Simone Gold
Gold speaking at Turning Point USA's 2020 Student Action Summit
NationalityAmerican
EducationCity College of New York
Chicago Medical School
Stanford University
Known forFounding America's Frontline Doctors, participating in the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol
Medical career
ProfessionEmergency physician[1][2]
Websitethegoldopinion.com

Simone Melissa Gold[3] (née Tizes)[4] is an American physician, attorney,[2] author, and the founder of America's Frontline Doctors, an American right-wing political organization known for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.[5][6][7] She gained attention when a video of an America's Frontline Doctors press conference in front of the US Supreme Court Building went viral in July 2020.[1][8] She has commented on the COVID-19 vaccine: "[w]e doctors are pro-vaccine, but this is not a vaccine."[9]

On January 5, 2021, Gold spoke at a rally in Washington D.C., telling attendees to refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and the next day took part in the 2021 United States Capitol attack. She spoke from the rotunda of the Capitol and was later arrested for her participation in the storming, having admitted she entered the building.

Early life and career

Gold was born to medical school professor Reuben Tizes and elementary school teacher for special needs children Carol Tizes,[10] and raised in Long Island, New York.[11] She graduated from the City College of New York at age 19, and received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Chicago Medical School in 1989. After obtaining a medical license in California, Gold attended Stanford Law School, graduating in 1993; Gold described attending law school as her "rebellion" against her father, who wanted his children to be doctors. She was admitted to the New York bar in 1997 and shortly afterward completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.[11] According to Gold, she also worked as a fellow to U.S. Congressman Jim Jeffords in 1997, though she was not remembered by Jeffords' former chief of staff.[11] She also says that in 2009 she worked as an assistant to Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, who credited her in print but did not remember her.[11]

Activism

Open letter to Donald Trump

In May 2020, Gold organized an open letter to then-president Donald Trump regarding COVID-19 lockdowns. The letter urged Trump to end the "national shutdown," calling it a "mass casualty incident."[12] It cited issues of patients avoiding medical care, increased substance abuse, and greater financial instability. The letter was co-signed by more than 600 doctors with Gold as the primary signatory.[13][14]

America's Frontline Doctors video

Main article: America's Frontline Doctors

In July 2020, Gold and her group, America's Frontline Doctors, held a press conference on the steps in front of the Supreme Court. The press conference was referred to as the "White Coat Summit" and was organized by Gold in conjunction with the Tea Party Patriots, a right-wing political organization, and was broadcast by Breitbart News.[15][16] It featured Gold and her colleagues speaking about the perceived merits of hydroxychloroquine, despite evidence that it is ineffective as a COVID-19 treatment and can carry significant risks.[15] They have opposed wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.[6] The video went viral after being retweeted by the Trump family and reached over 14 million views before its quick removal from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for violating their policies related to the spreading of COVID-19 misinformation.[16][17][18] Gold was fired from hospitals where she had worked as an emergency department physician in the aftermath of the video.[1]

Anti-COVID 19 vaccine activism

The day before the distribution of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, Gold spoke outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, repeatedly calling the vaccine "experimental" and criticizing potential vaccine mandates. drawing criticism from doctors and researchers. Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher from the Baylor College of Medicine, said there were no vaccine mandates and said, "[n]o real frontline doctor objects to this vaccine, only the antivax 'health freedom' movement linked to right wing extremism."[5]

Gold spoke about the COVID-19 vaccines at The Stand, an event that describes itself as a series of "Open Air Mass Healing & Miracle Services."[19] In the speech, she praised hydroxychloroquine and continued to make unfounded claims about dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines.[19][20]

After Gold was blocked from Facebook for violating their community standards, her anti-COVID 19 vaccination speeches began appearing on the hosting platform Rumble, which does not have a policy on misinformation. These videos feature Gold telling audiences not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and praising hydroxychloroquine as a treatment despite numerous studies showing it was ineffective against the infection. She alleged the United States Government experimented on black people to test the general safety of vaccines.[21]

On February 14, 2021, over one month after participating in the storming of the Capitol building, Gold spoke at Awaken Church in San Marcos, California, discouraging members of the congregation from being vaccinated for COVID-19.[22]

