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Ohio board reinstates license of doctor who made controversial claims about COVID vaccines

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny testifies on Sub HB 248
The Ohio Channel
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny testifies for anti-vaccine bill before Ohio House Health committee

The State Medical Board of Ohio has reinstated the license of a doctor who got national attention for her anti-vaccine testimony before an Ohio House committee in 2021.

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny testified for a Republican-sponsored bill that was never voted out of committee. It would have banned all mandatory vaccines, including childhood inoculations like measles and polio. Tenpenny is known as an anti-vaccine activist who has spread conspiracy theories through her podcast and website. She was named as one of the "Disinformation Dozen" spreading almost two-thirds of anti‑vaccine content on social media, according to a nonprofit anti-hate organization focused on digital platforms.

In that 2021 hearing before the Ohio House Health Committee, Tenpenny made several unsubstantiated and wild claims about COVID vaccines, including this one: “There has been people who've long suspected that there was some sort of an interface and get to be defined in the interface between what's being injected in these shots and all of the 5G towers. Not proven yet."

In fact, that's never been proven.

She also falsely claimed people receiving the COVID vaccine became "magnetized" and that the vaccine causes several serious health conditions, including in people who weren't vaccinated.

Tenpenny's testimony was mocked by many on social media but was supported by some others who opposed the COVID-19 vaccines. Hundreds of complaints were filed with the state medical board, which opened an investigation.

A spokesperson for the State Medical Board of Ohio said Tenpenny’s license was suspended last August for failing to cooperate with the investigation, but she has now met the conditions for reinstatement.

"Sherri Tenpenny has met the Medical Board’s conditions for reinstatement including, submission of an application for reinstatement, payment of her fine, and certification of cooperation with the board’s investigation to date. As a result, during the April 10, 2024, board meeting, the board voted to reinstate Sherri Tenpenny’s license, effective upon the processing of documents," said the spokesperson in an email.

Among those voting for the reinstatement of Tenpenny's license was Republican former attorney general and auditor Betty Montgomery, who clarified that her vote to reinstate was a "reluctant yes."

Contact Jo Ingles at
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