Dr. Nick Sawyer is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore. 

“Disinformation by unethical doctors is getting more and more intense,” Sawyer said. “Their intention is to prolong the pandemic and create further chaos and division.”

Sawyer, an academic emergency medicine physician in Sacramento, California, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been weaponized by bad actors.

“The evidence that Trump has been coordinating with Putin to destroy American democracy and turn it into an autocracy is incontrovertible. That’s the end game,” Sawyer said. “The U.S. population has been the target of a massive, coordinated disinformation campaign that began before Trump became president.  It intensified in recent years after the GOP began deploying Russian style information warfare on the American people. Using the classic strategy known as the firehose of falsehoods, their intent is to cause mass confusion. That’s why so many people don’t have any idea that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, because through disinformation doctors, they are able to get the wrong message to the right people at the right time. They’re still doing it, and the resulting number of unvaccinated COVID19 patients currently overwhelming our emergency rooms and hospitals across the nation is unsustainable.”

Sawyer said up until last month, there was little to stop the physician-fueled flood of lies, which many deemed protected by the First Amendment. 

But the Federation of State Medical Boards recently issued the following statement from its Board of Directors: “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” 

“There is absolutely zero question as to who should be held accountable,” said Sawyer, who has been documenting the disinformation doctors in Trump’s orbit. 

“I was shocked when I heard doctors saying ‘let’s head towards herd immunity, let’s get everyone infected,’ all that life threatening nonsense, and then all these quacks in front of the Supreme Court spread all those lies about hydroxychloroquine and now push anti-vaxx hysteria,” Sawyer said. “The really disappointing thing is, this entire time, organized medicine and organizations who license and monitor doctors for professional misconduct have been silent. Namely, while the American Medical Association has focused on ways in which doctors can fight COVID19 disinformation, they have remained silent on the issue of sanctioning the doctors who spread these lies. And until very recently, state medical licensing boards hadn’t said a word about the lies being spread by these physicians, who are doing it to profit off the suffering of our fellow citizens and to help Trump and the new GOP reach their political ends.

“In 2020, before the vaccines became available, I was looking around, and seeing all this human suffering and death and I’m thinking, ‘This is the first time that a decision made by the federal government has directly impacted me in a negative way that I can feel.’ This is literally harming me, and putting me and my family at risk.”


He said the group taking the lead on spreading dangerous disinformation is America’s Frontline Doctors, who launched their website in June 2020. We attempted to reach out to America’s Frontline Doctors for comment, but have not received a response.

Sawyer said it’s important that there is finally a way to target disinformation in his profession, because for him, it’s personal.

He was among the volunteers who flew to New York during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and worked 12 to 14 hour days overseeing a 40-bed intensive care unit.

“Every patient was intubated and had COVID19,” Sawyer recalled. “This was when the refrigerator trucks were there. I was at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, and they were understaffed and under resourced. Elmhurst is not a small hospital, they have the capacity to run 35 ventilators at baseline. When I arrived, they had 160 COVID19 patients on ventilators at their hospital. Queens County in New York City was the hardest hit county with the highest number of COVID19 deaths in the nation for months and months.”

Sawyer was in New York April and May of 2020, working under intense circumstances when little was still known about the novel coronavirus. 

Dr. Nick Sawyer personal photos from his time in New York. Top left, Nick on the COVID19 ward; Top right, New Yorkers thank the medical staff; bottom, the view of the refrigerator trucks from the COVID19 ward.

“It was horrendously sad, people weren’t receiving the standard of care due to the overwhelming number of patients needing intensive care,” he said. “I had to have families say goodbye to their loved ones over Facetime, and that was just crushing for everyone involved. Managing all these patients was a really intense experience and almost all of them died.”

He said none of the medications being trialed at the time, including hydroxychloroquine, showed any benefit to patients, and when unethical doctors started to tout hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure, he quickly reached out to author Anne Nelson, who wrote Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right. She confirmed that America’s Frontline Doctors was an organized disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive organization bringing together radical-right groups, their funders, business leaders, and Republican politicians and staffers – including those who worked for Trump.

Nelson said: “The America’s Frontline Doctors project was activated in an April 2020 call among CNP president William Walton and members of the Trump campaign.  They were looking for arguments to reopen the country at the height of the first COVID wave, in order to hold mass campaign events and boost the economy in advance of the fall election.  Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, one of the four top officers on the CNP executive committee, hosted Dr. Simone Gold and the ‘White Coat Summit’. America’s Frontline Doctors launch in Washington on July 27.  Other members of the CNP, such as Charlie Kirk, promoted Gold on their social media platforms. Since then, Gold has been a featured speaker at the CNP meetings (as revealed in published videos).  She and Jenny Beth Martin were featured at the January 6 protests. Gold and her associates have gone on to falsely defend hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure, and to sow vaccine hesitancy.”

Nelson documented her findings here:

We reached out to the Council for National Policy and Dr. Simone Gold, who is the lead on multiple lawsuits filed against COVID-19 vaccine enforcement, for comment but did not receive a response.

Sawyer said he can only believe the CNP-backed doctors are chaos agents. 

“It’s part of creating mass confusion and hysteria in order to destroy the truth,” he said. “That is the whole purpose. That all started with Kellyanne Conway with alternative facts, and Rudy Giuliani saying ‘truth isn’t truth.’ And it all added up to where we are today, where there are two separate realities. With the election there are two realities, the COVID19 pandemic there are two realities, everything.”

Perhaps the current fate of Rudy Giuliani, whose law license has been suspended in New York and Washington, D.C., due to spreading disinformation, may foreshadow events to come. With the new decree by the Federation of State Medical Board, doctors who spread disinformation may receive similar punitive consequences.

“My stake in this is I’m exposed to it every day, and now that there are multiple safe and effective vaccines free to anyone in the U.S. who wants one, there is no reason I should still be seeing people die from this illness. I recently had an unvaccinated patient in their 20’s die of COVID19 in my emergency department. If they had been vaccinated they would almost certainly be alive today.  Also, if I get COVID19, am I one of those random people who is going to be perfectly fine, about four out of ten people who get the virus have no symptoms at all, or am I going to be part of the small population of otherwise healthy people who get COVID19 and die, or have long term effects we see in COVID long-haulers? I have no idea,” he said. “But I do know unless we shut down the disinformation pipeline, we are all at greater risk.”

Sawyer made the debut of his disinformation doctors website on Narativ Live:, to give people the tools to report doctors who spread vaccine myths.

(Heidi Cuda first reported this story in the Hark Herald Press).

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