YouTube Suspends Ron Johnson Over Hydroxychloroquine Video; the senator calls it ‘arrogant’ censorship

Senator Ron Johnson accused YouTube of censorship on Friday after the Wisconsin Republican suspended his account on the platform for sharing video images of him promoting COVID-19 treatments of questioned effectiveness.

YouTube confirmed that it removed Mr. Johnson’s video for violating its rules against medical misinformation and explained that therefore his account will not be able to upload content for seven days.

The offending images originated from an online event that had been organized by the Milwaukee Press Club on June 3, where Mr. Johnson spoke approvingly of the use of the drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

Johnson said during the event that he believed the Trump and Biden administrations made “real mistakes” by not “vigorously exploring” the use of either drug as possible treatments for COVID-19.

“It always puzzled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the kind of solid screening research on early treatment,” he said before calling both drugs “incredibly safe.”

YouTube confirmed that it withdrew from the event that had been uploaded to Johnson’s channel and said the senator’s account would be suspended for a week until its three-strike policy is enforced.

“We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which do not allow content that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Washington Times.

“The arrogant Covid censorship of YouTube continues,” Johnson reacted on Twitter. How many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved by a free exchange of medical ideas? This speech suppression should concern all Americans. “

YouTube rules prohibit users from sharing misinformation about COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, including content that poses a serious risk of egregious harm or contradicts guidelines from local or global health authorities. The National Institutes of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration have recommended not using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID-19, respectively.

Corri Hess, president of the Milwaukee Press Club, said that after the video was removed from Johnson’s channel, images of the “record breaking event with journalists” were still available on her group’s YouTube page on Friday. That video was removed by YouTube later that night, he said on Twitter later.

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