B.C. physician facing disciplinary hearing unapologetic for ‘misleading’ COVID-19 comments

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WATCH: Ontario Health Minister Chrstine Elliott on Wednesday addressed reports that doctors were spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, calling it “unacceptable.” Elliot said she would be sending a letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario “urging them to do everything that is possible to put an end to this behaviour.” – Jan 19, 2022

A physician in B.C. who is facing a disciplinary hearing over “misleading” claims about COVID-19 says he stands by his conduct and would continue prescribing ivermectin to patients if he could.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. (CPSBC) issued a citation for Dr. Charles Hoffe on Tuesday for “publishing statements on social media and other digital platforms that were misleading, incorrect or inflammatory about vaccinations, treatments, and public measures relating to COVID-19.”

Hoffe was one of several subjects of a Global News investigation on doctors with active medical licences sharing information at odds with public health advice.

It is the first time Hoffe has faced discipline for CPSBC complaints he says date back to March 2021.

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Along with B.C. physician Stephen Malthouse, Hoffe has been touring the countryside as part of a roadshow entitled “Doctors on Tour,” where the two share false information that COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to people’s health.

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Hoffe has also repeatedly spoken of his support for ivermectin, an anti-parasitic treatment not approved for use for COVID-19 by Health Canada.

Hoffe did not know about citation

Hoffe was unaware of the citation until he was contacted by Global News on Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, a CPSBC spokesperson said the notice was sent to his lawyer on Feb. 11 and sent by mail to Hoffe’s address on record.

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In its citation, the CPSBC said Hoffe’s “misleading” statements included publicly stating ivermectin is an advisable treatment for COVID and recommending people obtain it from animal feed stores, stating COVID vaccines cause microscopic blood clots that cause serious neurological harm, female infertility, and a high number of deaths and stating that vaccinated people can cause harm to unvaccinated people.

In one video from a Doctors on Tour event, Hoffe says the vaccines are “lethal,” describes them as “clot shots” and “death shots,” and falsely claims that “more people have died from these shots than from all vaccines in history combined.”

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Doctors Charles Hoffe, left, and Stephen Malthouse, right, appear in a YouTube video for the “Doctors on Tour” event. YouTube

After reading the complaints against him, Hoffe told Global News that he stood by his conduct in opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine and in favour of ivermectin.

“I gave (ivermectin) to my 89-year-old mother and I used it myself. My mother is now 90 years old and made it through COVID,” Hoffe said.

The CPSBC says Hoffe’s misleading statements began in April 2021 — which was the time Hoffe gained notoriety for publishing an open letter to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry claiming “this vaccine is quite clearly more dangerous than COVID-19.”

According to federal data, 290 deaths have occurred following the administration of 79.2 million vaccine doses and most cannot be definitively linked to the vaccine. This pales in comparison to the number of COVID-related deaths in Canada, which now stands at 36,161.

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Hoffe said he had been prescribing ivermectin last year, before a strongly worded statement from Henry in October 2021 to health-care workers that ivermectin must not be prescribed to treat COVID.

“Since then, I’ve told people that the only thing you can do is get it yourself and the only place you can get it from is a veterinary supply place,” he says.

“Otherwise, yes I would be prescribing it myself.”

CPSBC has not acted until now

Hoffe said 68 studies had been conducted that proved the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID. When asked where these studies were, he directed Global News to the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance website, which often shares COVID information at odds with public health advice.

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The website features an infographic that claims 78 studies have shown ivermectin improves hospitalization, mortality and ventilation rates for COVID-19.

But the website only lists a handful of studies, including one from the Dominican Republic, an article in Nature, which was retracted because “cited sources do not appear to show that there is clear clinical evidence of the effect of ivermectin for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2”, and an ivermectin study with a disclaimer that it has not been peer-reviewed and should not be used to guide clinical practice.

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When questioned about a recent study from Malaysia, which found that ivermectin was no more effective at treating COVID than a placebo, Hoffe said he was not aware of the study.

After calling Global News back to “clarify” his argument, Hoffe stressed that he believes everyone will eventually get COVID and “everyone needs a plan, an outpatient plan to keep them out of hospital.”

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He said he strongly believed ivermectin was the best option available.

The CPSBC has, until now, refused to speak about Hoffe’s case, other than a brief statement to Global News in January confirming he had not yet had a hearing, despite Hoffe saying his first CPSBC complaint occurred in March 2020 and in the months since he “keeps getting new complaints” sent to him by the college about his conduct.

Hoffe will face a hearing with a discipline committee at a later date.

He said he was no longer taking part in Doctors on Tour events due to “time constraints.”

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