Dr. Sean Conley

Dr. Sean Conley, D.O., appears to have violated the terms of the medical license issued to him on July 2007 by the Commonwealth of Virginia. C&BP has filed a complaint with the Virginia Dept. of Health Professionals asking that his license be revoked.

According to the Code of Virginia § 54.1-2915, a medical license may be revoked for acts of “unprofessional conduct” that include:

  • “Performing any act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.”
  • “Conducting his practice in such a manner as to be a danger to the health and welfare of his patients or to the public.”

In the period preceding President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis on Oct. 1, Dr. Conley, who serves as White House Chief Medical Advisor and physician to the president, could have demanded that guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the White House be strictly enforced. To protect his medical license, he could have made it clear that he would not endanger the health and welfare of his patient or the public. He could have resigned. But Dr. Sean Conley did not.

No less a figure than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has refused to visit the White House since Aug. 6, due to its cavalier attitude toward the virus.

Dr. Sean Conley36 Infections and Counting

According to an internal government memo distributed among senior leadership at FEMA, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, and obtained by ABC News, the outbreak has infected “34 White House staffers and other contacts” in recent days. It was recently announced two additional White House residence staff have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to four. They include three members of the housekeeping staff, as well as an usher.

Since the President was diagnosed with COVID-19, Dr. Conley could have spoken frankly about the president’s symptoms, treatment and prognosis. But he did not. Instead, Dr. Conley has provided deliberately misleading information to the nation and the world about President Trump’s health and treatment. By doing so, he has violated his medical license by “Performing any act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.”

On Oct. 4, President Trump rode in his limousine around Walter Reed Army Medical Center to wave to supporters. This violated isolation guidance from the CDC. The President’s ride risked the lives of Secret Service personnel in the vehicle – as well as their families and friends.

Information That Might Steer The Illness

Dr. Sean Conley admitted on October 4th to omitting critical details about the seriousness of President Trump’s condition by saying he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude” of the team and the President. Conley also added that he “…didn’t want to give any information that might steer the illness in another direction.”

C&BP is unclear how leaving out important details about a presidential health condition in a public briefing would magically “steer the illness in another direction.” But it is abundantly clear that refusing to protect the health and welfare of his patient and the public to enforce the wearing of masks and social distancing inside the White House enabled the disease to spread among nearly three dozen people.

On Oct. 5, President Trump returned to the White House and dramatically removed his mask. Five days later, Dr. Conley declared in an official memo that President Trump is “not infectious to others.”

We are glad that the President of the United States has so far recovered. But he received a cocktail of three major medications to attack his infection, one of which is experimental and not available to the public and the dedicated resources of Walter Reed.

“It’s just a lot of understandable mixed signals, that it’s either serious or it’s not serious,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “It’s deadly or it’s not deadly. To me, that’s been the bane of trying to get a message across to people.”

Meanwhile, 217,000 people have died so far of the disease in the U.S. and the numbers are rising.

National Security Questions

Conley’s apparent reckless disregard for his responsibilities as White House Chief Medical Advisor cannot be shielded by laws protecting patient information. There are national security stakes that are inseparable from questions of presidential health.

Dr. Sean Conley appears to have enabled his patient, the President of the United States, to be a threat to the staff and public. Conley did that by not insisting upon widely acknowledged prevention protocols every American is being asked to follow. By conducting “his practice in such a manner as to be a danger to the health and welfare of his patients or to the public,” he violated the terms of his medical license.

There must be professional accountability for such reckless conduct, and we call upon the Virginia Department of Health Professionals to take appropriate action.

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Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative watchdog blog holding government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.