A viral video of a news conference conducted on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court by a group of physicians calling themselves America’s Frontline Doctors has been banned from social media channels run by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The Facebook version of the video was viewed over 17 million times before the social media giant took it down, saying the video “spread false information about cures and treatments for Covid-19.” Twitter said, “Tweets with the video are in violation of our Covid-19 misinformation policy.”
The website for America’s Frontline Doctors, accessed by The Daily Citizen this morning, is no longer functioning. We reached out to Squarespace, the web hosting service involved, as to the reason for the website being taken down, but did not hear back.
When Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted a link to the video, Twitter demanded he remove it and then said it would “limit some account activity for 12 hours.” President Donald Trump, who also tweeted the video, was not suspended, but Twitter deleted the video from his tweets.
The doctors in the video advocate for widespread use of the drug Hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with zinc and Zithromax either as a prophylactic measure or during the very early stages of COVID-19. One doctor from Houston reported that she’d used the drugs with over 350 COVID patients with no fatalities. There is a transcript of the news conference for those interested.
The use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID has been the subject of controversy ever since President Trump mentioned it favorably in March as the pandemic heated up. Although the drug has been successfully used for years in the prevention and treatment of malaria, its use against the novel coronavirus has seen mixed results in controlled studies.
However, recently a Yale professor of epidemiology, Dr. Harvey Risch, argued in an op-ed for Newsweek for the immediate use of the drug in the battle against COVID-19. He believes that opposition to the use of that particular medicine is not grounded in science, but politics.
“In the future,” Risch wrote, “I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence. But for now, reality demands a clear, scientific eye on the evidence and where it points. For the sake of high-risk patients, for the sake of our parents and grandparents, for the sake of the unemployed, for our economy and for our polity, especially those disproportionally affected, we must start treating immediately.”
When esteemed physicians and epidemiologists like Risch and the group from America’s Frontline Doctors offer their medical judgments that challenge the current wisdom, should those medical judgments be deleted from the debate by social media elites? Is that how science advances, by squelching discussion of important subjects? And this isn’t the first time social media has played the arbiter of what people hear from doctors during the pandemic.
That’s why calls for the FCC to begin regulating social media platforms may be in the public interest. With that much control over what the public sees and hears, the social media giants have become monopolies who do not merely host the debate but tilt it in one direction. And that’s not right.
Photo from Breitbart
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