HOUSTON (KXAN) — Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas has suspended privileges for an ear, nose, and throat doctor after she tweeted several opinions on COVID-19 vaccines, including advising patients from getting it.
A hospital representative confirmed the suspension of Dr. Mary Talley Bowden to The Washington Post. Houston Methodist said Bowden, who only recently joined staff and says she is vaccinated, is “spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science.”
Bowden tweeted earlier this month that she was “shifting focus to treating the unvaccinated” due to the “current climate and writing on the wall,” in addition to the promotion of experimental treatments over the FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines.
In a Twitter thread, Houston Methodist elaborated, saying in part: “These opinions, which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist, where we have treated more than 25,000 COVID-19 inpatients, and where all our employees and physicians are vaccinated to protect our patients.”
Houston Methodist says it “does not and will never” deny care to a patient based on their vaccination status.
Bowden also promoted usage of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin — even though it’s not FDA-approved for COVID-19 treatment and is overwhelmingly shown to have next to zero efficacy.
Some studies on ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment do exist and some do testify to the drug’s efficacy. But right now that data is overwhelmingly considered inconsistent, questionable and/or inconclusive. Medical experts say the data affirming ivermectin is minuscule compared to the amount indicating it’s useless.
A July review of 14 ivermectin studies concluded these studies were small and “few are considered high quality.” The researchers say they’re uncertain about the efficacy and safety of the drug and that “reliable evidence” doesn’t support using ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment outside of well-designed randomized trials.
Bowden previously made headlines after the wife of one of her patients sued Texas Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth to allow Bowden to give her husband, who’d been hospitalized for over a month, ivermectin treatment. During court testimony, Bowden claimed she’s treated over 2,000 COVID-19 patients successfully with the drug, Fort Worth-Star Telegram reports.
While the request was originally granted, Texas Huguley filed an appeal. The decision of whether or not Bowden will be allowed to treat patient Jason Jones is now on hold pending arguments and review.
Bowden’s attorney, Steven Mitby told WaPo his client is “not anti-vaccine” — Houston Methodist confirmed — but that she “believes that people should have a choice and believes that all people, regardless of vaccine status, should have access to the same high quality health care.”
Bowden is the owner of a private practice in downtown Houston, which offers salt cave inhalation (where a person sits inside an enclosure and breathes in pink Himalayan salt) and infrared sauna — typically spa treatments — as COVID-19 treatment.
On Monday, Bowden gave an interview with Houston-based conservative radio host Michael Berry in an episode called, “Cancelled For COVID.”
We’ve reached out to Bowden’s attorney for comment and will update when we hear back.
Follow KXAN’s Russell Falcon on Twitter @RussellFalcon for more updates.