Trump tweets COVID-19 conspiracy video so outrageous it was banned from Facebook and Twitter
Hydroxychloroquine is back. Not back in the sense of being a coronavirus treatment that is in any way recommended—it is definitely not—but back in right-wing media and on Donald Trump’s mind. The subject exploded on Monday when video of a Houston doctor insisting that hydroxychloroquine works and masks are unnecessary went hugely viral, backed by Breitbart News and Trump and Don Jr. In the hours before Facebook took the video down, it got more than 13 million views and seemingly kicked off a new string of tweets from Trump promoting the malaria drug, including repeated retweets of things then removed by Twitter.
To be clear, hydroxychloroquine’s FDA emergency use authorization—which was originally granted under pressure from Trump—is still revoked, and, in response to the new viral video, Dr. Anthony Fauci emphasized that “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.” But the science is not good enough for, apparently, millions of people who would rather listen to Dr. Stella Immanuel.
Immanuel is a pediatrician with a history of bizarre and flatly ridiculous medical claims. “She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches,” The Daily Beast reports. “She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.” Oh, and the government is run in part by “reptilians.”
It’s in that context that you have to hear her claims, made Friday on Capitol Hill, that “Hello, you don’t need a mask. There is a cure” for COVID-19. Specifically, hydroxychloroquine. Immanuel claimed “I have treated over 350 patients with 100% success.”
Alien DNA, dream sex with demons and witches causing endometriosis, reptilian-led government, and hydroxychloroquine. Sounds about right.
The hydroxychloroquine good, masks bad claims are what Trump retweeted repeatedly, along with other promotion of hydroxychloroquine—14 tweets over the span of half an hour late Monday night. Hey, remember how last week Trump stayed on script for like 10 minutes and got widespread coverage of his “new tone” (ABC News) and “real change in tone” (CBS News) and “very different tone” (NBC News)? Yeah. And while I am not a fan of betting in general, if anyone wants to bet me that those media organizations learned their lesson and will in future refrain from claiming Trump has pivoted or changed his tone or the like, I will definitely bet that they have not learned that lesson.