The Potluck

Scott Jensen accuses state of targeting his medical license to ‘crush dissenting voices’

By: - February 1, 2023 5:40 pm

Former candidate for governor Scott Jensen accused the state medical board and attorney general of targeting him for being a voice of dissent about COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Screenshot from Jensen video

Former Republican nominee for governor Scott Jensen is accusing the state medical board and attorney general of targeting his medical license for political reasons.

Jensen released a video on social media (now going viral) Monday in which he said he recently received a letter from the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice notifying him of an upcoming conference on a complaint against him. The letter (which he showed on screen) was written on Office of Attorney General stationery because their attorney works for the board.

In July 2020, Jensen first went public about a medical board complaint against him. He said it was the first time in his 40-year career he’d been the subject of a complaint, and that it arose after he expressed unconventional views about COVID-19. 

He said four other complaints against him were dismissed, but after hearing nothing last year — as he was running for governor — this fifth complaint has been resurrected after first being lodged 15 months ago.

“What do you think happened in 2022?” he said, an apparent reference to his failed run for governor. “The pieces of the puzzle fell into place” — presumably after he lost to Gov. Tim Walz.  

“There’s an opportunity for dissenting voices to be crushed,” Jensen said.   

The letter, dated Jan. 25, is a notice requesting that he meet with the board’s complaint review committee as an “information-gathering step.” Ruth Martinez, the board’s executive director, and an assistant attorney general signed the letter. 

Martinez acknowledged in the letter that their language is “quite formal and legalistic,” as required by law, but went on to say the meeting won’t be a hearing. Rather, it will be a forum for the board to meet face-to-face with Jensen and have a conversation about the concerns raised.

That did little to assuage Jensen’s concerns: He said he was up past 1 a.m. “trying to go through this.”

“This is all about raw politics. This is about raw power. This is about punishment,” he said on the video.

Other doctors have accused Jensen of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. 

Although Jensen has denied being anti-vaccine, he has appeared with prominent anti-vaxxers, and he once referred to COVID-19 as a “mild four-day respiratory illness.” He promoted using hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. And during this campaign for governor last year, he compared pandemic public health policies to Hitler’s rise. 

Jensen said his medical license is on the line.

“How does that make me feel? Sick to my stomach,” he said.

He accused the state of trying to “extinguish a voice of skepticism,” noting that he is former vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee, has taught at the University of Minnesota and was asked by Walz to help get an insulin bill passed.

“If you’re not getting on board, you’re a problem,” he said. “If they can do it to me, they can do it to you.”

The attorney general and medical board did not respond to a request for comment.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Deena Winter
Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs.