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Maine Medical Association condemns 'small minority' of physicians pushing COVID-19 misinformation

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Mandate Explainer
Ted S. Warren
FILE - DeMarcus Hicks, a recent graduate of nursing school who is working as a contractor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, gives a person a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, Dec. 20, 2021, on the first day of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Federal Way, Wash. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Jan. 7, 2022, on challenges to whether the Biden administration can order millions of workers at private companies and health care employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. Until the court rules, millions of workers face a patchwork of requirements depending on where they live.

Maine’s largest organization of doctors is speaking out against what it says is a “small minority” of physicians pushing misinformation on COVID-19.

Maine Medical Association issued the statement following news of a briefing for state lawmakers that provided only one side in the debate over vaccine mandates for health care workers. The mid-December briefing, which was billed as a way for lawmakers to hear views from physicians, was organized by a Republican lawmaker but drew legislators from both parties.

The Maine Medical Association, which represents more than 4,000 physicians, said in the statement that “we firmly support COVID-19 vaccines.”

“Over 99 percent of MMA members are vaccinated,” reads the statement. “We see their success every day in clinic and urge Mainers to ignore misinformation and reject the disproven treatments pushed by a small minority of colleagues."

The MMA was responding to a report on Maine Public last week that highlighted a one-sided “briefing” for state lawmakers. The briefing featured only doctors who were critical of Maine’s vaccination requirement for health care workers.

Additionally, at least two doctors connected with national anti-vaccination campaigns downplayed the efficacy of COVID vaccines. And one physician also talked openly about lying to a pharmacist in order to obtain a prescription for a drug not authorized to treat COVID patients. That doctor could face scrutiny from a board that licenses physicians in Maine because she allegedly lied to the pharmacist.