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YouTube removes video from the Ohio commission, alleging misinformation

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YouTube removes video from the Ohio commission, alleging misinformation

 

Legislative testimony given Wednesday in favour of a GOP-backed attempt to restrict public health orders issued by the governor of Ohio was deleted from YouTube after the service considered that it included misinformation regarding COVID-19.

The website owned by Google said it disabled material that was posted to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel this week for breaching the terms of service of the company.

During a House committee hearing on a bill that would allow lawmakers to vote down public health orders during the pandemic, the video showed Thomas Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, a citizens group, making the opening testimony.

Renz made a variety of debunked or baseless statements in the more than 30-minute testimony, including that no Ohioans under the age of 19 died from COVID-19, a claim that has been debunked by state evidence.

Ivy Choi, a Google spokesperson, told The Associated Press, “We have clear Community Guidelines governing what videos may remain on YouTube, which we consistently enforce, regardless of speaker.” “In accordance with our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that claims a certain age group is unable to transmit the virus, we removed this video.”

Renz told AP in an email response, “We stand strongly behind our claims and are considering our options,” and asserted that scientific evidence supports the group’s results.

The elimination, first mentioned by the Ohio Capital Newspaper, comes days after the Senate’s Republican legislators approved a bill that would set up “checks and balances” on the ability of fellow GOP Gov. Mike DeWine to issue and retain executive action during the coronavirus pandemic.

House and Senate supporters of the bills believe that during the last 11 months of the pandemic, DeWine and the state health department released directives that have stayed enforced for longer than required and, as a result, have unduly harmed small businesses and the economy of the state.

Opponents called it unconstitutional and warned that, during an emergency, it would decentralise the response of the state and cost lives in the process.

“It’s incredibly dangerous this bill. We are in a 100-year pandemic,’ said Wednesday Democratic Sen. Cecil Thomas. “As a result of this particular pandemic, people are still dying. This is not just a state of emergency or whatever the case might be with our storm or a flood. This is a state of emergency, since Ohioans are being killed by the virus.

Renz was among many Ohioans who filed a lawsuit in September to revoke emergency health orders given in response to the coronavirus pandemic by DeWine and the state health department.

In support of and against a variety of COVID-19 related bills, including one accusing the State Department of health of “whitewashing” virus results, Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom representatives have been frequent guests at the Ohio Statehouse.

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