The Jeff Landry-Facebook-HCQ Kerfuffle

Check out this Newsweek piece about Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s letter to Facebook, and see if you can spot the horrendous journalism in it…

The Louisiana attorney general has complained to Facebook about its removal of a viral video filled with lies about COVID-19 treatments.

In a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg dated August 3, Republican AG Jeff Landry accused the social media platform of “showing political bias” by deleting a clip that spread last month after being hosted by the far-right website Breitbart News.

“It seems you and your team at Facebook choose to censor or misuse your algorithms to downplay voices on one side of issues while failing to do so on the other. This now appears to be true when it comes to treatments for COVID-19,” he wrote.

“I am asking that you respect the agency and intelligence of the American people to make their own decisions, free from your Orwellian benevolence,” he added.

The footage—which was taken during an event organized by an unknown group dubbed “America’s Frontline Doctors”—contained false and potentially dangerous claims about the viral disease that has killed more than 155,000 people in America.

The group, claiming to consist of physicians who had treated COVID-19 patients, met at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on July 27.

Did you catch it?

“False and potentially dangerous claims.”

Says who?

Jason Murdock is the author of this piece…

Jason Murdock is a staff reporter for Newsweek. 

Based in London, Murdock previously covered cybersecurity for the International Business Times UK and B2B tech for V3.co.uk. Winner of The Drum’s ‘Digital Writer of the Year’ award in 2017. Contact: [email protected]

If Jason Murdock was a medical doctor, you’d expect that would be in his bio. And no, covering cybersecurity might give you some expertise on computer viruses but not the organic kind. Sorry.

Who is this guy to say that the things the America’s Frontline Doctors folks said were “false and potentially dangerous?”

Let’s remember that it was in Murdock’s own publication that the head of epidemiology at Yale, Dr. Harvey Risch, posted a full-throated defense of hydroxychloroquine and called it a cure for COVID-19.

Why would Newsweek run Risch’s op-ed if it was “false and potentially dangerous?”

We’ve been struggling to understand this complete collapse of any semblance of objectivity in major news organs over the past couple of years, brought out in stark relief by the COVID-19 panic and the legacy media’s coverage of it.

We’re not going to declare that Risch is correct and that hydroxychloroquine, along with zinc and azithromycin, is a cure for COVID. We’ve seen a whole lot of anecdotal evidence to that effect, and then we’ve seen public health bureaucrats and hospital administrators come running out with their hair on fire to declare that it doesn’t work at all.

We already know there’s a financial piece to this, with respect to remdesivir and the amount of money that can be made if it becomes the universal treatment for COVID. At something like $3,000 per course of medication, compared to maybe $50 for the HCQ protocol, you’re looking at the ability to make a serious markup off dosing COVID patients with it.

And if remdesivir works better than HCQ, great. It’s worth $2,950 a head to keep people from dying of COVID.

But it’s worth pointing out that over four million Americans have had HCQ prescribed to them for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis over the years, and it’s pretty well tested despite the sudden claims it’s “potentially dangerous.” HCQ has been the go-to medication for malaria for better than half a century, and somehow it’s “potentially dangerous.” This is a drug that’s available over the counter in most of the world, for crying out loud.

To call it unpersuasive to say HCQ is some hidden killer in the medicine cabinet is to be charitable. “Clear bullshit” is a more apt description.

It’s worthwhile to note at this point that Landry isn’t just some blowhard politician where this question is concerned. He tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks back. When that happened, Landry’s doctor prescribed HCQ, and whether it worked or not on him, Landry was asymptomatic the entire time until he tested negative for the virus later. He takes prescription meds for allergies, and it’s possible those might have had an effect on keeping the virus from doing anything to him, but it’s a fact that Landry took HCQ when he had the virus, didn’t get sick and then tested negative.

So Landry, if he were to become a fierce advocate for HCQ, would have a personal story to tell. And he isn’t even doing that. He’s just saying that Facebook and the rest of the media and Big Tech mob shouldn’t be silencing people who want to have the debate.

Which brings us to the larger point here.

Seeing as though the HCQ protocol is supposed to be most effective as either a prophylactic or as a treatment for folks who first test positive for COVID, and seeing how cheap it is to get a course of that protocol, we’re trying to understand what the legitimate objection is to making it available to people if they want it.

We’re pushing remdesivir, which is a new drug whose side effects aren’t fully known. And we’re rushing vaccines to market which may or may not be effective or even safe. But HCQ is “potentially dangerous?”

And Landry is a kook for calling out Facebook over their refusal to allow people to even post information about HCQ from America’s Frontline Doctors or others who have had positive experiences with HCQ? It’s like we’re in the Twilight Zone.

Newsweek runs a piece from the head of epidemiology at Yale Medical School that supports everything America’s Frontline Doctors had to offer, and then Newsweek sends one of its reporters out to trash the entire argument as “false and potentially dangerous” and Landry for noting the whiff of fascism and censorship coming off Big Tech as they squelch the debate.

What in the hell is going on here?



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