State Sen. Scott Jensen, a physician and Republican from Chaska, said Sunday that he is being investigated by the Minnesota State Board of Medical Practice for public statements he’s made about COVID-19.
Jensen criticized the state Department of Health in April for following federal guidance stipulating when doctors should characterize deaths as due to COVID-19. He said he feared that the death toll might be inflated if each state’s allocation of federal funds depended on the number of COVID-19 deaths.
His comments, made in a series of interviews with TV personalities from North Dakota to Fox News in New York, went viral. Some charged they fueled conspiracy theories and disinformation about the coronavirus. He told the Star Tribune in April that he felt his words were taken out of context.
Jensen could not be reached for comment Sunday.
In the video, he said the board is focused on two allegations: spreading misinformation about the death toll and providing “reckless advice” by comparing COVID-19 with the flu.
“When I got this letter, I was ticked,” Jensen said in the video, which had been viewed nearly 110,000 times by Sunday evening.
Jensen said he will cooperate fully with the investigation, adding that he didn’t know who filed the complaint and that he felt “targeted.”
“If this could happen to me because of my views, it could happen to anybody,” he said.
Jensen has expressed other controversial views on public health. He opposes state-mandated vaccinations for children, believing it to be an issue of parents’ rights. He also has defended President Donald Trump for talking about the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19, though it has yet to be medically approved for the coronavirus.