Hydroxychloroquine: why a video promoted by Trump was released on social media

The President of the United States, Donald TrumpImage copyright
fake pictures


President Trump has promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine

The removal of a viral video by social media companies has rekindled a highly charged controversy in the US over the use of the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine.

In the video, members of the United States Frontline Doctors group promote it as both a preventative measure and a cure for Covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that “there is currently no evidence” that hydroxychloroquine is effective as a treatment or prevents coronavirus.

The video was streamed online by the right-wing Breitbart platform, viewed more than 17 million times on Facebook. It was also shared on Twitter by Donald Trump and many of his followers.

The president’s son, Donald Jnr, was suspended from tweeting for 12 hours on Twitter after he posted it on his account.

What does the video say?

The video, a 45-minute live stream of the first day of a “White Coat” summit by the group, was posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by Breitbart and quickly went viral.

“The virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax,” says one of the doctors in the video.

“You don’t need masks. There is a cure. I know they don’t want to open schools. No, you don’t need people to be locked up. There is prevention and there is a cure.”


Video shows doctors in white coats in front of the United States Supreme Court

The Facebook video, in addition to racking up millions of views, was shared nearly 600,000 times before being removed.

The #hydroxychloroquine hashtag was tweeted more than 153,000 times, making it one of the top Twitter trends in the United States overnight.

Various versions of the video continue to be widely shared on social media.

According to data from the Facebook-owned social media analytics tool CrowdTangle, public posts in the past 24 hours that contain the word hydroxychloroquine have had 6.6 million engagements (likes, shares, opinions, comments, and reactions) on Facebook. and Instagram despite the removal of multiple versions of the video.

In a statement to BBC News, Twitter said: “The tweets with the video violate our Covid-19 disinformation policy. We are taking action in line with our policy here.”

“We have removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for Covid-19,” Facebook told the BBC, confirming that it was also removing other versions of the video.

YouTube told the BBC: “We have removed the video for violating our Covid-19 disinformation policies.”

BBC News also reached out to Breitbart, the White House, and America’s frontline doctors for comment.

What is the evidence for hydroxychloroquine?

The drug is a well-known treatment for malaria and was first promoted by President Trump in March regarding Covid-19.

The WHO says: “While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no evidence that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19.”

Image copyright
fake pictures

“The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and diseases and even lead to death,” he adds.

A study by the University of Oxford found that the drug was not effective against Covid-19 in hospitalized patients.

Its effectiveness when used early during treatment is still being studied, as is its use as a preventive measure.

  • Coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine: what do we know?

Until now, medical trials have been inconclusive and the results of large-scale randomized studies will be needed to know whether or not it is effective.

In July, the US Food and Drug Administration warned against using the drug outside of a hospital because of the possible heart risks of taking it.

Who are the Doctors?

Collection of doctors from the American Front of doctors critical of the scientific consensus around the pandemic. His event was endorsed by the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative organization seeking to reelect President Trump.

Its founder, Simone Gold, organized a letter to Trump calling for an end to the blockade measures in May.

Participants were encouraged to seek interviews with influencers on social media as the best way to connect with Americans.

In recent months there has been an intense debate on social media about hydroxychloroquine, and influential Fox News presenters have also led pro-drug segments.

Ralph Norman, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, was with the doctors when they gave their press conference.

The debate has increasingly divided Americans along political lines, and proponents of hydroxychloroquine signal President Trump’s support and accuse critics of covering up its potential effectiveness.

Read more about Reality Check

Send us your questions

Follow us on twitter