Vaccine opposition group supports bills protecting doctors who make false claims

This week, a social media account for a so-called “health freedom group” in Wisconsin urged its supporters to take action at a public hearing to protect health care providers from discrimination and retaliation for discussing alternative therapies and expressing professional opinions. The group’s post encouraged followers to support two bills at the hearing and to ask their representatives to support the bills.

Risk level: Low

Recommendation: According to a 2023 study, doctors across the U.S. have made false claims about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and COVID-19 mitigation methods on social media. False information from physicians may be particularly damaging as a 2023 survey from Kaiser Family Foundation found that individual doctors are the most trusted sources for health information. While conversations about these bills are unlikely to arise in a clinical setting, doctors may face questions about where patients can find accurate, science-backed information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 mitigation methods. Talking points may emphasize that CDC guidance on COVID-19 is based on extensive research. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Learn more about additional COVID-19 mitigation measures and treatment options from the CDC.