“You can’t have free speech with a big asterisk” – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Medical Board has sanctioned board-certified cardiologist Dr. Thomas Levy for promoting an unproven and controversial treatment for COVID-19. He was also disciplined for publicly warning about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
“It’s not authority, it’s authoritarianism,” Levy told CBS4 as he spoke about the recent state medical board warning.
This appears to be the first time Colorado has sanctioned a doctor for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, although a dozen other medical boards across the country have already sanctioned doctors for what they considered misinformation about COVID-19.
In a January letter to Levy obtained by CBS4, the board said it was sending Levy a written warning because he had “committed unprofessional conduct” by
pushing hydrogen peroxide nebulization. “You failed to meet generally accepted standards for medical practice,” the board wrote.
Levy, 71, has held a Colorado medical license since 1991 and this is the first discipline against his license. He currently lives in Florida. He wrote and distributed a book in 2021 promoting hydrogen peroxide nebulization to prevent and treat COVID-19. The technique involves inhaling hydrogen peroxide in the form of a mist. Hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfectant used to treat cuts and scrapes and is also used as a household cleaner.
“It’s literally the perfect cure,” Levy said. “It kills pathogens and leaves behind an optimal environment for tissue healing. When used as directed, it is the safest procedure available,” Levy said in a Zoom interview.
He admits that the treatment has not been scientifically studied or subjected to a rigorous clinical trial to assess its effectiveness. He claims to have heard anecdotal evidence that it works and has received hundreds of emails from people who have tried it successfully, including “20 advanced COVID-19 patients in Colombia” who he says have recovered from COVID- 19 after treatment.
“Do you think this would prevent you from catching COVID?” Lévy was interrogated.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” he replied.
But the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warned, “DO NOT put hydrogen peroxide in your nebulizer and breathe it in. It’s dangerous. It is not a way to prevent or treat COVID-19. The group warned that “hydrogen peroxide can be toxic if ingested”.
Other medical professionals have issued similar warnings about the technique. Dr Taison Bell, Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia Health, said: ‘This is not sound medical advice and I am surprised anyone in the medical profession would recommend it. Hydrogen peroxide is harmful to your body.
Bell went on to say, “It makes no sense to do this and inhale this into your lungs – not at all. It doesn’t work. There’s no way to wrap this up and make it true. .
Although the Colorado Medical Board warned Levy of potentially more serious discipline if he continued his unprofessional conduct, he told CBS4 he has no plans to quit.
“I will continue to disseminate scientifically valid information. It’s not authority, it’s authoritarianism,” Levy said. “Maybe they think I was unprofessional for providing information about something I witnessed as a cardiologist and specialist. I saw him curing people.
The board previously warned in an advisory statement in November 2021: “The dissemination of inaccurate medical information regarding COVID-19 that a licensee should reasonably know to be false poses a significant risk to the health of the public.
A dozen other state medical boards have already disciplined doctors for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. But some Republican lawmakers have since moved to block their state medical boards from imposing discipline on doctors who share misinformation about COVID-19.
Levy, who says he contracted COVID-19 in December, was also chastised for warning about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. When asked if he had been vaccinated, he refused to answer.
“Free speech is free speech,” Levy said. “You can’t have free speech with a big asterisk.”