Twitters Forces Laura Ingraham To Delete Tweet On Hydroxychloroquine As Coronavirus Treatment For Spreading Misinformation
Fox News host Laura Ingraham deleted a tweet praising hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug being touted as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus, after Twitter said it violated its policy of spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
According to a screenshot of the March 20 tweet, Ingraham said the drug was already in use in “many hospitals,” including at Lenox Hill in New York, and had shown “very promising results.” The tweet attributed the information to a Lenox Hill doctor who had appeared on Fox News, but was later revealed does not work at the facility.
Fox later issued a correction saying the segment misstated the doctor’s relationship to the hospital.
“A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Dr. William Grace‘s relationship to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City,” the editor’s note reads. “Dr. Grace is not employed by the hospital and his opinions given below are his own.”
President Donald Trump has been extremely hopeful about the prospects of hydroxychloroquine, urging the Food and Drug Administration to look into it. While the FDA has since issued an emergency use authorization of the drug, there is little clinical evidence to suggest its effects.
A Twitter spokesperson told Politico that they required Ingraham to take down the tweet because it violated their policy, but the company later said they did not make her delete it.
However, Ingraham has continued to push the drug on Twitter, tweeting on Thursday that Trump should “order mass manufacturing” of it.
“Big Pharma makes no money off cheap generics,” she wrote. “Hydroxychloroquine is cheap and easy to make, yet we’re running out here bc we don’t produce it. POTUS needs to use his powers to order mass manufacturing of this.”
Big Pharma makes no money off cheap generics. Hydroxychloroquine is cheap and easy to make, yet we’re running out here bc we don’t produce it. POTUS needs to use his powers to order mass manufacturing of this.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 2, 2020
The media hype surrounding the drug has caused shortages for people who have been using the drug to treat autoimmune diseases.
The American College of Rheumatology, American Academy of Dermatology, Arthritis Foundation and Lupus Foundation of America issued a joint statement to Vice President Mike Pence, calling on him to regulate the supply of the drug, as demand increases.
“We write to you as organizations that represent patients and physicians who have extensive experience with the antimalarials, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are under investigation as potential treatments for Coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement reads. “Both medications have been successfully used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for decades.”
It continues: “We are concerned that increased demand for these drugs attributed to COVID-19 has exacerbated their already limited availability for patients who rely on them to meet their medical needs. Therefore, we urge you to work with us and the broader health care community to help ensure continued availability of these drugs for the patients who are maintained on them to avoid disability, illness and even early death.”
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