Facebook pulls down Hydroxychloroquine video

Facebook Boss Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has taken down a video posted by right-wing news site Breitbart and retweeted by President Trump, showing a doctor vehemently making false claims that antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is a “cure for Covid” that allegedly racked up 17 million views before being removed.

The video shows a group of people calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors”, standing on the steps of Capitol Hill, led by Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based doctor who labelled studies casting doubt on the effectiveness of the antimalarial drug as “fake science.”

Immanuel claimed that she is using the antimalarial drug because of a 2005 study, published by the National Institutes of Health, which claims Chloroquine, a more toxic version of hydroxychloroquine, can prevent the spread of coronavirus in cells. 

She claimed that she put herself and her staff on hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis, and that she treated more than 300 patients and “none of them died.”

Yet last month, the NIH halted a clinical trial of the drug, saying that while a study showed that treatment caused no harm, the drug was “very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with COVID-19.” 

The NIH also advises against using the drug as a treatment for coronavirus.

The video has since been removed from Facebook and YouTube, with Facebook’s policy communications director Andy Stone tweeting: “We removed it for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.”

But versions of the video continued to circulate on Twitter as of Tuesday morning, with one version retweeted by Trump, according to a screenshot by the Daily Mail, before being deleted.

Trump revealed in May that he was taking a two-week dose of hydroxychloroquine prophylactically.

Forbes has contacted the America’s Frontline Doctors group and Breitbart for comment.

-Forbes

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