Tenn. medical board takes virus misinformation policy offline

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File-This Nov. 10, 2020, file photo shows Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks with reporters in Nashville, Tenn. Lee has tweeted that his wife has mild symptoms of COVID-19 after testing positive for the coronavirus. The Republican governor said Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, that he has tested negative for the virus but will be quarantined at the Governor’s Residence out of an abundance of caution. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s medical licensing board has voted to remove from its website its stated policy against the spread of coronavirus misinformation by doctors.

Tuesday’s vote came amid pressure from a Republican state lawmaker and a new law imposing sprawling virus-related restrictions.

The move by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners stirred some confusion because the policy itself remains in place.

The statement was approved in September and says physicians risk disciplinary actions for providing COVID-19 misinformation. It drew backlash from Republican Rep. John Ragan.

A new state law says any disciplinary process by a health board related to dispensing or prescribing medication for COVID-19 must go through a legislative rulemaking process.

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