YouTube takes down videos from Brazilian president’s channel, citing coronavirus

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YouTube on Wednesday removed videos from Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel, citing its policy against spreading coronavirus misinformation, Reuters reported.

YouTube said that it made the move without regard to the president’s politics, and said that “after careful review” it decided to take down some of the videos, Reuters reported. 

“Our rules do not allow content that states that hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin are effective in treating or preventing COVID-19, that states there is a cure for the disease, or says that masks do not work to prevent the spread of the virus,” it said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment. 

Bolsonaro, who is being investigated for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been fined several times for failing to wear a mask and has made bizarre comments regarding vaccines and the pandemic. 

According to AFP, the Brazilian president suggested in December that the Pfizer vaccine could turn someone into a crocodile and has referred to the coronavirus as “a little flu.”

“In the Pfizer contract it’s very clear: ‘we’re not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, it’s your problem,” Bolsonaro said in December, according to AFP.

He also claimed that Brazilians could “jump into sewage” and not catch anything, according to The Guardian.  

Reuters notes that YouTube’s decision follows ones taken by Facebook and Twitter last year in which they also removed content after Bolsonaro made statements that were at odds with medical advice being given by health experts.

The Hill has reached out to YouTube for comment.

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