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Anti-vaccine doctor who pushed hydroxychloroquine pleads guilty for entering Capitol on Jan. 6

Simone Gold founded America's Frontline Doctors, who were the most vocal critics of Covid restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic.
Dr. Simone Gold speaks on June 30, 2021.
Dr. Simone Gold speaks on June 30, 2021.John Clanton / Tulsa World via AP

WASHINGTON — An anti-vaccination doctor who entered the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack pleaded guilty to a class A misdemeanor count of knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building on Thursday.

Simone Gold, a hydroxychloroquine advocate who was arrested in California last January, was facing a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as several misdemeanor charges. Gold founded the group America's Frontline Doctors, which was criticized for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper accepted Gold's plea during a remote hearing on Thursday. Under a plea deal with the government, she agreed to cooperate with additional investigations into Jan. 6. Her sentencing guidelines range is between 0-6 months of incarceration on the charge.

"I am pleading guilty voluntarily," Gold told Cooper. "I plead guilty."

Sentencing is schedule for June.

Gold, accompanied by her co-defendant John Strand, entered the Capitol through the east doors to the U.S. Capitol rotunda. She told the Washington Post in a Jan. 12, 2021, article that she regretted being in the Capitol, but said it was "incredibly peaceful" where she was. Gold had been scheduled to speak at at "Rally for Health Freedom" on the east side of the Capitol.

"I am a Stanford-educated attorney!" Gold said inside the rotunda on Jan. 6, according to a Mother Jones story that tracked her radicalization.

More than 750 defendants have been arrested by the FBI in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. Over 2,500 people are believed to have either entered the Capitol during the attack, or attacked officers or members of the media outside of the building.