California Assembly Bill 2098: A COVID Censorship Bill

California quietly removed the bill as it became apparent they were not going to win in the courts (see first article below).

This bill went into effect today (January 1, 2023). An assault on freedom and free speech.

Newsom signed the bill today (September 30, 2022). Sad day for California.

Bill HAS NOT gone into effect yet (as of April 25, 2023).

Ongoing Updates…

For those of you in California, I will be continually updating this page with the most recent information I find just below the History table.

  • AB 2098 Not Being Enforced...

  • Injunction Slows CA’s Physician “Gag” Law

    Advocates for medical freedom of speech won a significant, if limited, victory in late January when Senior US District Judge William Shubb issued a preliminary injunction that hinders the implementation of AB 2098—a new California law aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

    The law, which passed the California legislature last summer and was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, deputizes the state’s medical and osteopathic boards to take disciplinary action—including revocation of licenses—against MDs and DOs who spread what the bill defines as Covid-related mis- or disinformation.

  • California’s ‘Misinformation’ Law Targets ‘Doctor Zero’

    It’s an obvious and direct attack on the First Amendment—freedom of speech—as well as the Fifth Amendment, which says an individual cannot be compelled by the government to provide incriminating information about himself, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection under the laws.

    This law attempts to mandate a new and undefined standard known as “contemporary scientific consensus” and illegally suppress differing professional opinions counter to this consensus on COVID-19.

    Mention  Gold by Name

    The transcripts of the committee hearings and bill analyses, mentioning me by name as the founder of America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS), can be found at this link(opens new window). Shockingly, these legislative hearings, particularly on Aug. 30 and May 13, 2022, target a specific individual.

    This Speaks Volumes

    The groups supporting this censorship include the American Medical Association, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Medical Board of California, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

    The groups opposing this censorship include AFLDS, Advocates for Faith & Freedom, Advocates for Physicians’ Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, California Health Coalition Advocacy, Children’s Health Defense, Liberty Justice Center, New Civil Liberties Alliance, and Physicians for Informed Consent.

  • Physicians for Informed Consent Sues State of California, Argues That Doctor Censorship Bill AB 2098 Violates the U.S. Constitution

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), an educational nonprofit organization focused on science and statistics, has filed a First Amendment free speech lawsuit (2:22-cv-02147) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, and request for preliminary injunction, against the State of California and Osteopathic Medical Board of California in order to protect the free speech of all physicians in California.

    The Plaintiffs are PIC and one of its founding members, physician LeTrinh Hoang, D.O., together with Children’s Health Defense, California Chapter. The legal team managing the case are Rick Jaffe, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Mary Holland.[emphasis mine]

Past Information

On AB 2098 attorney Richard Jaffe had this to say(opens new window):

My view was and continues to be that AB 2098 will never go into effect because some court is going to enjoin its enforcement before it goes into effect in January. The issue got a little more complicated based on a Ninth Circuit decision a few weeks ago. However, I am still convinced that the Supreme Court and lower courts will not allow a medical board to restrict, interfere or sanction a physician for providing information to a patient, even if that information is against the current mainstream Covid narrative.

I hope he’s right.

Read AB No. 2098 CA Legislative Website »

