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YouTube suspends Sen. Ron Johnson for a week for COVID-19 misinformation

ron johnson
Posted at 3:48 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 22:21:06-04

WASHINGTON — YouTube has suspended Sen. Ron Johnson from posting new videos on the platform for one week over coronavirus comments.

YouTube told The Hill that it made the call for comments the Wisconsin U.S. Senator made in a video posted on his account in which he reportedly supported unproven, experimental treatments for COVID-19 such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin.

The platform said it removed the video per its COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don't allow content encouraging people to use Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin to treat the coronavirus.

YouTube's misinformation policy states "YouTube doesn't allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities' or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19. This is limited to content that contradicts WHO or local health authorities’ guidance on:

  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Transmission
  • Social distancing and self isolation guidelines
  • The existence of COVID-19."

Sen. Johnson pushed back against the decision in a tweet Friday, writing that "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? This suppression of speech should concern every American."

The Hill reports the video in question showed Johnson criticizing President Biden's administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as promoting the use of Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin.

Hydroxychloroquine in particular came into the spotlight after former President Trump promoted its use as a way to combat the virus.

A National Institutes of Health clinical trial last year concluded Hydroxychloroquine provides no clinical benefit to patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.

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