Doctor who promoted hydroxychloroquine pleads guilty to entering US Capitol on Jan. 6
A doctor who promoted the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 on Thursday pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.
Simone Gold, 56, of Beverly Hills, Calif., was indicted on five counts, but four charges were dropped after she pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, according to the plea agreement with Department of Justice federal prosecutors.
Gold, the founder of the conspiratorial medical group America’s Frontline Doctors, faces up to six months in prison and a $9,500 fine, according to the agreement.
With her communication director, John Strand, Gold traveled from Florida to Washington, D.C., the day before a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to overturn the certification of the 2020 election, which they claimed was stolen.
On Jan. 5, 2021, Gold gave a speech in support of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and against COVID-19 lockdowns, the Justice Department said in a complaint.
Hydroxychloroquine is considered an unproven medicine to treat COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration, but it was promoted by some conservatives, including former President Trump.
The next day, Gold breached the Capitol, along with Strand, via the East Rotunda doors, close to where she witnessed a police officer being assaulted. The doctor then gave a speech in Statuary Hall where she railed against COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates, the Justice Department said.
A week later, Gold told The Washington Post she regretted her participation in the insurrection but claimed she was not involved with rioting.
“I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot,” she told the outlet.
The doctor was arrested on Jan. 18, 2021.
More than 750 defendants have been arrested in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., in connection to the riot.