The Texas Medical Board, an agency that regulates physician licenses in the state, released a statement regarding COVID-19 treatments and cautioned doctors to refrain from claiming that there is a “cure” for the coronavirus.
“As we are all aware the medical community is still learning, researching and gaining understanding of the virus. While there are drugs and therapies being used to treat COVID-19, there is no definitive cure at this time,” they stated.
The board did not specifically mention hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that many medical professionals have used to treat the coronavirus, but referred to a “widely published claim of a ‘cure’ for COVID-19.”
Their statement came shortly after a video of Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston-area physician, touting the prescription at a press conference in Washington, D.C., went viral on social media.
In the recording, Immanuel passionately defended the drug, saying that hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin “is a cure for COVID,” and that the more than 350 patients she has treated with the medicine have survived the virus.
“I’ve gotten all kinds of threats,” said Immanuel. “Oh, they’re going to report me to the boards? I say, you know what? I don’t care. I’m not going to let Americans die. And if this is the hill where I get nailed on, I will get nailed on it.”
The video has been removed by many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
In their statement, the Texas Medical Board noted that “[b]oth patients and physicians have a right to decide what treatment may be used for COVID-19,” and that they do not endorse “any specific drugs or treatments” for the virus, but emphasized that physicians should not tell patients of a “cure” for COVID-19.
“A physician must provide full disclosure of treatment options, side effects, obtain informed consent, and there cannot be false, misleading[,] or deceptive advertising or statements made regarding any therapies, including a cure for COVID-19,” said the board.
They added that they will continue to follow the “standard enforcement process” for investigating complaints against physicians, including complaints against doctors “for assuring a permanent cure for an incurable disease.”
Other doctors across Texas have also supported the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment option for coronavirus patients.
Dr. Robin Armstrong told The Texan about his use of the drug in a video interview, and, more recently, two Baylor cardiologists sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration in support of a request to authorize emergency use of hydroxychloroquine.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.