Participation in the 2021 Capitol attack and indictment

On January 5, 2021, Gold spoke at a rally in Washington D.C. to a crowd of people gathering in the city for the following day's "Stop the Steal" rally. She criticized the COVID-19 vaccines, said the COVID-19 was non-fatal and made additional unfounded claims about the vaccines.[8] She told supporters, "If you don't want to take an experimental biological agent deceptively named a vaccine, you must not allow yourself to be coerced!"[23] Gold was scheduled to speak the at the Rally for Health Freedom scheduled for 6 January but the rally was cancelled before her speech. She then joined the crowd and illegally entered the Capitol building, along with America's Frontline Doctors Communications Director John Strand.[1] Gold and Strand were seen on video footage "in the middle of a crowd attempting to push past law enforcement officials to get inside."[8] She then gave the speech she had planned to give at the rally in the rotunda of the Capitol building. Gold said that she spent approximately 20 minutes in the Capitol.[24]

Gold and Strand were later identified by FBI wanted images from the event circulated on social media.[8] Gold was arrested at her home in Beverly Hills, California on January 18 on five charges including entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.[11][4][25][14] Gold admitted entering the Capitol building, saying that she did not know it was illegal to do so and that she did not witness any violence, saying "where I was, was incredibly peaceful."[1] She said: "I do regret being there," because she was concerned that the controversy would detract from her work with America's Frontline Doctors.[1] In April 2021, Gold told Ted Nugent in an interview that "20 FBI agents" had come to arrest her and that she had been placed on the No Fly List.[2]

Child vaccination lawsuit

On May 21, 2021, Gold and America's Frontline Doctors sued the United States Department of Health and Human Services in an attempt to prevent children from receiving COVID-19 vaccines.[26] The 80-page petition, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, calls the vaccines "experimental injections"[9] and says COVID-19 presents "zero risk"[9] of death to children. Regarding the petition, Gold said "We doctors are pro-vaccine, but this is not a vaccine. This is an experimental biological agent whose harms are well documented (although suppressed and censored) and growing rapidly, and we will not support using America's children as guinea pigs."[9]

Other events

Gold was a speaker at AMPFest, a pro-Trump event held in Miami in October 2020.[27] She spoke at an event for donors to the Council for National Policy, a right-wing Christian group, in November 2020.[4] In December 2020, she was part of a summit hosted by Turning Point USA, a nonprofit that supports conservative movements on high school and college campuses.[7]

In April 2021, Gold appeared at the "Health and Freedom Conference" at Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, along with speakers including actor Jim Caviezel, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, and attorney L. Lin Wood.[28] Gold and America's Frontline Doctors held an RV tour across the US in May 2021, called the "Uncensored Truth Tour".[2] On the tour, Gold held an event at Legacy Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which drew hundreds of guests.[29]

Reactions from the medical community

Gold has been criticized for her views surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines. Jeffrey Koplan, an epidemiologist, vice president for Global Health at Emory University, and former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "She and her organization show a willful ignorance of science and the scientific method, as well as a disrespect for accomplished scientific institutions and brilliant scientists."[4] Director of Columbia University's Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative Irwin Redlener called Gold a "toxic purveyor of misinformation, now actively contributing to rightwing extremist rhetoric that continues to rile up people determined to hang on to the most egregious Donald Trump lies."[4]

Personal life

Gold was married to businessman Larry Gold until they divorced in 2010.[11] The couple had two children.[11] With her husband, Gold was active in Los Angeles's Jewish community and donated thousands of dollars to their children's Jewish private school, where she was a member of the parent–teacher association.[11]

For the majority of her life, Gold was not involved in politics.[11] In 2011, she donated to the campaign of Raul Ruiz, a California Democrat, and in 2019 donated $1,000 to the campaign of Susan Collins, a Maine Republican.[11] According to Gold, "I'd fall in the middle of any partisan test. I don't believe in the right–left distinction... That's the trouble with being in the middle of the road. Sometimes you get run over."[11]

