In his latest “act of political sniping,” an Olympia, Washington, man has formally called for President Trump’s doctor to be permanently barred from practicing medicine in the District of Columbia.
“Dr. [Sean] Conley has egregiously transgressed his ethical responsibilities, resulting in widespread transmission of a deadly disease,” says Arthur West, whose lawsuit against Fox News was dismissed in May (but is on appeal).
West also is suing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the CDC and others over changes in how hospitals report coronavirus data.
In a complaint filed Friday, West wrote the District of Columbia Health Regulation and Licensing Administration in reference to “patient” Donald J. Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
He said Conley in September and October “egregiously breached the Hippocratic Oath and his ethical duties to his patient … and the American people as a whole by failing to ensure that his patient engaged in adequate testing and preventative measures.”
Conley, he wrote, failed to provide for adequate disaster response and preparedness in the context of a pandemic.
West said Trump coordinated “superspreader” events at the White House, which led to dozens of individuals and national security being endangered.
He accused Conley, 40, of unethical conduct and “depraved indifference.”
COVID-19’s dangers have been “obscured and minimized by the good doctor’s irresponsible and misleading media statements, statements which have been used by his patient to undercut CDC guidelines for social distancing, the use of PPE and which he used to promote and legitimize further superspreader events,” West wrote.
DC Health didn’t immediately respond to email and a voice mail seeking comment. Neither did the White House (to emails).
West attached a news release sent Thursday by DC Health and nine area jurisdictions citing a letter to people who have worked in the White House over the past two weeks, attended the Supreme Court announcement in the Rose Garden or had close contact with others who work in those spaces or attended those events.
“The letter calls on these individuals to contact their local health department for further guidance/questions regarding their potential need to quarantine,” the release said.
On Sept. 30, Catherine Clark of Seattle filed an appeal of the Fox News case on behalf of Arthur West’s watchdog group WASHLITE — Washington League for Increased Transparency & Ethics.
Attorney Clark said Fox News “repeatedly stated, on the national airways and under the guise of a ‘news organization,” that COVID-19, a known threat to the public health, safety and welfare, is a hoax and therefore not a threat to human life.”
Her 60-page filing concluded: “There is no unfettered constitutional right to speak. Speech which spreads misinformation regarding a known public health crisis such as COVID-19 is not protected speech. … The trial court [ruling] should be reversed and this matter remanded for further proceedings.”
In the case of D.C. Health and Conley, West told Times of San Diego: “If you look at what advice he’s been giving* and the stuff his client’s been doing, I think he’s violated the ethical standards of physicians by not protecting his client, by not doing testing, by not having proper protection and by allowing the White House to become a hot spot of coronavirus infections.”
In a phone interview, West called Conley the doctor responsible for the president and the safety of that area.
“If he was on the ball, this wouldn’t have happened,” said West, who lived in Escondido in the late 1980s.
Conley is technically a doctor of osteopathic medicine — a D.O. rather than an M.D.
But West said: “My research didn’t show a separate board for osteopaths. They’re all under the Department of Health, so it’s in the right place. The D.C. Board of Health has jurisdiction over [him].”
Updated at 8:20 p.m. Oct. 9, 2020
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly used the word “given.”