“The National Doctors Tea Party” drew several hundred protesters to a park in San Diego this Saturday, where activists clad in white lab coats protested the Affordable Care Act. As was the case at a recent tea party event in Philadelphia, turnout at the California event appeared to be lower than expected.
The protest was meant to showcase physicians’ opposition to “Obamacare,” and many activists present were “wearing white lab coats – implying that they were doctors.” But at least one man was not, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that he borrowed a white lab coat for the protest, because the event’s website encouraged attendees to do so:
Craig Brown, a psychiatrist who lives in Del Mar, donned a white lab coat and wore a stethoscope around his neck as U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada spoke against the health-care bill signed into law earlier this year.
“I’m against ObamaCare,” Brown said. “It doesn’t achieve the goals of reduced health-care spending and because it will increase regulation and create more government agencies.”
Brown said he borrowed the white coat from a nearby lab because a website suggested people wear lab coats to the event.
In fact, as the OB Rag noted, “there are actually only two local San Diego medical doctors that belong to the sponsoring group.”
The highlight of the event was a speech by Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle, who thanked the doctors for “standing up for freedom and liberty.” As has become her default strategy, Angle fled from reporters after the event, granting only the conservative web outlet PJTV an interview. After Angle escaped, a spokesperson seemed to admit that the reporters present were not “mainstream media.” When asked if they were, the spokesperson said, “well, the campaign wasn’t responsible for what media outlets showed up.” “But she [Angle] was definitely here and available to answer questions,” the spokesperson added with Angle safely hidden from view.
Angle’s headlining of the event has raised eyebrows, as the event’s sponsor, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, is a far-right organization that propagates absurd anti-government conspiracy theories. The group has called the establishment of Medicare “evil” and “immoral”; has denied the link between HIV and AIDS; has argued that the FDA is unconstitutional; has promoted “one of Angle’s previously expressed theories that abortion may cause breast cancer“; and has even warned that President Obama may have used a “covert form of hypnosis” to win over voters.
Angle’s association with extremist groups is not too surprising at this point, but it appears that staffers from the campaign of California GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina were also at the event.