Publications

In 2020, Gold wrote I Do Not Consent: My Fight Against Medical Cancel Culture,[30] detailing her experiences with COVID-19 patients and sharing her opinions about the pandemic.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Satija, Neena. "'I do regret being there': Simone Gold, noted hydroxychloroquine advocate, was inside the Capitol during the riot". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Mencimer, Stephanie (May 8, 2021). "Dr. Simone Gold, Capitol Defendant, Goes on Tour". Mother Jones. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  3. ^ "GOLD, Simone Melissa". United States Department of Justice. February 4, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Stone, Peter (January 22, 2021). "'Wilful ignorance': doctor who joined Capitol attack condemned for Covid falsehoods". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c D'Ambrosio, Amanda (January 5, 2021). "'America's Frontline Doctors' Continue to Misinform on COVID". MedPage Today. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Grenkel, Sheera; Alba, Davey (July 28, 2020). "Misleading Virus Video, Pushed by the Trumps, Spreads Online". New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  7. ^ a b D'Ambrosio, Amanda (January 12, 2021). "Controversial Physician Joined in Storming the Capitol". MedPage Today. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d D'Ambrosio, Amanda (January 20, 2021). "Simone Gold Arrested for Role in Capitol Insurrection". MedPage Today. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Fiore, Kristina (May 26, 2021). "Simone Gold's Group Sues to Stop COVID Shots for Kids". MedPage Today. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "ANDREA TIZES, DAVID FEINBERG". Chicago Tribune. June 25, 1989.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mencimer, Stephanie (May 6, 2021). "Doctor, Lawyer, Insurrectionist: The Radicalization of Simone Gold". Mother Jones. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Kaplan, Talia (May 21, 2020). "Doctor who raised alarm about health effects of shutdown says 'rest of the story' must be heard". FOX News.
  13. ^ Weixel, Nathaniel; Chalfant, Morgan (May 21, 2020). "Doctors push Trump to quickly reopen country in letter organized by conservatives". The Hill. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Dazio, Stefanie. "Capitol photos, videos lead to California doctor's arrest". ABC News. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Giles, Christopher (July 28, 2020). "Hydroxychloroquine: Why a video promoted by Trump was pulled on social media". BBC News. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Lerman, Rachel; Shepherd, Katie; Telford, Taylor (July 28, 2020). "Twitter penalizes Donald Trump Jr. for posting hydroxychloroquine misinformation amid coronavirus pandemic". Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  17. ^ Shead, Sam (July 28, 2020). "Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pull 'false' coronavirus video after it goes viral". CNBC. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  18. ^ Passantino, Jon. "Social media giants remove viral video with false coronavirus claims that Trump retweeted". CNN. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines will not make people test positive for the disease". Reuters. January 21, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  20. ^ Spencer, Saranac Hale (February 2, 2021). "Video Uses Bogus Claims to Stoke Race-Based Fears of COVID-19 Vaccine". FactCheck.org. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Mak, Aaron (March 18, 2021). "Where Anti-Vaccine Propaganda Went When YouTube Banned It". Slate. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  22. ^ Layne, Tigist (April 29, 2021). "San Marcos church hosted anti-vaccine speaker". The Coast News. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Devine, Curt; Griffin, Drew. "Leaders of the anti-vaccine movement used 'Stop the Steal' crusade to advance their own conspiracy theories". CNN. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  24. ^ Shaheen, Perla (January 14, 2021). "Local doctor gave speech in U.S. Capitol during the riots". KGET. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  25. ^ Fazio, Marie (January 10, 2021). "Notable Arrests After the Riot at the Capitol". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  26. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie (May 25, 2021). "Right-Wing Doctors Are Suing to Block COVID Vaccine for Kids". motherjones.com. Mother Jones. Archived from the original on May 30, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  27. ^ "Speakers". AMPFest2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  28. ^ Polansky, Chris (April 19, 2021). "Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado Defends Appearance At Convention Featuring Conspiracy Theorists". KWGS. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  29. ^ Reader, Grace (May 12, 2021). "Prominent anti-vaxxer speaks to large crowd at Legacy Church". KOB. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  30. ^ Gold, Simone (2020). I Do Not Consent: My Fight Against Medical Cancel Culture. Bombardier Books. ISBN 978-1-64293-891-3.