Twitter limits Arizona GOP chair, Trump Jr. over virus misinformation
PHOENIX — The chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party and Donald Trump Jr. were among those whose Twitter accounts were limited Tuesday for spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19.
The Arizona Republican Party posted that Kelli Ward could not post to her account after she tweeted a video that included unsubstantiated claims regarding the usage of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.
A version of the video, which was promoted by President Donald Trump, had received more than 17 million views. Social media companies were working to remove the video from their platforms.
“Big tech giants have proven time and time again that they care little about our First Amendment rights and instead value monolithic, manufactured consensus about all else,” Greg Safsten, executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, said in a statement.
The limits on Twitter for Ward, also a family physician, comes a week before Arizona’s primary election.
The twice-failed U.S. Senate candidate tweeted to her 80,000 followers as late as Tuesday morning, when she criticized censorship of the video.
Numerous studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use as a emergency treatment.
President Trump retweeted a series of tweets advocating for the anti-malaria drug to be used in COVID-19 patients, including a video of a doctor claiming to have successfully used the drug on hundreds of patients.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.