Donald Trump Jr., the president’s very online son, got dealt a temporary suspension from Twitter on Monday after posting a misleading video about COVID-19.
Trump Jr. shared a video from the far-right news outlet Breitbart filled with dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. The video touted the unproven (and sometimes dangerous) drug hydroxychloroquine, downplayed the need for masks, and questioned the expertise of doctors.
His account has apparently been frozen for 12 hours, meaning it is still up but he cannot tweet for that time period.
The message from Twitter says his account will stay up but he can only send direct messages and can’t tweet, etc. for the next 12 hours.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 28, 2020
NBC News’ Brandy Zadrozny posted on Twitter that the group featured in the Breitbart video, dubbed “America’s Frontline Doctors,” only created a website on just July 15. While the group does include some doctors, Zadronzy noted, it also includes a pro-Trump figure and a minister who has preached against “the gay agenda, secular humanism, Illuminati and the demonic New World Order.”
NBC also reported that the group has been funded by dark money. The event that created the viral video was reportedly funded by the right-wing nonprofit the Tea Party Patriots.
Dr. Stella Immanuel is a minister. A random sermon: “How long are we going to allow the gay agenda, secular humanism, Illuminati and the demonic New World Order to destroy our homes, families and the social fiber of America.” 😬 https://t.co/hHd1Pt20PE https://t.co/fZwd4sChgH
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) July 28, 2020
The minister and doctor, Dr. Stella Immanuel, has claimed hydroxychloroquine is a cure for coronavirus, which it is not. The FDA, meanwhile, revoked the authorization of using hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment after trials found it didn’t help reduce death or speed up recovery. In fact, at times it proved dangerous, and could cause serious heart rhythm problems, the FDA said.
Twitter made sure to point out on Tuesday that Trump Jr. was not suspended indefinitely. His account was merely restricted for a short period of time.
“This account has not been permanently suspended,” its communications department wrote in a tweet. “Per the screenshot, the Tweet requires deletion because it violates our rules (sharing misinformation on COVID-19), and the account will have limited functionality for 12 hours.”