YouTube suspended Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s account on Friday after he made comments about questionable Covid-19 treatments.
“We removed the video in compliance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policy, which prohibit content that advises people to take Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to cure or prevent the infection,” a YouTube spokeswoman told CNN.
According to Johnson’s spokeswoman, Alexa Henning, Johnson’s account will be suspended for a week, and the video shared on his account was from a virtual event organized by the Milwaukee Press Club.
Wisconsin Republican at odds with public
Johnson, who tested positive for coronavirus last fall, has been spreading anti-vaccine misinformation and downplaying the importance of vaccinating all Americans against Covid-19 for months, putting the controversial Wisconsin Republican at odds with public health guidance aimed at easing the ongoing pandemic. The two-term senator, who is up for reelection next year, has similarly downplayed the gravity of the January 6 insurgency at the US Capitol.
According to the corporation, YouTube does not allow medical disinformation on Covid-19, including anything that advocates the use of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19.
In July 2020, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine will be used to treat Covid-19.
The US Food and Drug Administration canceled an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat Covid-19 in July 2020. According to the EPA, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been proven to be safe and effective for treating or preventing Covid-19
Johnson was enraged by YouTube’s decision to suspend his account.
“They have decided there is only one medical position authorized, and that is the opinion mandated by government entities,” Johnson said CNN. “YouTube’s continued Covid censoring demonstrates that they have amassed far too much unaccountable authority. Big Tech and the mainstream media feel they are smarter than medical specialists who have dedicated their careers to science and utilize their knowledge to save lives.”
According to Henning, Johnson’s spokeswoman, a full video of the event broadcast by the press club remained on YouTube until Friday evening, when it was likewise removed with a warning stating that it violated YouTube’s community guidelines.
Corri Hess, president of the Milwaukee Press Club, also tweeted that the video stayed on their page but was later removed by YouTube.