Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky fired back at YouTube after the social media platform suspended him for having the temerity to offer an opinion out of lockstep with required orthodoxy.
Paul, who since the beginning of the pandemic has been a voice in the wilderness questioning the belief that masks are some form of magic bullet to ward off the coronavirus, attracted YouTube’s ire for a video in which he continued to question the efficacy of masks.
The senator addressed YouTube’s efforts to suppress his speech in a statement on Aug. 3.
“Censorship by YouTube is very dangerous as it stifles debate and promotes groupthink where the ‘truth’ is defined by people with a political agenda,” he said.
Paul also shared a video criticizing YouTube and repeating his concern about the false worship of masks.
This earned him a seven-day suspension from the video platform on Tuesday — but did nothing to silence to combative Kentuckian.
“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. If you want to see the banned video go to Liberty Tree,” Paul tweeted.
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.
If you want to see the banned video go to Liberty Tree https://t.co/gsTUwuLZGL
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 10, 2021
Paul also issued a statement about the suspension Tuesday, noting that YouTube was doing a disservice to all the people of Kentucky by muzzling Paul’s official Senate account.
“I think this kind of censorship is very dangerous, incredibly anti-free speech, and truly anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth,” he said.
“As a libertarian leaning Senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, so in this case I’ll just channel that frustration into ensuring the public knows YouTube is acting as an arm of government and censoring their users for contradicting the government,” Paul said.
The statement included what it described as a “rough transcript” of the banned video.
It said that “YouTube may be a private entity, but they’re acting like an arm of government, censoring those who present an alternative view to the science deniers in Washington… people like Dr. Fauci who have lied to the American people time and again about masks.”
Paul said his core concern is that “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection.”
Americans need to understand what masks cannot do, the senator said.
“Saying cloth masks work, when they don’t, actually risks lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask. This is not only bad advice, but also potentially deadly misinformation,” he said.
Paul pointed to a Danish study of 6,000 participants that found that wearing a surgical mask did not make a significant difference in terms of becoming infected with the coronavirus.
He also said a study in Vietnam of 1,600 people determined that “cloth masks allow for 97 percent penetration of particles. This study also found that cloth mask wearers had a higher rate of infection than the control group who wore no masks.”
Paul noted that cloth face coverings are nothing like the N95 masks that do offer real protection against the coronavirus.
Cc: @AndyBeshearKY: “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.” -Dr Fauci in email advising friend not to wear one. Unless they are single use N95, masks don’t protect kids.
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) August 10, 2021
“Trying to shape human behavior isn’t the same as following the actual science which tells us that cloth masks don’t work,” the senator wrote.
He also said that silencing debate is even worse.
“Censorship by YouTube is very dangerous as it stifles debate and promotes groupthink where the ‘truth’ is defined by people with a political agenda,” Paul wrote.
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