Twitter was reportedly very eager to take down any tweets about hydroxychloroquine and coronavirus. But now that the FDA has approved the drug for the treatment of coronavirus, will Twitter restore some of the tweets it censored?
A tweet from President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and another tweet from Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk were removed from Twitter on March 27. Both tweets talked about hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria. The treatment was recommended by Trump in a press conference. He said, “I sure as hell think we ought to give it a try.”
The FDA announced on March 29, 2020, that hydroxychloroquine was acceptable to treat coronavirus. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the drug was acceptable to administer to adults and teenagers.
Guiliani’s tweet said, “Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to have a 100% effective rate treating COVID-19. Yet Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is threatening doctors who prescribe it. If Trump is for something- Democrats are against it. They're okay with people dying if it means opposing Trump.” His tweet was in response to Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who challenged Trump in a press conference on March 26, 2020.
Kirk tweeted a similar sentiment. He said, “Fact: Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to have a 100% effective rate treating COVID-19[.] Yet Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is threatening doctors who prescribe it[.] If Trump is for something -- Democrats are against it[.] They’re ok with people dying if it means opposing Trump[.] SICK!”
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the two accounts were temporarily locked for violations of the Twitter rules in reference to COVID-19.
New York Times contributor and University of North Carolina professor Zeynep Tufekci said that the CDC and the World Health Organization misinformed the public. Tufekci wrote in a tweet, “CDC misinformation has helped turn this into a terrible epidemic in NYC, with masks leading the top.”
Yet Twitter has taken no action on either the CDC or WHO.