YouTube has suspended Sen. Ron Johnson for seven days over two videos he uploaded of hearings from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on early experimental treatments of COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, Fox News reports.
"YouTube's ongoing COVID censorship proves they have accumulated too much unaccountable power," Johnson told Fox News.
"Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives," he said. "They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. How many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas?"
"Government-sanctioned censorship of ideas and speech should concern us all," Johnson added.
Speaking to Fox News, a YouTube spokesperson said video removals from Johnson's account and his subsequent suspension was due to violations of YouTube's "medical misinformation policies."
"We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don't allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus," the spokesperson said.
A YouTube blog post further adds that the platform will remove content promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin unless there is enough countervailing context.
The news comes as conservatives tout a new study that shows Hydroxychloroquine increased the survival rate of severely ill coronavirus patients. The observational study, published by medRxiv, found that Hydroxychloroquine, along with zinc, could increase the COVID survival rate by as much as nearly 200% if given at higher doses to patients on ventilators with severe illness.
Some conservatives say the study vindicates Trump.
"How many people died bc Dr. Fauci said trust the science and Hydroxychloroquine isn't effective?" Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted. "New study shows: Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin therapy at a higher dose improved survival by nearly 200% in ventilated COVID patients. Trump was right."
The medRxiv study, however, includes a disclaimer which reads: "This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice."