Justine Tanguay:Good afternoon. My name is Justine Tanguay and I will be live-blogging today’s hearing.
Justine Tanguay:As many of you know, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (BOLIM) suspended Dr. Meryl Nass’ license to practice medicine without a hearing on January 12, 2021.
Justine Tanguay:Dr. Nass’s original suspension order included accusations of spreading “misinformation,” “unprofessional” and “disruptive” behavior based on her public criticism of the government COVID-19 policies and early treatment of COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:A motion to recuse is a request that one remove oneself due to personal bias, prejudice, or interest that would make that person unable to maintain an appearance of or rule impartiality.
Justine Tanguay:Today’s hearing will focus on Dr. Nass’s prescribing hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin since the board on September 26, 2022 withdrew six of the accusations of spreading “misinformation,” and on September 30, 2022 withdrew more of its factual allegations related to “misinformation.”
Justine Tanguay:The board is voting on whether the Motion to Dismiss should be granted.
Justine Tanguay:The board is deliberating whether to vacate the board’s original suspension and order directing that she participate in a neuropsychological evaluation.
Justine Tanguay:Each board member is being asked individually whether they will recuse themselves. All declined.
Justine Tanguay:Attorney Libby has raised the issue that several of the board’s allegations have been withdrawn since the original suspension.
Justine Tanguay:It appears that some of board members were unaware.
Justine Tanguay:The question is why did Dr. Nass have to give a false statement to the pharmacist in order to have a life-saving treatment prescribed for her patient.
Justine Tanguay:Pharmacists are not supposed to ask WHY a prescription is being written for a patient.
Justine Tanguay:Without legal authority, the Maine Board of Pharmacy on September 28, 2021, issued a statement on dispensing Ivermectin. The statement noted that FDA had not approved Ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19. The statement instructed pharmacists to take appropriate steps to verify that the medication was being taken for “legitimate medical purposes,” however, no such approval is legally necessary. It was merely an attempt to scare the pharmacists and for the most part, it worked.
Justine Tanguay:The AAG’s line of questioning is an attempt to make it look like Dr. Nass did not keep good records for each patient. However, it must be noted that Governor Mills’ Executive Order issued on March 20, 2020 suspended Provisions of Certain Health Care Professional Licensing Statutes and Rules in Order to Facilitate Treatment and Containment of COVID-19. Due to the “highly contagious” nature of COVID-19, the ability of physicians to provide services via telemedicine or telehealth and to support the suspension of health care privacy and confidentiality laws to a limited degree necessary to provide these services.
Justine Tanguay:Specifically, the Executive Order stated, “The enforcement of state patient privacy, and confidentiality laws to the contrary are hereby suspended for the purposes of responding to the COVID-19 emergency.”
Justine Tanguay:To clarify, Dr. Nass met with all 3 patients (aka Patient 1, Patient 2, and Patient 3 respectively) being referenced via a telehealth conference.
Justine Tanguay:Patient 1 and Patient 2 were healthy patients who wanted to have Ivermectin prescribed prophylactically should they contract COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:Stating the obvious… how can a physician take a patient’s vitals over the phone?
Justine Tanguay:Please keep in mind that Dr. Nass has NEVER had a patient complaint against her and she has been practicing medicine for over 40 years.
Justine Tanguay:The AG’s office is using the medical records of Patients 1, 2, and 3 against Dr. Nass to make it look like she did not conduct the proper the evaluation. Dr. Nass’s expert witnesses who are also physicians who testify later on that her consultation and prescriptions met proper the standard of care.
Justine Tanguay:On March 17, 2020, HHS OCR relaxed the HIPPA rules. Specifically, it exercised its enforcement discretion and would not impose penalties for non-compliance with regulation regulations under HIPPA Rules . . . in connection with the good faith provision of the telehealth during COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
Justine Tanguay:Dr. Nass is being faulted for speaking with the son of Patient 1 who was living in the home and caring for Patient 1 who had later developed COVID, was seriously ill and had chosen to have him speak on Patient 1’s behalf.
Justine Tanguay:As Dr. Nass pointed out, if the son had been in a different location, she would not have spoken to him without prior authorization from Patient 1.
Justine Tanguay:10 minute recess
Justine Tanguay:While the hearing is in recess, I want to point out the importance and sanctity of the doctor – patient relationship. Even the American Medical Association Code of Ethics opines that “in all professional relationships between a physician and a patient, the physician’s primary concern must be the health of the patient.” When Dr. Nass first became a physician, she took a sacred oath to “first, do no harm” and she is morally bound by the Hippocratic Oath and her desire to help her patients.
Justine Tanguay:Rather than applaud Dr. Nass for trying to save her patients, the board has specifically targeted her because of her viewpoints and her outspoken nature regarding the government’s COVID-19 policies.
Justine Tanguay:Hearing has resumed.
Justine Tanguay:Yes indeed, 42 years of medical practice allows Dr. Nass to know that her medical records for Patient 1 were adequate with regard to the telemedicine consult regarding COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:The AAG seems to be confusing the telehealth consults versus in-patient evaluations.
Justine Tanguay:On to Patient 2.
Justine Tanguay:On September 2, 2021, Dr. Nass conducted a telehealth consult with Patient 2 when healthy. The purpose of the visit was to have Dr. Nass prescribe Ivermectin prophylactically should the patient become ill with COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:Dr. Nass took a detailed consult and noted that the patient was at high-risk with several comorbidities, as well as weight and overall health. She also detailed listing all medications and supplements that the patient was taking at the time.
Justine Tanguay:Again, Dr. Nass is being faulted for communicating with the wife of Patient 2 who had developed COVID in December. Standard medical practice allows a husband and wife to consult with a physician together.
Justine Tanguay:Patient 2’s wife (although sick herself) was the spokesperson for her husband who was suffering from severe COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:When the pharmacies in Maine refused to fill the life-saving treatment of Ivermectin, Dr. Nass reached out to a New York compounding pharmacy to fill the prescription for her patient.
Justine Tanguay:On December 11th, after Patient 2 became sick with COVID-19, he and his wife contacted Dr. Nass again.
Justine Tanguay:Since the PCR tests are not 100% reliable, Dr. Nass conducted a clinical evaluation by phone. A clinical evaluation is a process of collecting and assessing sufficient evidence to determine that Patient 2 was suffering from COVID-19. Dr. Nass recommended that Patient 2 get a chest x-ray to further confirm the COVID-19 diagnosis.
Justine Tanguay:After Patient 2 was admitted into the hospital several days later, the treating physician spoke with Dr. Nass (at Patient 2’s wife’s request) to discuss Patient 2. Dr. Nass tried to make suggestions to help Patient 2 survive.
Justine Tanguay:Patient 2 had to extubate (remove tube from his trachea) himself in order to leave the hospital.
Justine Tanguay:On to Patient 3.
Justine Tanguay:Again, Dr. Nass consulted with Patient 3 by phone for a telehealth consult.
Justine Tanguay:Patient 3 had a positive COVID-19 test and contacted Dr. Nass on September 21st for an Ivermectin prescription after her own physician refused to do anything. Although Patient 3 had asked for an Ivermectin prescription, Dr. Nass declined because it was not approved for pregnancy. Instead, Dr. Nass prescribed Hydroxychloroquine as it is a safe medication for pregnant women.
Justine Tanguay:Although Patient 3 did not complain, her midwife did, asserting that there was no attempt to coordinate treatment and that the midwife would have used a different approach. It is interesting to note that there is no obligation whatsoever to coordinate treatment for COVID-19 with a midwife, who is NOT a physician.
Justine Tanguay:A subpoena is a legal document ordering a person to testify as a witness in court or hearing, and/or (in this case) produce documents in a legal proceeding.
Justine Tanguay:Dr. Nass’s former attorneys complied with Administrative Proceedings Act (APA) and filed an action in court.
Justine Tanguay:The AAG is totally out of line asking if Dr. Nass intended to defend herself or be a spectacle for her audience.
