Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have deleted a viral video shared by President Trump that peddled disinformation about COVID-19, including that masks are unnecessary and that hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for the coronavirus. Donald Trump Jr. called the video, which was viewed tens of millions of times on the three social media platforms, a “must watch,” …
Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have deleted a viral video shared by President Trump that peddled disinformation about COVID-19, including that masks are unnecessary and that hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for the coronavirus.
Donald Trump Jr. called the video, which was viewed tens of millions of times on the three social media platforms, a “must watch,” while Donald Trump retweeted the video to his 84 million followers.
The video, which shows a press conference with a group of people — “America’s Frontline Doctors” — wearing white lab coats in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, was first posted by Breitbart on Facebook and Youtube, but has since been removed.
Twitter deleted posts featuring the video, saying it was “in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy” and temporarily restricted Donald Trump Jr.’s account, barring him from tweeting for 12 hours.
Facebook said it was removed for “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.”
Lead by emergency medicine specialist Simone Gold, who has vocally opposed stay-at-home orders, the group features doctors, anti-vaxxers, lawyers and a social media coordinator and says it wants to “empower Americans to stop living in fear.”
The doctors claimed “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective are just “fake science” sponsored by “fake pharma companies.”
One doctor, Houston GP Stella Immanuel, claimed she has successfully treated more than 350 people with coronavirus using hydroxychloroquine.
“This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax,” Immanuel said. “You don’t need masks, there is a cure.”
Immanuel’s credibility has come into question as her past claims about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams have resurfaced.
The coronavirus claims contrast what White House officials, public authorities and scientists have said about the virus: The New England Journal of Medicine reported in June that a study showed that hydroxychloroquine was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.
The antimalarial drug has been a source of debate for months as critics of the president have accused him of overselling an unproven treatment, while his supporters have accused social media companies of censorship.
In April, YouTube removed a viral video of two California doctors questioning the severity of the coronavirus.