B.C. doctor to face disciplinary panel over 'misleading, incorrect or inflammatory' claims about COVID-19

Dr. Charles Hoffe is shown during the Doctors on Tour stop in Terrace, B.C., on Jan. 26. (Georgie Smyth/CBC - image credit)
Dr. Charles Hoffe is shown during the Doctors on Tour stop in Terrace, B.C., on Jan. 26. (Georgie Smyth/CBC - image credit)

A B.C. doctor who's been touring the province and giving public speeches that include false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine is facing a disciplinary hearing over allegations of professional misconduct.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. has posted a notice online saying a citation has been issued for Dr. Charles Hoffe of Lytton for "publishing statements on social media and other digital platforms that were misleading, incorrect or inflammatory about vaccinations, treatments and public measures relating to COVID-19."

CBC News has contacted Hoffe for comment.

A college disciplinary panel will consider evidence that includes Hoffe's recommendation for patients to use the antiparasitic medication ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and suggesting they visit animal feed stores to buy the veterinary version of the treatment, according to the notice.

Ivermectin has become popular in anti-vaccine circles as a treatment for the coronavirus, but the most recent research suggests it is not effective and consuming a formulation meant for animals can have serious side-effects.

The notice also points to Hoffe's false claims that COVID-19 vaccines are more dangerous than the disease, including "publicly expressing that the COVID-19 vaccinations cause microscopic blood clots that cause serious neurological harm, female infertility and a high number of deaths that is not recognized by public health."

His incorrect suggestions that vaccinated people can cause harm to unvaccinated people will be under consideration, as well.

Letter posted on anti-vaccine website

The allegations against Hoffe concern statements he published online in April 2021, according to the college's notice.

That's when Hoffe suddenly rose to prominence in the anti-COVID vaccine movement after publishing a letter to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on the website of the anti-vaccine group Vaccine Choice Canada.

Hoffe claimed in his letter that after administering the Moderna shot to community members, he believed "this vaccine is quite clearly more dangerous than COVID-19."

His letter also echoed a common but thoroughly debunked talking point that suggests mRNA vaccines are actually a form of "experimental gene modification therapy."

More recently, Hoffe has been one of the main speakers in a series of events called "Doctors on Tour" that stopped in more than a dozen communities across the province in December and January.

When a CBC reporter approached Hoffe during a stop in Terrace, B.C., earlier this year, he declined to comment on any college investigations into his activities.

A hearing date for Hoffe has yet to be scheduled. He remains a fully licensed doctor in B.C., with no conditions on his practice.