dr. Bowden has told Houston Methodist that she is vaccinated, as required of all physicians who practice at Houston Methodist."

Updated Nov. 16 at 5:55 p.m.