WASHINGTON – A doctor skeptical of coronavirus vaccines and promoting the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment will be the lead witness at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee hearing on Tuesday that has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans prompt Do not give anyone a platform to spread conspiracy theories.
Dr. Jane M. Orient is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that opposes government involvement in medicine and views federal vaccine mandates as violations of human rights.
“A threat to public health is the rationale for the mandatory vaccines directive. But how big is the threat to force people to take government-imposed risks? “Dr. Orient wrote in a statement to the Senate last year that vaccine mandates are "a serious interference with individual freedom, autonomy and parental decisions".
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Dr. Orient, an internist who completed her medical degree from Columbia University in New York, cast an "anti-vaxxer" and said she would not get a coronavirus vaccine because she had an autoimmune disease. She added that she opposed the government's request to vaccinate all Americans against the coronavirus, noting that both vaccine candidates – one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna – are using a new scientific method.
"It seems reckless to me to urge people to take risks when they don't know the risks," said Dr. Orient, adding, "People's rights should be respected. Where is" my body, my choice "when it comes to it?"
Her selection as a witness as a federal health official seeks to promote a vaccine to end a pandemic that killed more than 281,000 Americans. This led to heavy criticism from Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and leader of the minority.
"At such a crucial time, providing conspiracy theorists with a platform to spread myths and falsehoods about Covid vaccines is downright dangerous, and one of the last things Senate Republicans should do now," Schumer said in a statement on Sunday.
At least two members of the Republican House – Representative Andy Biggs from Arizona and Representative Jeff Duncan from South Carolina – appeared to receive Dr. Orient before accepting government mandates. They went to Twitter to express these views.
"Americans should be free to take the COVID vaccine," Duncan wrote on Saturday. "Americans should also be free to refuse the vaccine."
A spokesman for the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, didn't immediately return an email asking why Dr. Orient had been invited to testify.
Federal health officials are trying to get lawmakers on a campaign to encourage Americans to accept the new vaccines. A F.D.A. The Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday to review data on the safety and effectiveness of Pfizer's vaccine candidate. If the agency grants emergency vaccine approval, rollout can begin shortly thereafter.
In a private briefing with a non-partisan group of senators last month, Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor to Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's vaccine development program, said, according to a familiar, "It would help if senators were vaccinated." the calling.
Dr. Orient, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, said Sunday that she would appear remotely during the early home treatment hearing for Covid-19. Her group was a staunch supporter of home treatment, the alleged subject of the committee hearing.
The association has also sued the government for forcing them to release hydroxychloroquine from national supplies for use as a Covid-19 treatment, despite scientific evidence suggesting the drug is ineffective against the coronavirus. The case is currently before a federal appeals court.
Dr. Orient said she intends to use her testimony to call for guidelines from the government informing doctors about hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for Covid-19 patients, despite the Food and Drug Administration revoking an emergency permit removing the drug from the drug national reserve and has warned it could harm these patients.
The organization of Dr. Orient has urged people to post titles like "Should We Queue for a 90% Effective Vaccine?" In her interview, she expressed particular concerns about vaccination for young people "because the effects on fertility have not been determined". There is no evidence that any of the leading coronavirus vaccines affect fertility.
Dr. Orient also targeted Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government's foremost infectious disease specialist, asked, "Why does he dictate the care of 340 million Americans?"