Instagram bans LifeSite report on drug to treat COVID, cites ‘misinformation’
PETITION: Tell the FDA to reverse its opposition to Hydroxychloroquine and help save lives! Sign the petition here.
September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Instagram has removed a post by LifeSiteNews for allegedly going “against our Community Guidelines” and containing “harmful false information.” The post referred to an article on renowned Yale professor Harvey A. Risch praising the benefits of using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treating COVID-19 patients.
Instagram wrote in a standard email sent to LifeSiteNews, “Even if you didn’t mean to offend, our guidelines encourage people to express themselves in a way that’s respectful to everyone.”
“We want to keep Instagram a safe place for everyone,” the email continued. “We don’t allow false information that could contribute to physical harm.”
“In some cases, this includes information that recognized health organizations say could mislead people about how to cure or prevent a disease or that could discourage people from seeking medical treatment.”
The email then referred to the World Health Organization for more information about the coronavirus.
By removing LifeSite’s Instagram post, the social media platform, owned by Facebook, censored not merely a random thought of one of its users, but the informed opinion of a respected medical doctor and professor of epidemiology at one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools.
As reported by LifeSiteNews, Harvey A. Risch had praised the proven benefits of HCQ in fighting COVID-19, emphasizing at the same time that opponents of HCQ have no science to back them up.
“I conclude the evidence is overwhelming,” Risch told host Mark Levin during the latter’s Fox News show in August. “There’s no question that in the people who need to be treated, and are treated early, [hydroxychloroquine] has a very substantial benefit in reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality.”
Risch accused the opponents of HCQ use of being engaged in “a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from the government to the media, that’s either suppressing this message, or it’s countering it with a false message.”
He admitted that he doesn’t know the exact reasons for this disinformation campaign but said later, “It’s an absurd situation that people have compared ... to 1984 and the Ministry of Truth, and someone that’s limiting what people can say on objective facts. It’s beyond belief.”
In reality, “the science is so one-sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career,” said Risch. “The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high-risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.”
Risch said most of the scientists working for the government, as well as their institutions, “cite studies that are of hospitalized patients, or they cite studies ... that treat low risk patients. These are people under age 60 with no chronic conditions, and so on — people who will survive the virus just on their own, without treatment almost entirely.”
On the other hand, Risch, and other scientists like him, emphasize the benefit of HCQ use in older people and those with other underlying conditions, who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and having a more severe progression of the virus.
He explained that he was never contacted by Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, to discuss how their understanding of the science differs.
Risch admitted that some adverse effects can be measured in some people who take HCQ.
“The medication itself has in some people, perhaps 10 percent of normal people — [it] can change the pacing of the heart muscle contractions, called the heart rhythm. That change has only measurement value. In other words, if you measure it on electrocardiogram, you can see it has essentially no bearing for almost everyone who has that, as to any risks for a real arrhythmia that has potentially life-threatening consequences.”
Risch said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “is a very strange organization that has a history of not making science-based, rational-based decisions about its approvals.”
“It’s outrageous,” he concluded. “People need to be writing or calling their congressmen and senators and complaining that this is not the way the country should work.”
“A bureaucracy that’s in bed with other forces that are causing them to make decisions that are not based on the science — that is killing Americans.”
LifeSiteNews has experienced some censorship not only from Instagram, but also from its parent company, Facebook. One of LifeSite’s posts was slapped with a warning label claiming that the article contained false information. Like the article censored by Instagram, this one, too, talked about HCQ. Facebook also linked to a different article claiming that HCQ is ineffective.
Facebook has been in the news for its censorship for years. Last June, undercover video showed that content moderators at a Facebook contractor admitted they proactively deleted conservative and pro-Trump posts.