After he refused to abide by Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-era mask mandate in 2020, the Texas Medical Board recently indefinitely suspended the license of Dr. Eric Hensen.
Now, following public outrage at the decision, TMB has reinstated his license.
Dr. Eric Hensen, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Palestine, has been fighting the TMB for years over the mask mandate policy. In 2021, the TMB first sent him a letter stating he violated Abbott’s mask order in 2020 after a patient turned him in, and required him to produce medical records and office policies.
The board penalized Hensen with a “remediation plan” that involved a $500 fine, continuing medical education, a jurisprudence test, and other additional requirements that Hensen was unable to maintain, under threat of being reprimanded on a national database.
When they suspended his license last month, Hensen said he would sue the TMB.
On Wednesday, Hensen’s lawyer, Paul Davis, said the board had given his license back.
“I’m happy to announce that the Texas Medical Board has reinstated my client, Dr. Eric Hensen, to Medical practice after suspending his license last week for his refusal to follow their 2020 mask mandate,” Davis wrote in a Twitter post, adding that he believed public pressure and exposure from conservative media outlets “helped tremendously.”
The plans for the the lawsuit against TMB are still going forward, however, with Davis saying they would “sue the board members responsible for this outrageous tyranny.”
The Texas Medical Board consists of 12 physician members and seven public members appointed for a six-year term by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.