Censorship of doctors on social media platforms a significant threat to our society and freedom of information.
On July 27, a group of physicians from around the country met on the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. They discussed the Coronavirus pandemic and the effective treatment of the virus with hydroxychloroquine. The physicians call themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” and their experience spans decades and several areas of expertise. Within hours, video footage of the press conference had gone viral. However, it was subsequently removed from social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Google has also removed the video multiple times.
In the subsequent hours, articles have appeared on dozens of news sites “fact-checking” the doctors summit. These websites also made slanderous claims against the “people in white medical coats,” refusing to even acknowledge the participants as physicians. Some have made accusations that Trump hired actors to stage the press conference. They say it’s part of an effort to appeal to “conservatives and conspiracy theorists” and to reopen the economy. Many have called the video “dangerous misinformation.”
Dr. Simone Gold, an Emergency Medical Specialist of over 31 years, who is also a lawyer, hosted the summit. Gold also has continued to advocate for open communication about COVID-19 and treatment plans for the virus.
The doctors who met and spoke, collectively agreed that the economy and schools should not be closed. They also concluded that masks are not necessary for preventing the spread of the virus. Another collective understanding among them is that the virus is not dangerous to those without pre-existing conditions – which include obesity and is rarely discussed.
An impassioned Dr. Stella Immanuel, a pediatrician in Louisiana affiliated with several hospitals, was adamant that she has successfully treated over 350 patients with hydroxychloroquine. President Trump recommended hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. However, the media decried it as dangerous and ineffective. The doctors in the video asked why hydroxychloroquine had a place on the “safe” list of the World Health Organization for over 30 years, used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis.
"We were disappointed. We would have liked for this to work"https://t.co/f0PN8AecOG
— KUTV2news (@KUTV2News) June 3, 2020
When asked about the previously conducted testing of hydroxychloroquine that showed the drug as ineffective, the doctors unanimously agreed that during the test, researchers gave the wrong dosages, at the wrong times, to the wrong patients. As the New York Times points out, “the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency authorization for the drug for Covid-19 patients and said it was ‘unlikely to be effective’ and carried potential risks. The National Institutes of Health halted clinical trials of the drug.” But why?
The doctors at the summit encouraged governors to make hydroxychloroquine available to the doctors in their states. They asked that citizens call their governors, senators, and representatives, and demand them to make all treatment options available. Many countries let people have access to hydroxychloroquine from over-the-counter. Meanwhile, in the United States, pharmacists receive advice to override physician prescriptions of the drug. They also refuse to fill the prescriptions – a first in our nation.
The media silencing of differing opinions is worrisome at best, and dangerous at worst. The narrative being fed to the American people is one of fear, infringing on the rights that are at the heart of our nation. Succumbing to those fears will destroy America. The swift and consistent removal of the video, and the slanderous accusations made against each participant in the video is frightening proof that our news is being filtered and is politically influenced.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter not only removed the video, but also limited account access for those that shared it. President Trump has continued to share clips of the video.