California law holds physicians accountable for COVID misinformation

On Sept. 30, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that could revoke the licenses of physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation. 

The bill was co-sponsored by the California Medical Association and passed the state Senate Aug. 25. 

"Many health professionals, including physicians, have been the culprits of this [COVID-19] misinformation and disinformation effort," the organization said regarding pandemic conspiracy theories, which have become common in the U.S., The Mercury News reported Oct. 2. 

Some doctors and health officials argued the bill is "counterproductive censorship," according to the newspaper. 

Gov. Newsom said the bill does not apply to social media and blog posts, only to conversations between patients and physicians. 

"COVID-19 treatment and care is rapidly evolving, and this bill allows physicians to discuss both emerging and current treatments in a manner that is unique to each patient and their distinctive medical history," Gov. Newsom said, according to the newspaper. 

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