Pence met with doctors from viral video containing false coronavirus claims

Vice President Pence on Tuesday met with doctors from the viral video that social media platforms have removed for spreading misleading information about coronavirus. 

The doctors, who are members of the group America’s Frontline Doctors, posted on Twitter promoting the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which has not been proven to effectively treat COVID-19, to Pence during a meeting.

Pence’s meeting with the doctors came after the group’s physicians spoke in a Monday video in front of the Supreme Court building, claiming that masks are not needed to prevent COVID-19 spread, and that hydroxychloroquine was a cure.

President Trump retweeted the video before it was removed. 

The most prominent physician in the video, Stella Immanuel, who has made unfounded claims about alien DNA being used in medical treatment, was not present at the meeting with Pence, CNN reported

Simone Gold, the leader of America’s Frontline Doctors, tweeted that the doctors were requesting the administration help in “empowering doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine without political obstruction.”

“We also discussed the recent censorship of doctors on social media platforms,” she added. 

Another doctor, James Todaro, posted that the group is “doing everything to restore the power of medicine back to doctors.”

“Doctors everywhere should be able to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine without repercussions or obstruction,” he tweeted.

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, the group that promoted Monday’s press conference, also confirmed the meeting on Twitter. 

Pence’s office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. 

The vice president’s schedule listed the meeting as a session with “practicing physicians on COVID-19,” CNN reported. It’s not immediately clear how many patients the doctors have treated. 

Both the Tea Party Patriots and America’s Frontline Doctors are advocating against any additional economic shutdowns to prevent coronavirus spread. 

Trump has promoted taking hydroxychloroquine in the past and took it himself in May when some of the White House staff tested positive for COVID-19. 

The president has defended his use of the drug and his sharing of the video, telling reporters Wednesday that he was “very impressed” with one of the doctors, appearing to refer to Immanuel.

“With hydroxy, all I want to do is save lives,” he said. “All I want to do is save lives.”

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci called the video that Trump retweeted “a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true.”

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube removed the video published by the right-wing outlet Breitbart News after it had gained traction Monday night.

Tags America's Frontline Doctors Anthony Fauci Coronavirus COVID-19 doctors Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine Mike Pence Pandemic Tea Party Patriots

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