Is that a face mask — or a gag? The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr, has had the functionality of his Twitter account restricted after sharing a video which supposedly breaches the site’s COVID misinformation policy.
Jack Dorsey slapped Don Jr on the wrist for posting footage of the America’s Frontline Doctors Press Conference, which was held outside the Supreme Court on Monday. In the video, doctors from the newly-formed group claim that masks are unnecessary to prevent the spread of the virus, and that there is a cure to COVID-19. The President himself also retweeted the footage. As he told Dave Portnoy last week, ‘It’s the retweets that get you into trouble.’
According to CNN:
‘During the press conference, a speaker who identifies herself as a doctor makes a number of dubious claims, including that “you don’t need masks” to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of COVID-19 are “fake science” sponsored by “fake pharma companies.”
‘”This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax,” the woman claims. “You don’t need masks, there is a cure.”’
So who to listen to — the dubious doctors or the dubious CNN reporters? On the one hand, masks have been credited with the limited spread of the coronavirus in places like Hong Kong — but on the other, if you don’t have COVID-19, you won’t be transmitting the virus by aerosol regardless of what you’re wearing on your face. One problem: if 80 percent of COVID cases are asymptomatic, you might not know whether you’re a carrier.
The doctor, Simone Gold, is certainly being rather liberal with her use of the word ‘cure’: Merriam-Webster suggests ‘treatment’ would be more fitting, as hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax have all been used to treat COVID sufferers as they recover from the effects of the virus. The CDC, however, revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment last month, saying the drug was ‘unlikely to be effective‘.
Naturally the Trump Jr camp are incensed.
‘Twitter suspending Don Jr for sharing a viral video of medical professionals discussing their views on hydroxychloroquine is further proof that Big Tech is intent on killing free expression online and is another instance of them committing election interference to stifle Republican voices,’ his spokesman Andy Surabian said.
‘While there is indeed much disagreement in the medical community about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus, there have been studies reported on by “mainstream” outlets like CNN, suggesting that it may in fact be an effective treatment. Those pretending otherwise are lying for political reasons.
‘It is beyond the pale for Twitter to silence someone for sharing the views of medical professionals who happen to dissent with their anti-hydroxychloroquine narrative.’
Twitter said that Trump Jr will have full access restored if he deletes his tweet. Cockburn wonders how many white-coated medical professionals the social media behemoth retains as part of its COVID-19 misinformation team…