According to Twila Brase, president/co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, AB2098 would "silence" doctors who want to tell their patients something different than the "official narrative" about COVID-19.
"So, this would make it difficult for physicians to tell whatever they believe the truth is about COVID, and it would make it difficult for them to be honest because they could lose their license," she explains. "They could be charged with providing misinformation to their patients."
Assemblymember Evan Low (D-District 28) said earlier this year that Assembly Bill 2098 was badly needed:
"This bill declares that disinformation and promotion of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation to the public as unprofessional conduct for licensed physicians and surgeons. Under this law, California Medical Boards will be given the tools necessary to bring discipline actions against a licensee. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore must be held to account. The spreading of misinformation, of inaccurate COVID-19 information, contradicts that responsibility and threatens to further erode the public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk."
Public reaction to the bill – posted at Legiscan.com – is generally negative. One comment from the CEO of a Los Angeles-based accounting firm threatens to vacate the state if the bill passes and take with him the $5 million in tax revenue his company generates:
"I am tired of a government that tells its citizens what medications to take in order to work and go to school. I am tired of fighting this out-of-control government and LAUSD school district. No other state is going this far and this is simply unacceptable …. The government should stay out of our lives." (Scott McCarthy, SMS IT Group LLC)
Newsom has until September 30 to decide whether to sign or veto the bill. In a letter to the governor, CCH Freedom provided the reasons he should choose the latter.
"[In the letter we] tell him why this is very important for not only doctors who need to be able to talk freely with their patients," Brase tells AFN, "but [also] for patients who need to be given the full information about COVID, the vaccine, the treatment, and then be able to make an informed decision."