YouTube has reportedly deleted a video of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) where he discussed hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as early treatment for COVID-19 infections.
YouTube took down a video of a speech in which Johnson talked about the drugs as possible early treatment for coronavirus infections, The Federalist reported. The company also banned his channel from posting videos on the platform for at least a week.
YouTube claimed that the video in question violates its policy against “medical misinformation.” This YouTube rule bans any claim that goes against the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease and Control, or local health authorities. YouTube does not allow its users to contradict these institutions on anything from treatment, prevention, and diagnosis to transmission and pandemic-related guidelines.
What Johnson said: In the video, the Senator criticized the U.S. government for “not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID.”
“It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” Johnson reportedly said, adding that several studies have shown that “both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” are “incredibly safe.”
The Wisconsin Senator also said that he supports Operation Warp Speed but there was a lack of effort to find out more about early COVID-19 treatment.
“I thought it was brilliant the way the Trump administration squeezed all of the economic efficiencies out of producing the vaccine, but I think we’re still going to need early treatments,” he said.
He also highlighted that “world-renowned experts … have come to a different conclusion than our health agencies …pretty well sabotaged the ability for many doctors to even consider hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, or other of these multi-drug generic repurpose drug approaches here.”
Johnson’s response: The Senator responded to the ban on Twitter where he accused YouTube of “censorship.”
“YouTube’s arrogant Covid censorship continues. How many lives will be lost as a result. How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas?” he wrote.
Not a first: Earlier this year, YouTube similarly censored two videos from Johnson’s channel of a U.S. committee hearing where Dr. Pierre Kory testified about ivermectin and studies that showed it may help treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
“The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn’t be able to hear what senators heard. Apparently they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives. They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. Government-sanctioned censorship of ideas and speech should frighten us all,” Johnson wrote at the time in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.
Worth noting: An observational study recently published by medRxiv found that hydroxychloroquine, in combination with zinc, could increase survival rates in COVID-19 parties with severe symptoms by as much as nearly 200% if distributed at higher doses.
The National Institute of Health currently advises against using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-1 patients and neither supports nor recommends against using ivermectin to treat coronavirus infections.
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