The bizarre link to hydroxychloroquine at the Capitol riot

The bizarre link to hydroxychloroquine at the Capitol riot
Supporters of President Donald Trump near the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Tyler Merbler

Federal officials have arrested the director of a medical group that backed former President Donald Trump's false claims about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 after it was confirmed that he was among the angry pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The U.S. Department of Justice has arrested Dr. Simone Gold, head of America's Frontline Doctors, and charged her with "violent entry, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building," according to the law enforcement agency's charging documents.

It has also been reported that a man named John Strand, who works as the medical group's communications director, also faces charges in connection with the deadly riot. According to The Hill, the Justice Department also confirmed that there are photos of both Gold and Strand inside the Capitol building.

On Jan. 12, Gold conducted a phone interview with The Washington Post where she admitted that she was among those who stormed the Capitol. Now, she regrets doing so but claims the crowd was "incredibly peaceful" where she was inside the Capitol. "I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot," Gold, a resident of California, said during the interview with the publication. "Where I was, was incredibly peaceful."

Gold and Strand's arrest comes several months after they made headlines for backing Trump's baseless claims about hydroxychloroquine. At the time, they held a press conference outside of the Supreme Court to argue their claims. The doctors claimed the antimalarial drug could "cure" COVID-19, even though public health experts inside and outside the Trump administration itself repeatedly debunked such claims.

The footage of their press conference went viral on social media after Trump shared it via Twitter, which sparked even more criticism and concern about the former president's circulation of misinformation. Despite the group's claims, numerous studies have determined that the anti-malarial drug is not a beneficial form of treatment for coronavirus.

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