Justine Tanguay:Short recess before Attorney Libby questions Dr. Nass.
Justine Tanguay:Attorney Gene Libby is an experienced litigator with over 30+ years of litigation. He is a former District Attorney in York County Maine and was listed in Best Lawyers in America back in 2003 and also named “New England Super Lawyer” by his peers. In 2010, he was named one of 100 top Maine trial lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. He is the founder partner of the law firm Libby, O’Brien, Kingsley, & Champion LLC located in Kennebunk, Maine. His partner, Tyler Smith has also been named one of Super Lawyers of New England “Rising Stars” in the area of litigation.
Justine Tanguay:Attorney Libby is introducing Dr. Nass as well as her expertise as an internist.
Justine Tanguay:In the fall of 2021, there were early treatments for COVID-19, specifically Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.
Justine Tanguay:HCQ has been available for over 60 years and is considered incredibly safe. Ivermectin is also considered extremely safe and has been available as a human medicine effectively since 1978.
Justine Tanguay:In addition to being a physician, Dr. Nass is a biological warfare epidemiologist who investigated and became an expert in anthrax. Dr. Nass has reviewed government sponsored anthrax research in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention and used it as a model for discussion of how to prevent biological warfare.
Justine Tanguay:Doe v. Rumsfeld was a landmark decision where the court ruled that military members must give informed consent before receiving the Anthrax vaccine. This means that military members also have the right to refuse the experimental vaccine.
Justine Tanguay:Dr. Nass has become an expert in Gulf War illness and played a major role in the creation of a coalition that has fought the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program.
Justine Tanguay:If anyone is interested in reading Dr. Nass’s blog, it can be found at https://merylnassmd.com, entitled “Truth in the Age of COVID.” You can also find her on Substack, along with many other censored physicians who have become experts in treating COVID-19.
Justine Tanguay:On June 15, 2020, the FDA revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine based on doctored and erroneous information that the drugs may not be effective to treat COVID-19. The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine also issued an order that the FDA has not authorized the use of Ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID-19. The problem though is that ONCE A DRUG IS LICENSED by the FDA it may be used for ANY OFF-LABEL purpose if a patient and a physician have a reasonable basis to believe that it will treat the patient’s condition.
Justine Tanguay:If you are interested in the details regarding the government’s suppression of HCQ and Ivermectin, please refer to Dr. Nass’s blog dated June 28, 2020 in an article entitled, “How a false hydroxychloroquine narrative was created, and more.”
Justine Tanguay:Coronaviruses have been around longer than you think…
Justine Tanguay:Coronaviruses are a large, family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as the common cold to both humans and certain animals. Although experts first identified coronaviruses in the mid-1900’s, it is believed that this diverse group of viruses has existed for centuries.
Justine Tanguay:Between October and December 21, 2021, the board received 4 complaints against Dr. Nass. Two of those complaints came from strangers who cited “misinformation” they read on the internet. One complaint came from a physician who accused Dr. Nass of prescribing “deworming medication” (Ivermectin) and another came from a midwife regarding Dr. Nass prescribing hydroxychloroquine.
Justine Tanguay:On January 12, 2022, the board suspended Dr. Nass’s medical license without a hearing for “misinformation,” “unprofessional” and “disruptive” behavior. However, on September 26th and September 30th, the board withdrew all of the allegations for “misinformation” and “factual allegations” supporting those grounds.
Justine Tanguay:It’s interesting that the board used allegations of “misinformation” to suspend Dr. Nass’s medical license without a hearing back in January, but now that information is irrelevant? WOW!
Justine Tanguay:Without the ability to give the appearance that Dr. Nass suffered from a mental illness through a series of allegations, the board could not immediately suspend her license nor could they order that she participate in a neuropsychological evaluation on January 11, 2022. Yet, that is exactly what the board did. Indeed, the board purposely targeted Dr. Nass in an attempt to intimidate her. Dr. Nass is courageous and cannot be silenced. And now the hearing is adjourned for today, but do stay tuned!