The doctor at the head of a controversial doctors’ advocacy group that opposes government involvement in medicine has been named as a lead witness in a Senate Government Affairs and Homeland Security Committee hearing American Tuesday.
Jane Orient has rejected any ‘anti-vaxxer’ label, but her criticism of the coronavirus vaccines drew scathing scolding from some senior politicians exasperated by her invitation to testify in Congress.
“At such a crucial time, giving conspiracy theorists a platform to spread myths and lies about Covid vaccines is downright dangerous and one of the last things Senate Republicans should be doing right now,” the New York’s Senate and Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement on Sunday.
Critics cited Orient’s promotion of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment, as well as its organization’s view that federal vaccination warrants violate human rights.
In a statement provided to the Senate last year, Orient called the vaccine warrants “a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy and parental decisions.”
“The regulation of medical practice is a state function, not a federal function,” she wrote. “Government preemption of the decision of patients or parents to accept drugs or other medical interventions is a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy and parental decisions regarding the education of children.”
Orient is one of four medical professionals prepared to testify at the hearing in which federal health officials will assess vaccination mandates and other initiatives to tackle a worsening coronavirus pandemic that , so far, has killed more than 282,000 Americans.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is a fringe group of fewer than 5,000 physicians who offer advice that experts say is not “consistent with evidence-based medicine.” She was even quoted by former Donald Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale to explain why the president took hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.
At that time, Orient told the Guardian that she believed the drug “should be prescribed more often,” and in a statement claimed that the drug offered “about a 90% chance of helping patients with Covid -19 ”.
This claim was based on a faulty database.
As infections climb to 15 million confirmed cases, Orient has opposed government plans for all Americans to be vaccinated, noting that these emerging vaccines awaiting approval by US regulators, one manufactured by the Pfizer and BioNTech partnership and one by Moderna – use a new method.
There is currently no plan for a federal mandate that Americans be vaccinated against Covid-19.
In a Sunday phone interview with the New York Times, she described it as “recklessly pushing people to take risks.”
“The rights of individuals must be respected. Where is “my body, my choice” when it comes to this? Orient said, adding that she would not get a coronavirus vaccine., tell The Times she has an autoimmune disease.
Republicans have presented mixed messages on support for the government’s vaccination mandates, with many expressing concerns about the legality of businesses that need them and violations of individual freedoms.
Meanwhile, even as some Republicans questioned the CDC about the safety of the vaccine, Ivanka Trump – White House adviser and daughter of the president – as well as former Republican President George Bush have both confirmed that they will publicly take the vaccine.