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Texas Doctor Suspended From Hospital After Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — A hospital in Texas has suspended the privileges of a doctor who spread misinformation about COVID-19 on social media.

Dr. Mary Bowden, an ear, nose and throat doctor at Houston Methodist Hospital, posted "harmful" and "dangerous misinformation" about COVID-19 and its treatments, according to the hospital.

The doctor, who had just joined the staff at Houston Methodist, used her social media to "express her personal and political opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments," the hospital said in a statement on Twitter.

Bowden's attorney Steven Mitby said the doctor has treated "more than 2,000 patients with COVID-19" at her private practice and that none of them have ended up in the hospital. She was suspended from Methodist before having ever admitted a patient to that hospital.

"Her early treatment methods work and are saving lives," he added. "Dr. Bowden has the utmost respect for Houston Methodist and is proud of the work she has done along with her colleagues at Houston Methodist."

Bowden's Twitter account shows a series of tweets praising the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration have cautioned people against using the drug to treat COVID-19.

Ivermectin is used to treat parasites such as worms and lice in humans and it is also used by veterinarians to de-worm large animals. The CDC warned about a sharp increase in reports of severe illness caused by the drug to poison centers.

Doctor Outspoken Against Vaccine Mandates

Along with advocating for the use of ivermectin, Bowden also frequently criticizes vaccine mandates on her social media accounts, with Mitby adding that "Dr. Bowden is not anti-vaccine," but believes "people should have a choice."

The doctor herself is vaccinated, as mandated by the hospital for all physicians who work at Houston Methodist, the hospital said. In June, more than 150 employees left the hospital after they put a vaccine mandate in place.

"Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science," Houston Methodist added.

"These opinions, which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist."

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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