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April 17, 2024

Johns Hopkins Medicine doctor and professor placed on leave following anti-Palestinian tweets

By CATHY WANG | November 21, 2023



Dr. Darren Klugman posted a series of anti-Palestinian tweets on Oct. 8.

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has opened an investigation into anti-Palestinian posts by Dr. Darren Klugman, Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Director at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center and Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). 

The tweets in question are a series of posts and comments made from Klugman’s personal X account @DrKlugs on Oct. 8, following the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In his tweets, Klugman referred to Palestinians as “blood thirsty morally depraved animals” and “a people that rape and murder civilians."

Klugman also promoted violence and denounced those who have asked for moderation or peace, calling “to reclaim every inch of Israel for Jews." Under a post that accused Israel of planning a large-scale slaughter and displacement of Palestinians, Klugman commented “G-d willing.” 

His X account @DrKlugs has been deleted. A series of screenshots has been circulating online and is attached below.

Kim Hoppe, Vice President of Communications and Chief Communications Officer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, stated in an email to The News-Letter that the University has placed Klugman on leave as part of an ongoing investigation.

“We at Johns Hopkins share the concern of many about the deeply disturbing social media posts made by a faculty member in the School of Medicine regarding the ongoing crisis in the Middle East,“ she wrote. “The faculty member who made these statements has been placed on leave, and thus will have no interaction with students or patients while we conduct a thorough investigation under our policies and procedures.”

In addition to the ongoing investigation by the School of Medicine, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) submitted a formal complaint against Klugman to the Maryland Board of Physicians on Nov. 14, in which CAIR urged the institution to revoke his medical license if the posts are proved to be authentic. 

In response to the complaint by CAIR, the Maryland Board of Physicians refused to impart whether Klugman is under investigation, citing the information as confidential under the law. However, if any disciplinary action is undertaken as a result of an investigation, the Board will publish a description on its website.

In a statement broadcasted to the Hopkins community on Thursday, Nov. 16, President Ronald J. Daniels reinforced the University's commitment to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment.

“Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins University are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for working, learning and patient care for every member of our community and all those we serve,“ he wrote. “Statements that explicitly threaten or extol violence against groups or individuals on the basis of national origin, race or religion violate our policies and do not represent our values.”

Daniels further emphasized the importance of compassion at this difficult moment.

“Johns Hopkins University seeks to bring our community together in a shared sense of humanity. We hope to engender compassion toward one another in a difficult moment," he wrote. “As we continue to navigate these challenging times together, we are grateful for your care and concern for one another and our community.”

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