DeSantis fires back after YouTube censors COVID roundtable

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing back after YouTube censored a COVID roundtable discussion he held last month.

The incident is adding more fuel to the calls to address big tech censorship.

In a March roundtable the Governor discussed downsides to lockdowns, contact tracing and even children wearing face masks.

“Children should not wear face masks, no,” said Dr. Martin Kuldorff, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard University at the March roundtable.

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YouTube cites that comment, another about face masks for children and a third comment questioning face masks’ overall effectiveness at reducing case rates for removing the roundtable from its platform.

“What we’re really witnessing is Orwellian,” said DeSantis.

The Governor is doubling down, reassembling the scientists for their reaction.

“You are entering into a phase of countries we used to criticize severely like the USSR, like Communist China,” said Dr. Scott Atlas, Robert Wesson Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

“We removed this video because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said a YouTube Spokesperson in an emailed statement.

While the CDC recommends masking for anyone aged two and up, the World Health Organization recommends masks for only those aged 12 and older.

There are exceptions for children aged six to 11 based on local case rates.

“They didn’t cite any data. They just cited that some of you had dissented from some other views. Well you know science in particular needs to have dissenting views aired,” said DeSantis.

We pointed out the WHO recommendation on face masks for children to YouTube, but we didn’t hear back.

The Governor said the incident will likely result in an expansion of the scope of the social media censorship bill currently moving through the legislature.

“Cause quite frankly this is even more egregious than what I thought had been happening,” said DeSantis.

But progressive groups told us they’re more concerned with the recommendations made by the Governor’s experts than big tech censorship.

“Masks are harmful. That’s a quote from the last roundtable. Masks across the board are harmful,” said Damien Filer with Progress Florida.

The social media censorship legislation currently imposes daily fines on platforms that censor political candidates and requires platforms make their policies clear and apply them evenly.

What changes might be coming are not yet clear.

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