Saturday, October 17, 2020

My letter today to the Composite Medical Board of Georgia re: Richard D. McCormick M.D.

Sent via email to and faxed to (404)656-9723 

October 17, 2020

Jonathan McGehee
Director of Investigations
Georgia Composite Medical Board
2 Peachtree Street, NW, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3465

Dear Mr. McGehee:

According to What is unprofessional conduct? on your agency’s website:

According to the Medical Practice Act, unprofessional conduct includes "any departure from or failure to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing medical practice and shall also include, but not be limited to the prescribing or use of drugs, treatment or diagnostic procedures which are detrimental to the patient as determined by the minimal standards of acceptable medical care…"

Re: licensee #69037, Richard Dean McCormick M.D., this is to request that your agency review the following information and provide me with a determination whether or not Dr. McCormick has violated the standards of unprofessional conduct.

According to Dr. McCormick's licensure information on your agency's website, he graduated from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2010 and completed a residency at Emory University in 2013. According to his LinkedIn, Dr. McCormick was an emergency medicine physician in the United States Navy from 2013-2017 and from 2017 to the present he has worked as an emergency medicine physician at Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital. According to the licensure information on your agency's website and a search of the website of the American Board of Medical Specialities, he is not board certified. A PubMed search of the literature failed to locate any articles listing him as an author.

In other words, it appears Dr. McCormick has no displayed expertise in any medical field except emergency medicine which, since obtaining his Georgia license on December 7, 2012, he has been practicing for less than seven years.

Nevertheless, per the attached October 6, 2020 letter signed by 120 Georgia health care professionals, since February of this year, Dr. McCormick has represented himself in media reports and via social media as an expert in the fields of epidemiology, immunology, and public health:

On February 27th, Dr. McCormick suggested the country had nothing to worry about, stating that “nobody in the United States has died from [COVID-19]. We have zero cases in Georgia. To put this in perspective, 12,000 people die a year of the flu.” At the time of this statement, 82,736 persons had been diagnosed and 2,814 people had died of COVID-19 globally.

On February 29th, Dr. McCormick tweeted: “Strong decisive leadership prevented this situation from being much worse,” and “Everything gets worse with panic.”

On March 9th, Dr. McCormick blamed the media for “creating panic and hype to create headlines” regarding COVID-19, as cases in the US began to spike.

On March 16th, Dr. McCormick stated in a video that COVID-19 would be "a bad memory" in "two months." By March 16, there already had been 4,679 cases and 97 deaths in the US. Two months later, there would be 1.474 million cases and 91,697 deaths in the US, including 37,212 cases and 1,598 deaths in Georgia.

On May 16th, Dr. McCormick used his credentials as a physician to urge the reopening of the country while the spread of the virus was still not under control. A dramatic surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred following Memorial Day, including in Georgia.

On May 26th, Dr. McCormick said Governor Kemp “made a bold move to open back up” and falsely claimed “data shows we’re doing it safely.”

...On April 9th, June 1st, and July 3rd, Dr. McCormick promoted, without evidence, the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19. The FDA revoked its EUA for hydroxychloroquine on June 15, 2020 on the basis that it was unlikely to be effective for treatment but had known and potential side effects, thus no longer meeting EUA criteria. In his June 1 appearance on One America News Network he also mentioned using “other drugs” including ivermectin, doxycycline, and zinc, none of which have evidence for efficacy.

...On June 1st, Dr. McCormick incorrectly claimed that the coronavirus "wasn't spreading" because the country was developing herd immunity to the virus. The virus was, in fact, spreading rapidly at that time, as evidenced by the fact that US cases would rise from 1.8 million on June 1 to nearly 2.7 million on July 1. During that month, over 20,000 people would die in the US and over 700 in Georgia, bringing total deaths to 128,417 and 2,827, respectively. McCormick’s unsubstantiated theories about herd immunity have been repeatedly discredited by multiple experts. CDC Director Redfield recently testified to Congress that fewer than 10% of Americans are likely to have immunity, far short of the high levels needed to provide true community “herd” immunity. Moreover, experts have said that “herd” immunity without a vaccine would require a minimum of 50% of the population to have immunity and would result in as many as 500,0002,100,000 deaths in the US, an unimaginable toll to pay.

On September 8th, Dr. McCormick repeated the discredited and dangerous claim that the country had reached herd immunity: “I’m very proud to say we’re reached a point of saturation… Once you reach about 15-25% of the population you do develop a herd immunity. We’ve reached that right now.” Stating that herd immunity has been reached is tantamount to telling the public that further mitigation through masks, social distancing, and other measures, is no longer required. In the same video, he also falsely stated that, “The youth are not at risk for this disease.”

...On September 8, Dr. McCormick stated that “We should have the vaccination out by about November 1.” Both Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Redfield testified under oath to Congress that a vaccine would not be widely available to the general population until at least Spring of 2021. 

In your review, this is to request that you include the entire letter (which includes hyperlinked citations to the sources of Dr. McCormick’s statements).

2) According to a May 27, 2020 interview with reporter Stephanie Myers of the One America News Network (OANN), Doctor discusses fight against COVID-19 & GOP congressional race in Georgia:

SM: Hydroxychloroquine continues to be a trending topic as numerous doctors report seeing success treating COVID-19 patients with the drug. One of those doctors is Dr. Richard McCormick, an emergency room physician in Georgia who’s also running for the Peach State’s 7th Congressional District...As a doctor yourself, what are some cases where you’ve seen hydroxychloroquine treat patients with coronavirus?

Dr. Richard McCormick: So one of our standards is when we admit a patient, and that means they’re sick enough to be treated in the hospital, is we use hydroxychloroquine as one of our standard treatments...Remember this is a novel virus. 

On June 13, a couple weeks after the OANN interview, Katherine Watkins -- who handles media relations for Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital – wrote me that neither hospital treats COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine.

Since then I’ve written to Dr. McCormick requesting that he provide the name of the hospital where “we use hydroxychloroquine as one of our standard treatments (for COVID-19).” I’ve received no reply, therefore I’m concerned about the veracity of the information he provided to OANN’s audience. Further, since he apparently only works at Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital, he may have mischaracterized the treatment protocols at those facilities.

This is to request that your agency ask Dr. McCormick to provide the name of the hospital to which he was referring and that you determine if his televised claim was in compliance your agency’s standards of unprofessional conduct.

Thank you for your time/consideration and I look forward to your reply.


Peter M. Heimlich
Peachtree Corners, GA 30096 USA
ph: (678)322-7984‬