By Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
Google’s YouTube has stepped up its draconian censorship of a sitting U.S. senator.
The powerful video-sharing company removed a video of a speech given by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and banned him from uploading new videos for at least seven days. The action took place several months after YouTube removed two videos of testimony given at a hearing he hosted of the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the topic of early treatment of COVID-19.
In the video YouTube censors are prohibiting the public from viewing, Johnson took bureaucrats in the Trump and Biden administrations to task for “not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID.”
While large pharmaceutical companies and their allies in government bureaucracies and the World Health Organization have focused their research and funding on new treatments for the novel coronavirus, some doctors and studies have argued for the use of drugs that have been on the market for decades. The patents for the drugs have expired, meaning they are now manufactured by multiple companies who would share in the profit. Therefore trials involving the drugs have to be funded by the government and private donors.
Johnson noted that he held two hearings on early treatment for COVID-19. He said one of the people testifying at one of the hearings talked about “the four pillars of pandemic response,” those being prevention of the spread of the virus, early treatment, treatment in the hospital, and vaccines.
“It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” Johnson said, explaining why he wanted to bring more focus to that topic. He noted that studies have shown that “both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” are “incredibly safe” drugs.
Both drugs have been on the market for decades and are recommended for various uses, such as Lupus and scabies. Currently, the National Institutes of Health recommends against the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19, after a study showed it did no harm but did not provide benefit. NIH is currently neutral on the use of ivermectin for COVID-19, a shift from a previous recommendation against its use.
While most pharmaceutical companies and countries funding research aren’t evaluating the two drugs for robust study, some recent studies have buttressed defenders’ hope in the treatment. See, for example, this study awaiting peer review on positive outcomes associated with multi-drug treatment including hydroxychloroquine, and this similarly not-yet-reviewed study out of Argentina on ivermectin.
YouTube said it was censoring discussion of the drug as part of its policy against “medical misinformation,” which says it won’t allow anything that “contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.”
YouTube’s position is that content on the site must parrot whatever comes from its narrow set of authorities, even though their positions change frequently and dramatically as more is learned about the novel coronavirus.
Read more at The Federalist