09/30/22Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 938, Statutes of 2022.
09/30/22Approved by the Governor
09/12/22Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4 p.m.
08/30/22Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.I had to look these up. “Senate amendments concurred in” defined as “Approval by the house of origin to changes made to one of its bills while it was in the other house.” “To Engrossing and Enrolling” defined as “A non-partisan unit in each house, responsible for proofreading amended measures.”
08/30/22In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending.
08/29/22Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 32. Noes 8.).I know it kind of feels like things are changing with the requirements by the CDC being pushed back, but with California and this bill it looks like full steam ahead.
08/22/22Read third time and amended. Ordered to second reading.They changed this:
“Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.”
to this:
“Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.”
Of course, begging these questions: Who defines “contemporary scientific consensus”? Who defines “standard of care”? I presume this change makes it easier to convict someone as proving gross negligence would be more difficult than proving the information was “contrary to the standard of care.”
08/11/22Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
08/11/22From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 5. Noes 2.) (August 11).
08/02/22In committee: Referred to suspense file. has been Set FOR Hearing ON 11-AUG-22 Upon adjournment of Session“Also referred to the Suspense File are pilot project bills if the statewide implementation of the project or program would result in a fiscal impact of $50,000 or more in any single fiscal year from the General Fund or private funds.”
06/28/22From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 9. Noes 4.) (June 27). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.has been Set FOR Hearing ON 01-AUG-22 10 a.m.
06/21/22From committee chair, with author’s amendments: Amend, and re-refer to committee. Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on B., P. & E.D.They removed several lines from the bill: “The bill would require the board to consider specified factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a physician and surgeon.” It was a terrible bill to begin with, but this sounds as if they do not have to consider any “specified factors” whatever the hell that is, before passing judgement. Here’s a similar line removed: “Prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a licensee under this section, the board shall consider both whether the licensee departed from the applicable standard of care and whether the misinformation or disinformation resulted in harm to patient health.” And I would presume this is so they do not have to consider whether the information harmed or helped the patient.
06/13/22has been Set FOR Hearing ON 27-JUN-22 12 p.m. and upon adjournment of Session, if necessary
06/08/22Referred to Com. on B., P. & E.D.Committee on Business, Professions & Committee on Education
05/27/22In Senate. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment.
05/26/22Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Senate. (Ayes 53. Noes 20.)Such a terrible bill and yet it continues to progress. 1984 here we come.
05/12/22Read second time. Ordered to third reading.They are trying to jam this through…just like the WHO Amendments.
05/11/22From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 12. Noes 4.) (May 11).Most people who called in were opposed.
05/05/22Has been Set FOR Hearing ON 11-MAY-22 9 a.m.
04/21/22Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
04/20/22Read second time and amended.The changes (discussed below) are not for the better, though I think they intend to sound as if they are.
04/19/22From committee: Amend, and do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 12. Noes 5.) (April 19).This is not good news.
02/24/22Referred to Com. on B. & P.I think this means the Committee on Business and Professions see their glossary
02/15/22From printer. May be heard in committee March 17.We are now in a 30-day waiting period until this date
02/14/22Read first time. To print.Bill was submitted by Evan (Censor Doctors) Low

AB 2098 History

Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct. — (Hearing: Assembly Business And Professions | Apr 19, 2022 09:00 AM, 1021 O Street, Room 1100, Consideration). Watch the proceedings here(opens new window).

Sept 11, 2022

I follow my doctor on Twitter. He’s one of those rare doctors who is speaking out. He reposted some things from other doctors who are preparing for this bill (if Newsom signs it…most likely he will) by getting licenses in other states. I think there will be a mass exodus of good doctors if this bill passes and we will be left with doctors who are willing to do what they are told. My doctor recently tweeted:

Where should all the doctors fleeing political persecution in CA end up? Any space in Arizona for us?

May 11, 2022

After Evan Low presented his bill, most of the comments both in the assembly room and on the phone were in opposition to the bill.

Holden said something like “B roll call” at the conclusion which means, from what I could find online, that the bill passed with the support of only the majority party, in this case the Democrats.

May 5, 2022

This is an excellent article by Jay Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, about the bill:

A Warning From Shanghai (opens new window) »

April 21, 2022

Here is what was deleted:

(b)The board shall consider the following factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a licensee under this section:

(1)Whether the licensee deviated from the applicable standard of care.

(2)Whether the licensee intended to mislead or acted with malicious intent.

(3)Whether the misinformation or disinformation was demonstrated to have resulted in an individual declining opportunities for COVID-19 prevention or treatment that was not justified by the individual’s medical history or condition.

(4)Whether the misinformation or disinformation was contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.

This is the amended text:

(b) Prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a licensee under this section, the board shall consider both whether the licensee departed from the applicable standard of care and whether the misinformation or disinformation resulted in harm to patient health.

How is this going to be determined? What does departing from “the applicable standard of care” mean? Well, again, I think we know. The latter statement would apply to many doctors who have pushed the vaccines on people, particularly younger people, who did not need it and then suffered adverse effects, but again, we know this is NOT how it would be applied.

And this:

(3) “Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.
(4) “Disinformation” means misinformation that the licensee deliberately disseminated with malicious intent or an intent to mislead.
(5) “Disseminate” means the conveyance of information from the licensee to a patient under the licensee’s care in the form of treatment or advice.

Number 3 is problematic. The definition of “Misinformation” as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” is convenient for our current regime. Note the phrase “contemporary scientific consensus.” The consensus we currently have does not even allow the other side to speak and that is not scientific.

Also note that “Misinformation” and “Disinformation” now have a different meaning. How in the hell will anyone be able to determine number 4? Though the powers that be would love to be able to read minds, as far as I know that is not possible yet.

And finally this:

SEC. 3.
The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

March 4, 2022

From the Sacramento Bee:

“These licensed physicians possess a degree of public trust, a high degree at that, and therefore must be held to account and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether or not individuals recognize it or not,” Low said. “And so the spreading of misinformation, of inaccurate COVID-19 information, contradicts the responsibility and threatens to further erode the public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.”

