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As hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients and the coronavirus infected physicians and nurses, state medical boards took a hands-off approach to doctor discipline: Emergency actions against doctors’ licenses dropped 59% from April through June of this year compared with the same period last year.

Emergency license suspensions and restrictions dropped 85% in April alone, according to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the National Practitioner Data Bank and provided the analysis to USA TODAY. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services intended to improve health care for the vulnerable and support training of medical professionals.

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