*Facebook, Twitter and YouTube moved quickly to remove a viral video shared by the President of the United States that showed “doctors” making false and misleading claims about the coronavirus, but not after it was seen roughly 14 million times.
The video, which was published by the right-wing outlet Breitbart News, shows a press conference in front of the Supreme Court featuring people wearing white lab coats and calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors.” During the gathering, reportedly organized by the Tea Party Patriots, the “docs” claimed that “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and said studies showing hydroxychloroquine is an ineffective treatment are “fake science” and sponsored by “fake pharma companies,” according to CNN. The group also said that “we don’t need to be locked down,” according to The Washington Post.
Nigerian-born and trained physician, Dr. Stella Immanuel, claimed that as a primary care doctor in Houston, she has successfully treated over 100 patients with hydroxychloroquine, including patients with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, as well as the elderly. She calls the drug “a cure” for COVID-19 and wants to know why top pharmaceutical companies in the United States are dissuading the government from endorsing its use.
Watch her portion of the press conference below:
Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed hydroxychloroquine, shared clips from the video on Twitter Monday night. His tweets were later removed, as was a version of the video shared by Donald Trump Jr. Twitter has temporarily limited Donald Trump Jr.’s account, blocking his ability to tweet or retweet for 12 hours.
Multiple studies have found that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is not effective at treating COVID-19 and can cause adverse effects, such as heart rhythm irregularities. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called on all Americans to wear masks and face coverings in public to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Below, the full presser from the group calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors”: