YouTube Suspends Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for Peddling False COVID-19 Claims

Paul is unable to upload anything to his YouTube channel for a week, per the platform's policy against misinformation.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul - Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Senator Rand Paul

It doesn't seem to happen all that often, but YouTube occasionally suspends video producers for posting harmful bullshit.

And this time, the platform is suspending U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

YouTube has put a seven-day hold on the senator from Kentucky's account because Paul reportedly posted a video falsely stating that wearing cloth face masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is "dangerous or causes negative physical health effects."

"We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies," a YouTube spokesperson told NBC News. "This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means (he) can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a variety of other medical agencies and associations have long recommended a combination of masking and vaccination to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, particularly the highly transmissible Delta variant has become dominant.

Naturally, Paul had some things to say about his temporary suspension from YouTube.

"A badge of honor ... leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work," Paul said Tuesday on Twitter, while adding a link to his video on a conservative site.

Paul's argument against masking comes as his home state is being quickly engulfed by COVID-19 once again. On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order requiring masking in schools because coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions within Kentucky have risen sharply since June.

"Without intervention, at the rate we are currently at, we expect to have the most Kentuckians hospitalized due to COVID in two weeks than we have had at any time during this pandemic," Beshear said during an Aug. 10 media briefing.

Out of Kentucky's 120 counties, 119 are labeled  as being "high risk" or "substantial risk" for the virus on the CDC's COVID-19 tracker. Health officials say that the Delta variant — which carries 1,000 times more of the virus, making it twice as easy to transmit among others — is largely responsible.

Paul had contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, pushing those who had been at a lunch meeting with him to get tested.

Find COVID-19 information and Kentucky vaccine locations at kycovid19.ky.gov.


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