Senator Scott Jensen, who is also a family doctor, made a video about COVID-19 that went viral, particularly on Twitter and Facebook. As a result of the viral video, he is facing an investigation by the Minnesota Medical Review Board. According to the senator from Chaska, the complaints made to the review board might be politically motivated.
In April, as the coronavirus became the global conversation and the experts were offering conflicting advice, Jensen was trending on Twitter. The senator alleged that the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were misleading and could potentially inflate the number of COVID-19 deaths.
The doctor called the guidelines “ridiculous”, and said that hospitals could inflate the numbers for revenue.
He even compared COVID-19 to the flu, noting the latter can kill up to several hundred people in the state of Minnesota annually. While both diseases are viral and contagious respiratory conditions, other medical experts are at a consensus that the coronavirus is way deadlier than influenza.
After going viral, Jensen, a doctor of forty years, received a letter from the state’s medical review board this week. Part of the letter read, “The Board has received complaints regarding public messages you made related to COVID-19. In accordance with Minnesota law, the Board is required to make inquiries into all complaints and reports wherein violations of the Medical Practice Act are alleged.”
The senator says he does not regret the remarks that have led to this review. He feels that the complaints to the medical Board over coronavirus misinformation are politically motivated.
Two complaints were made to the Board. But the letter does not reveal who made the complaints, as is standard practice.
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka expressed support for Jensen. He said that the Minnesota senator remarks “have proven to be right.” Gazelka referred to an article on USA Today that said hospitals got paid more for COVID-19 patients.
Gazelka also suggested that the complaints are politically motivated. “We are looking into whether or not the Board is compelled to investigate every complaint or if they are choosing to investigate Dr Jensen. Legislators should not have to fear regulators based on their speech. If the bureaucratic state can silence speech through investigations, we have very dark times ahead for our democracy.”
That said, the senator appears not to be worried by the complaints. He even said he does not plan to hire a legal team to help when he appears before the medical review board to answer for his social media “misinformation.”
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