Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have removed a Breitbart video depicting people calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” and advocating hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.
President Trump himself shared the clip — which went viral Monday — a number of times, though it is no longer available on his Twitter account.
According to CNN, the clip shows a woman who identifies herself as a doctor at a press conference. The woman says that masks are unnecessary for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, which is contrary to the guidance released by the Trump administration’s own agencies. She also says hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria and lupus, is “the cure.”
That contradicts findings from health experts and studies which don’t show hydroxychloroquine being effective in coronavirus treatment. The woman calls the findings “fake science” from “fake pharma companies.”
During a “Good Morning America” interview Tuesday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci stood firm with the FDA against the use of the drug for coronavirus patients: “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”
Breitbart trended on Twitter Monday night as users reacted to the disappearance of the press conference video, which CNN reports had more than 14 million views on Facebook. Breitbart confirmed on its site that the video had been removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, stating, “Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic.”
Representatives for the social media companies did not immediately return requests for comment on the removal, but on Twitter, one Facebook spokesperson wrote that the site “removed it for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.”