Antivaxx doctor sentenced to prison for role in Capitol riots

Antivaxx doctor sentenced to prison for role in Capitol riots

Antivaxx doctor sentenced to prison for role in Capitol riots

A leading California anti-vaccine doctor was sentenced to two months in prison for storming the United States Capitol and giving a speech to rioters during the January 6 uprising.

Simone Gold was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine, the highest to date imposed on rioters found guilty of charges related to the attack on the United States Capitol.

Gold, a former emergency room physician known for spreading previously debunked claims about the Covid-19 vaccine and promoting unproven treatments like ivermectin, pleaded guilty in March to a charge of unlawful access to a restricted area of the United States Capitol.

Gold told the court she regretted entering the Capitol and had no intention of getting involved in an event that “was so destructive to our nation.”

“It’s the opposite of who I am,” she told U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper.

The Beverly Hills-based doctor is also a founding member of America’s Frontline Doctors, a group known for spreading misinformation about Covid-19. However, the judge clarified that her prosecution is not about her anti-vaccine activism, as he criticized it for fundraising efforts that called January 6 “political persecution.”

“It’s not about free speech,” said Judge Cooper, who lashed out at her organization for giving “the wrong impression that this is a political persecution” and using it to raise $430,000.

“January 6 was about a lot of things, but it wasn’t about free speech or Covid vaccinations… the only reason you’re here is where, when and how you chose to speak your mind.”

“I think it’s inappropriate that your organization is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for its activities, including your salary,” he said, claiming she raised the money “by mischaracterizing proceedings.” “People need to know that this is not acceptable.”

The court also noted that Gold showed no remorse in the wake of the riots when he noted her interview with the Washington Post where she claimed she had not seen or thought of any violence, she was breaking laws.

“I can certainly talk to where I was, and it was very emphatically not a riot,” she had told the outlet after the uprising. “Where I was was incredibly peaceful.”

But prosecutors say she entered the Capitol immediately after a law enforcement officer was assaulted and dragged to the ground in front of her.

However, she told the judge she was “shocked” that prosecutors did not believe she was sorry, adding that she was “misguided”.

“I shouldn’t have joined… Everything I did on January 6, misguided or not, was consistent with my efforts to do my best for people.”

While a person could face up to one year in prison on a felony charge, prosecutors recommended 90 days in prison, one year of supervised release and 60 hours of community service for her.

Gold’s attorney Dickson J Young asked for a judgment from the community medical service, arguing she did not incite violence.

More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol uprising, more than 300 have pleaded guilty, most of them to wrongdoing, and nearly 200 have been convicted.

Additional reporting of the wires