Dr Dan Erickson & Dr Massihi
"there is something else going on"
Elon Musk blasts YouTube for banning Californian doctors' video that claimed physicians are being pressurized into putting Coronavirus on death certificates and urged an end to shutdowns
- Critics have slammed YouTube for saying clip 'violated community guidelines'
- In it, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi criticized California's shutdown
- They also claimed that doctors are being pressured into boosting death tolls
- They presented statistics which many claimed were skewed and inaccurate
- But Elon Musk shared their video and said they made 'good points'
- YouTube said their viewpoint disputed 'local health authority' guidance
- But critics blast YouTube for 'censoring' the video after it got 5 million views
- They also claimed it was a sign Big Tech is trying to control information
- YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said videos against WHO policy will be taken down
- Facebook and Twitter have also been criticized over 'misinformation' policies
Elon Musk and a host of critics have slammed YouTube for removing a video of two doctors suggesting COVID-19 death tolls are being boosted and urging an end to lockdowns because they do more harm than good.
The site took down the video of news conference featuring Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who run a private urgent-care clinic in Bakersfield, California, on Monday because they claim it violated their user policy by disputing health officials.
But the move has been blasted as censorship and a worrying sign of big tech companies trying to control information during the pandemic and quashing free speech.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are also coming under increasing scrutiny for removing posts that they say contain health misinformation or calls to break stay-at-home orders.
The hour-long video with Drs Erickson and Massihi suggesting stay-at-home orders are damaging drew a massive audience, garnering more than five million views before it was removed.
Using testing stats from their urgent care centers, they argue that the mortality rate for coronavirus is minuscule and that lockdowns are disruptive to normal healthcare provision, the functioning of healthy immune systems and are devastating to the economy.
The doctors also share anecdotes, which they say come from colleagues in hospitals, claiming that there is pressure to add COVID-19 as a cause of death to unrelated fatalities to artificially boost the death toll.
'It's time to open back up. The science says it is. The models we've been using from predictions, to predict the amount of disease, are not accurate,' Erikson said in the press conference.
Tesla CEO Musk, an increasingly outspoken critic of lockdowns, shared the video on Twitter before it was taken down, adding the comment, 'Docs make good points.'
California doctors call COVID-19 shutdowns 'disruptive' to healthcare
'This. Is. Censorship. On what is arguably the most important media platform in the United States,' tweeted Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who has emerged as one of the strongest skeptics of the lockdowns.
In a blistering opening monologue on Tuesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson also railed against the 'ludicrous' measures by big tech companies to control what they call misinformation during the pandemic.
'When this is all over, it's likely we'll look back on this moment, what YouTube just did, as a turning point in the way we live in this country, a sharp break with 250 years of law and custom,' Carlson said.
'The doctors' video was produced by a local television channel. It was, in fact a mainstream news story,' Carlson continued. 'The only justification for taking it down was that the physicians on-screen had reached different conclusions than the people currently in charge.'
Last week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN that 'anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.'
'Consider that for a moment,' Carlson responded. 'As a matter of science, it's ludicrous. Like everyone else involved in global pandemic policy, the WHO has been wrong in its recommendations. In January, WHO told us that coronavirus could not spread from person-to-person. In March, they told us that face masks didn't work. Those are lies and they were welcome on Google's platforms.'
Former CNN producer Steve Krakauer said in his Fourth Watch media newsletter that this was an 'egregious censorship effort on the part of YouTube' that should make all journalists concerned.
He added: 'YouTube can take down this video, of course. But should they? Absolutely not.
'These doctors weren't calling for people to cough on other citizens. They weren't even questioning whether injecting disinfectant might be a good idea.
'They were using data to suggest a Sweden model of eased lockdown may be effective. That's not damaging to the public to watch.'