What is always absent in these articles is the definition of what misinformation is. So what is it Evan (Censor Doctors) Low?

Feb. 26, 2022

Good article at California Globe

Good article at The New American. Here are some quotes:

According to the bill, “misinformation” is the spread of information that denies the “safety” of vaccines.

“Science is not about consensus. It’s not about agreement. It’s about sharing and debating ideas,” Barke [Dr. Jeff Barke] said. “That sharing and debating ideas has not been allowed during the COVID crisis.”

Steve Kirsch weighs in on the bill:

In the meantime, California wants to ensure that no doctor can question whatever the government says

California just introduced a bill that would enable medical boards to take away the license of any doctor who spreads “COVID-19 misinformation.” This is a tacit admission that they can’t win on the facts, so they have to use threats and intimidation to keep the truth from emerging. Their only weapon is censorship….

They define COVID-19 misinformation as anything going against the government narrative.

In short, they want to take away the free speech rights of doctors who would no longer be allowed to question anything the government says. After they do that, citizens will be next.

Feb. 23, 2022

Epoch Times Article: California Doctors Warn Against COVID-19 Censorship Bill

Initial Post

As if AB 1993 wasn’t bad enough, now doctors in the state of California are being targeted with a new bill introduced by another of California’s useful idiots, Democrat Evan (Censor Doctors) Low. The bill is very bad. Very bad. It is a censorship bill to allow misinformation promulgated by the CDC, Fauci and our governments to be spewed to the world uncontested. More specifically, it muzzles doctors who disagree with the CDC narrative. Whatever happened to open debate? I keep forgetting, we don’t live in a free country anymore. The introduction to the bill says this:

This bill would designate the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” as unprofessional conduct. The bill would require the board to consider specified factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a physician and surgeon. The bill would also make findings and declarations in this regard.

The bill itself is full of misinformation. There is this:

(b) Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that unvaccinated individuals are at a risk of dying from COVID-19 that is 11 times greater than those who are fully vaccinated.

The CDC may be showing that, but it is not true. See COVID Resources right here on The Asylum.

There is also this bit of misinformation:

(c) The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines have been confirmed through evaluation by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the vaccines continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring by the CDC.

This is again, not true. Why do you think they have to write a bill like this? When has it ever been the policy of our country to outlaw free speech by doctors? Why for this? Red flags, anyone? The evidence that has been coming out is overwhelming with this “vaccine”: Don’t get it. Most people do not need to take the risks involved with the jab. Again, see COVID Resources right here on The Asylum.

Even if you don’t know any of the data against the jab or data supporting off-label treatments like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine ask yourself why is debate not allowed in the Mainstream Media? Why is a bill like this written? What happened to robust, scientific debates between those with differing views? Steve Kirsch can’t get anyone to debate him openly. He’s gone so far as to offer 1 million dollars…and that person doesn’t even have to win the debate. Just show up, then go buy a house.

This is probably my favorite statement from the bill:

(e) Major news outlets have reported that some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines are licensed health care professionals.

This is your proof? Are you freaking kidding me? Some woke journalist “fact-checker” is a better source of information than Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Pierre Kory and a host of others? My God Man! Get a clue.

In Short

This is a bad bill. It’s draconian. It’s authoritarian. It goes against our free speech rights and the right of doctors to follow the science and their consciences. I will continue to follow its progress on this page.

California flag. Bear is replaced with a doctor holding a syringe. The flag now says: California Gulag. Swastikas are in each bottom corner. The California red star has Chinese yellow star inside it and there is WHO: World Health Oligarchy on the other side.

As censorship increases also consider using email and text messages to send links.


The Inmate

Dr. Meryl Nass writes, as reported in The Defender:

“However, we have a First Amendment and often state laws that explicitly protect free speech.

“The California legislation, when signed, will be a first-in-the-nation attempt to legislate around the First Amendment and criminalize free speech.

“This will legalize what has already been carried out by what I would call ‘rogue’ medical boards who are unaware of our constitutionally guaranteed rights.”

The Inmate

As reported in The Defender, Robby Soave in an article for Reason wrote:

“Science is a deliberative process, and medical professionals need to be allowed to dissent from mainstream orthodoxies and challenge dominant perspectives. Patients deserve expert care, but it’s unreasonable for the government to compel ideological conformity in this field.

“Besides, the state has shown no particular aptitude for discerning what constitutes genuine misinformation. On the contrary, government actors have frequently instructed social media companies to be wary of perfectly legitimate points of view.”


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