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Suspended Texas doctor who promoted ivermectin as Covid treatment resigns from hospital

Dr. Mary Bowden was suspended from Houston Methodist Friday for "spreading dangerous misinformation." She resigned this week.

Dr. Mary Bowden, the Texas doctor who had her privileges suspended last week by Houston Methodist for spreading "dangerous misinformation" about Covid-19 on social media, has resigned from the hospital.

She called vaccine mandates "wrong" and touted the controversial drug ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19 multiple times on her Twitter account, despite public health officials warning against it.

Bowden, who worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor at the hospital, announced her resignation Monday evening on Twitter.

"I have broken free from Methodist and very much appreciate the flood of support I have received!" she wrote. "Sincere thanks to all of you who have reached out with kind words."

Houston Methodist confirmed the hospital received her resignation letter.

On Nov. 8, Bowden tweeted that she would only treat unvaccinated patients at her private practice and tweeted, “vaccine mandates are wrong.”

She pushed ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, as a Covid-19 treatment several times on Twitter. On Nov. 14, she tweeted, “Ivermectin works,” and on Nov. 10 wrote, “Ivermectin might not be as deadly as everyone said it was. Speak up!” 

The Food and Drug Administration has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating Covid in humans or animals, stating, “ivermectin has not been shown to be safe or effective for these indications.” The FDA said for humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, or topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.

On Friday, Houston Methodist suspended Bowden, saying she recently joined their medical staff and “is using her social media accounts to express her personal and political opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments.”

The suspension stripped her of the power to admit or treat patients at the hospital amid the investigation. Houston Methodist said she had privileges for less than a year and had never admitted a patient. 

In a press conference Wednesday, Bowden said she was targeted by the hospital.

“I think based on their history of being the first hospital in the county to mandate vaccines for their employees, that they are using me as an example, based on what they have read — which I have not sent to them but have sent to my patients — and what I have vocalized on my Twitter,” she said. 

“Since when is that a reason to take away someone’s hospital privileges?” she said. “It’s astounding to me as a physician that I’m not entitled to my medical opinion."

Dr. Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist, said in a statement after her press conference, “When Dr. Bowden refused to remove these inaccurate and misleading statements from her social media accounts, the medical staff leadership decided to suspend her while they conducted an investigation, and invited her to speak with them. Instead of doing that, Dr. Bowden voluntarily resigned from the medical staff before a review was completed."

"As a physician, I am personally offended by her behavior and by her misleading comments about COVID-19 and our hospital system," he added.

Her lawyer Steve Mitby told NBC News Monday, that Bowden, “is not peddling misinformation.”

Mitby described Bowden as a Stanford-trained physician who has treated more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients.

“She is helping her patients, through a combination of monoclonal antibodies and other drugs, to recover from COVID. Dr. Bowden’s proactive treatment has saved lives and prevented hospitalizations,” he said.

“Dr. Bowden also is not anti-vaccine as she has been falsely portrayed. Dr. Bowden has opposed vaccine mandates, especially when required by the government. That is not the same as opposing vaccines,” he added.

Bowden told the hospital she is vaccinated, in compliance with the hospital’s requirements. 

Bowden is the latest medical professional to face discipline for defying Covid guidelines or promoting coronavirus misinformation. 

A physician assistant’s license was suspended last month by the Washington Medical Commission after he allegedly promoted ivermectin as a cure for Covid-19 and prescribed it “without adequate examination to at least one person,” the WMC said in a statement at the time. 

Also last month in Connecticut, Dr. Sue McIntosh surrendered her medical license after she was accused of signing fake Covid vaccine exemption forms, the NBC affiliate in New Britain WVIT reported.