After going viral Monday, a video featuring a group of alleged doctors making false claims about the coronavirus was removed by Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The video, which was promoted by Breitbart News, shows people in white lab coats and calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” staging a press conference in front of the United States Supreme Court. Despite the dubiousness of the video, Trump shared multiple versions on his Twitter account.
Some of the claims made by “America’s Frontline Doctors” are: “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that recent studies showing the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine 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.”
The claims run contrary to multiple studies on the anti-malarial drug and advice from public health officials to prevent spread of the virus. Additionally, unusual heart rhythms and elevated liver-enzyme levels were seen more frequently in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine alone or with Zithromax.
More than 14 million viewers shared the video on Facebook before it was taken down for promoting misinformation.
“We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNN, adding that the platform is “showing messages in News Feed to people who have reacted to, commented on or shared harmful COVID-19-related misinformation that we have removed, connecting them to myths debunked by the World Health Organization.”
Twitter also worked to delete the video after Trump shared versions that amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
“We’re taking action in line with our Covid misinformation policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNN. By Tuesday morning, the videos were no longer able to be seen on Trump’s account. Twitter also took action and removed a version posted by Donald Trump Jr. and others shared by Breitbart News. YouTube also removed the video, explaining that it violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines.