Inside the Fight Over Ivermectin That Dr. Mary Bowden Claims Led to Her Suspension From a Texas Hospital

Federal health authorities warn that Ivermectin is not a safe nor suitable treatment for COVID-19 in humans.
Federal health authorities warn that Ivermectin is not a safe or suitable treatment for COVID-19 in humans.Getty

Ivermectin is not safe for use in the treatment of COVID-19, federal health officials warned, and is used as an antiparasitic medicine.

A Texas hospital has suspended the privileges of a doctor who spread dangerous COVID-19 misinformation, including promoting ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, vowing to only treat unvaccinated patients and criticizing vaccine mandates. Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, who told the Houston Methodist Hospital that she is vaccinated despite her vocal beliefs, resigned Monday. 

Bowden, an ear, nose and throat physician, allegedly used her social media accounts to “express her political opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments,” including “dangerous misinformation … not based in science, representatives with the Houston Methodist Hospital told Inside Edition Digital.

“These opinions, which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist, where we have treated more than 25,000 COVID-19 inpatients, and where all our employees and physicians are vaccinated to protect our patients,” the hospital said in a statement.

Bowden was not an employee of the hospital and had only recently been given privileges at the hospital, at which she has never admitted a patient. 

“I don’t think I’m dangerous … I’ve never said anything that’s considered dangerous,” Bowden said in a radio interview Monday. During an appearance on a podcast, Bowden acknowledged the criticisms but claimed, “on the other stream, people are calling me a hero.”

For weeks, Bowden has shared been sharing Tweets that deny vaccine efficacy and promote vaccine misinformation. She also recently emailed her patients to let them know she would not take on any newly vaccinated patients, saying, “this is my way of taking a stand,” a local conservative blog closely affiliated with Bowden reported.

“Despite what she has posted, Houston Methodist does not and will never deny care to a patient based on vaccination status,” a representative of Houston Methodist Hospital said.

The hospital also added that Bowden has reported that she is vaccinated, as is required of all staff of Houston Methodist Hospital.

Bowden told the podcast Tuesday that she believes her recent suspension was due to her involvement in the treatment of one particular patient at another hospital, for whom she prescribed Ivermectin.

Tarrant County Deputy Jason Jones, 48, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the end of September, and entered the ICU on a ventilator in mid-October, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Bowden, who is not affiliated with the hospital he had been admitted to, said on Twitter she prescribed Ivermectin for his treatment.

Jones’ wife, Erin, is now suing the hospital to allow Bowden to administer Ivermectin as a treatment, and the hospital has filed an appeal to pause an order that would have granted Bowden temporary privileges at their hospital, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The order has been stayed pending appeal.

In their appeal, the hospital claimed that the prescription and administration of Ivermectin would be medically inappropriate, Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The order has been stayed pending appeal. 

Ivermectin is not safe for use in the treatment of COVID-19, federal health officials warned, and is used as an antiparasitic medicine for animals. Texas Poison Centers reported receiving a spike of calls in August due to Ivermectin exposure.

Even so, Bowden and her supporters have been vocal about their fight to administer Ivermectin to Jones, putting out calls on Twitter for a nurse “to put it in his feeding tube. Hospital refusing to let their nurse do it.”

She said on Twitter that hospital and police intervened when the independent nurse she hired attempted to administer the Ivermectin and that the hospital now has precautions placed at all times to prevent anyone from tampering with the patient’s care.

"Dr. Bowden stands by every word she has said in providing medical advice to her patients, and rejects the attempts by some media organizations to force her and other doctors into silence," a representative for Bowden told Inside Edition Digital.

Related Stories