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Instagram Flags Madonna Post for Spreading False Information on COVID-19

Pop star shared video of controversial doctor who claims to have treated patients with hydroxychloroquine, also believes ailments can be caused by “demon sperm”

Madonna was flagged by Instagram for a since-deleted video featuring a doctor espousing false information about COVID-19.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Madonna has deleted a video from her Instagram that the photo-sharing app had previously flagged for spreading false information about COVID-19.

The video featured Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based doctor who spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., organized by a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, which has ties to the far-right group, Tea Party Patriots. At the rally, Immanuel said masks were unnecessary and claimed that she had effectively treated hundreds of coronavirus patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. (As widely reported, Dr. Immanuel has also espoused non-COVID-related views that many ailments are caused by “demon sperm” spread through having sex with demons in dreams.)

Madonna posted the video of Dr. Immanuel with a caption that began with, “The truth will set us all Free!” and ended with the pop star calling Dr. Immanuel “my hero.” In between, Madonna falsely said that a COVID-19 vaccine “has been available for months,” but that “people in power who stand to make money from this long drawn out search for a vaccine” don’t want to make it available. “They would rather let fear control them and let the rich get richer and the poor and sick get sicker,” Madonna said.

Before Madonna deleted the clip from her Instagram, it was blurred out by the photo-sharing app with a message that read “False Information. Reviewed by independent fact-checkers.”

A representative for Madonna did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

The video Madonna posted was one of several from the America’s Frontline Doctors rally to go viral after spreading quickly on conservative corners of social media, per the New York Times. Donald Trump, Jr. notably shared a video of Dr. Immanuel on Twitter, and in response, the social media giant demanded he delete the tweet, while also limiting some features on his account for 12 hours. President Donald Trump retweeted his son’s tweet and several others linking to the video, which have since been removed.

From Rolling Stone US