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YouTube Gives “Ron Anon” Johnson A Seven-Day Timeout For Spreading Medical Misinformation – Again

Unconstrained by the inconvenience of facts, Sen. Ron Johnson has in recent months very much earned his derisive moniker “Ron Anon.” He asks us to ignore what we see with our own eyes when he describes the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who are captured on video beating police officers with poles as they stormed the U.S. Capitol as “peaceful tourists.”

Johnson, who supported the attempted overthrow of the US government in January, has used his position as a senator to promote baseless conspiracy theories and undermine trust in public institutions. In March, the New York Times dubbed Johnson “the Republican Party’s foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation now that Donald Trump himself is banned from social media.”

On Friday, Johnson himself got banned from posting videos on YouTube for seven days because his account uploaded a video in which he is spreading medical disinformation – lies, plain English. Google said the content of the video violated its policy on the video platform about the posting of material that runs counter to it terms of service.

The conflict is the latest episode of a running feud the Republican from Wisconsin is waging against the video-sharing website, accusing the company of censorship when it enforces its terms of service. In this latest video, Johnson promotes two generic drugs for which “there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use” in treating Covid-19, and that are specifically named in the YouTube policy against treatment misinformation.

He claims 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. But 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. Twice-impeached one-term former president Donald Trump heavily promoted the drug last year as a preventive treatment against the coronavirus but then contracted COVID-19 last October.

NIH is currently neutral on the use of ivermectin for COVID-19.

Since he’s not yet banned from Twitter, Johnson tweeted out his outrage about the YouTube ban. “YouTube’s arrogant Covid censorship continues. How many lives could have been saved with the free exchange of ideas?” he wrote. That’s a question that many have asked – how many lives could have been saved – if only Trump and Republican senators like him had taken the coronavirus seriously in March 2020 rather than labeling it a flu that will simply go away when the weather gets warm.



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