Technically speaking, Rand Paul is a doctor: He’s an ophthalmologist. But that doesn’t exactly make him qualified to talk about, let’s say, highly transmissible diseases that have caused a once-in-a-century global health crisis. And yet, time and time again, he’s squared off against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top immunologist, who safe to say knows much more than he does. And every time Paul comes for Dr. Fauci, he only gets schooled, because at best he’s an eye doctor. But now Paul’s medical bona fides, or lack thereof, have gotten him temporarily suspended from YouTube.
According to Yahoo!, the physician and current senator was yanked from the video sharing service after dropping an instantly controversial video in which he didn’t just come out against mask mandates, but claimed they’re dangerous. (They’re not.)
“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,” Paul says in the video. “This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly misinformation.”
He also railed against “vaccine passports” and the nation’s top doctors, whose attempts to stop a currently worsening pandemic he described as a “drunk-with-power reign over the Capitol.”
Paul’s video was over-the-top even for COVID skeptics. Most simply complain about them being symbols of oppression, or at least slightly uncomfortable. Doctors by and large agree that they offer at least some protection, for one’s self and for others. But Rand went all in, asserting that they don’t work, when data comparing places with widespread mask use to those without it strongly suggest otherwise.
It was unhinged enough to not only get Paul suspended for a week, starting Monday, but to be the second YouTube video yanked from the service in a week. Last week, they removed one showing his appearance on Newsmax, wherein he argued much the same thing, on top of complaining about his beef with Dr. Fauci, of course.
Paul did not take the suspension lightly. “They are now banning all my speech, including speech that is given on the Senate floor, which is protected constitutional,” he told reporters. “YouTube now thinks they are smart enough and godly enough that they can oversee speech, even constitutionally protected speech.”
Paul isn’t the only Republican suspended from a social media site for spreading COVID misinformation. Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended from Twitter for a fourth time after claiming that “vaccines are failing” and “do not reduce the spread.” (Ditto masks, she also claimed.) According to Twitter’s rules for COVID misinformation, if she’s suspended a fifth time, it will be permanent.
Anyway, please wear masks, even if you’re fully vaccinated. They’re just masks. You’ll live.