Politicization and censorship surrounding Covid-19 and hydroxychloroquine
A remarkable press conference by a group of American doctors operating under the name Americas Frontline Doctors has drawn attention to the fact that we have entered a new phase in the Covid-19 saga. While the virus was initially just a medical issue, what is increasingly at stake is the independence of journals, media and other important sectors of society in reporting objectively about Covid-19.
One of the most remarkable developments this week regarding Covid-19 was a press conference by a group of American doctors operating under the name Americas Frontline Doctors (AFD). While their main message was to attest to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treating Covid-19, they were also vocal about the dubious role of Big Pharma, Big Tech, medical journals and the media in reporting about this medication. This shows that Covid-19 has stopped being just a medical issue. We have entered a new phase and what is increasingly at stake is the independence of important sectors of society.
Two of the group’s members, Simone Gold and James Todaro, explain this in greater detail on their own platforms. Todaro notes that Google only uncensored the group’s initial paper on HCQ immediately before appearing in front of the US Congress to discuss censorship. The group’s website was also taken down by hosting provider Squarespace under the guise of spreading misinformation.
Moreover, AFD argues that the ban in most US states as well as other countries on pharmacies giving HCQ prescriptions to patients for Covid-19 is a direct infringement on the patient-doctor relationship. Todaro therefore makes a direct appeal to physicians: “if you are a physician and agree with the censorship and blocking of [HCQ] prescriptions, all you are saying is that Facebook, YouTube and the government should control the way you treat patients”.
Todaro also addresses the issues surrounding the fake and by now notorious Lancet study on his website. In that connection, he observes that while much of the information about the positive results of HCQ in treating Covid-19 is being banned from YouTube, a video from 2 months ago with the scientist responsible for the debunked Lancet study is still up. Todaro’s position on medical journals is that they “have increasingly become marketing machines for big pharma” and pharmaceutical companies are likely aware that if HCQ is shown to be effective against Covid-19, it would diminish the value of patented vaccines.
Another prominent member of AFD is Simone Gold who has written that “it is clear to me as a physician-lawyer that the disinformation about both Covid-19 and the Constitution has caused us to turn a medical issue into a legal crisis”. Many civil liberties are currently being infringed upon by governments around the world. Although many seem apathetic towards their own liberty, Gold submits that this does not eliminate constitutional rights for those who are not.
The fight between advocates and opponents of HCQ is far from equal. In Paris Match, Philippe Gorny therefore compares this battle to that between David and Goliath. While Goliath – a combination of Big Pharma, Big Tech, medical journals and the media – seems to have unlimited power and lacks any scruples, he hopefully notes that David is still fully alive.