Medical Board Moves to Strip Dr. Peter McCullough of Certifications

A medical board has moved to strip top cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough of his certifications in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, claiming that he provided misleading medical information to the public about COVID-19 vaccines.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) informed McCullough of the action in a recent letter.

The board stated that McCullough’s statements questioning COVID-19 vaccination for healthy people younger than the age of 50 and pointing out that Americans have died after getting a COVID-19 vaccine triggered a review, which led to a recommendation that McCullough’s board certifications be revoked.

The ABIM’s Credentials and Certification Committee found that McCullough had “provided false or inaccurate medical information to the public,” the letter states.

“By casting doubt on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines with such seemingly authoritative statements, made in various official forums and widely reported in various media, your statements pose serious concerns for patient safety,” it reads. “Moreover, they are inimical to the ethics and professionalism standards for board certification.”

McCullough was given until Nov. 18 to appeal.

If he appeals, the matter will be considered by a panel designated by the ABIM’s Board of Directors and at least one hearing would be held. The panel could accept the recommendation, rescind it, or impose an alternative punishment.

McCullough told The Epoch Times in an email that he’ll appeal.

Allegations

In a May notice of potential disciplinary measures, the board said it had learned that McCullough made “numerous widely reported and disseminated public statements about the purported dangers of, or lack of justification for, Covid-19 vaccines.”

As an example, the board cites McCullough’s March 10, 2021, testimony before a Texas Senate panel in which he said that people who have recovered from COVID-19 have “complete and durable immunity” and that there was no rationale for vaccinating such a person.

McCullough also said at the time that there was “no scientific rationale” for people who are healthy and younger than 50 to receive one of the vaccines.

In a declaration in a court case, meanwhile, McCullough said that more than 18,000 COVID-19 vaccine deaths had been submitted to the U.S.-run Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and that the number of reported deaths was far above that of all other vaccines combined.

ABIM says the statements might violate the board’s policy on false or inaccurate medical information, which states that “providing false or inaccurate information to patients or the public is unprofessional and unethical” and could lead to sanctions.

McCullough responded the following month, requesting the matter be dismissed and offering a point-by-point rebuttal.

To back up his statements on COVID-19 vaccination, for instance, McCullough referenced data that shows people younger than 50 have a minuscule risk of death after contracting the illness, particularly if they don’t have serious underlying medical conditions.

He also noted the availability of COVID-19 treatments, that the COVID-19 vaccine spike protein has been linked to problems such as blood clotting, and that the vaccines have provided poor protection against infection and no protection against transmission.

McCullough also referenced research that found people who have natural immunity—a group excluded from the vaccines’ clinical trials—are at higher risk of side effects from the vaccines and have better protection than the vaccinated.

He said that based on his medical opinion, drawing from his medical education, clinical experience, and review of scientific information, people who have recovered from COVID-19 “have robust and durable immunity against the severe outcomes of adjudicated COVID-19 hospitalization and death recognizing that the Omicron variant has broken through natural immunity.”

He also said that there “is no medical necessity or clinical indication for vaccination of a COVID-19 recovered patient since they have already had the condition for which the vaccines are indicated to prevent” and that the scientific evidence doesn’t support vaccinating people younger than the age of 50.

ABIM Response

In the decision letter, ABIM said the statements on the alleged lack of benefit from COVID-19 vaccines against mortality for those younger than 50 were “not factual, scientifically grounded, or consensus driven.”

The board based that finding on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that list more than 71,000 Americans in that population dying from COVID-19 as of Oct. 6. The board referenced no studies or other data.

The board stated that the statements about COVID-19 vaccine deaths also weren’t factual because the CDC says COVID-19 vaccine benefits outweigh the risks. According to the CDC, serious side effects from the vaccines include heart inflammation, blood clotting, and severe allergic shock. All three can cause death.

“Nothing in your declaration submitted in response to the Notice, or in the materials submitted to ABIM on your behalf, compels a different conclusion,” ABIM wrote.

The board’s only other citation was to the World Health Organization, which stated in March that billions of people around the world “have been safely vaccinated against COVID-19” and that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “have been rigorously assessed for safety and clinical trials have shown that they provide a long-lasting immune response.”

The latter statement is false; the protection against both infection and severe disease quickly drops, according to recent CDC data. Some studies have found negative effectiveness within months. The waning effectiveness prompted the CDC to change its definition of a vaccine.

McCullough said he’s concerned that ABIM will “continue to cherry-pick data and claim they have ownership over the ‘truth’ when in reality we are simply discussing data from a rapidly evolving pandemic.”

“ABIM should be only concerned with my clinical track record … which is perfect,” he said. “Board scores and clinical practice are of the highest quality.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who invited McCullough to Capitol Hill to testify, said the doctor “has dedicated his life to saving others” and called for ABIM to reverse its decision.

ABIM Position, Lawsuit

ABIM said in a 2021 joint statement with two other medical boards that doctors who provide “misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine” may face disciplinary action.

“The evidence that we have safe, effective, and widely available vaccines against COVID-19 is overwhelming. We are particularly concerned about physicians who use their authority to denigrate vaccination at a time when vaccines continue to demonstrate excellent effectiveness against severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” the statement reads.

It was issued with the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics in support of a similar statement from the Federation of State Medical Boards.

Dr. Richard Baron, ABIM’s president, in a blog post claimed that “the COVID vaccine is safe and effective” and that ABIM-certified doctors “must feel obliged to recommend vaccination as a first-line strategy for COVID prevention.”

The vaccines have increasingly proven ineffective against infection. Vaccinated people are more likely to become infected within months of vaccination, according to studies published this year.

ABIM later sent threatening letters to McCullough and other certified doctors, including Dr. Pierre Kory.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Educational Foundation sued ABIM and the other boards in July, alleging a violation of the First Amendment.

The case is still ongoing.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
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