Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson suspended for a week from YouTube for COVID misinformationBill GlauberMilwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Milwaukee Press Club event has landed Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., in hot water with YouTube.
On Friday, Johnson was slapped with a one-week suspension from uploading videos to YouTube after the company said he violated the website's COVID-19 "medical misinformation policies."
A YouTube spokesperson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other outlets Friday: "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."
According to a copy of its policy statement: "YouTube doesn't allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19."
Johnson's office said the comments were flagged from his Milwaukee Press Club appearance on June 3, in which he criticized the Trump and Biden administrations for "not only ignoring but working against robust research (on) the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID."
Johnson's team posted to YouTube video snippets from the event. The clips have now been removed by YouTube, a Johnson spokesperson said.
In response, Johnson issued a statement blasting the website.
“YouTube’s ongoing COVID censorship proves they have accumulated too much unaccountable power," he said. "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. They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies."
This isn't the first time Johnson has run afoul of the platform. The website removed two videos of doctors testifying about early therapies to COVID before the then-Johnson-led Homeland Security Committee.