Dr. Kelli Ward, 51, a physician who served in Arizona’s state Senate and also ran as a U.S. Senate candidate, had shared a viral video showing a group of physicians making comments about the coronavirus pandemic that were found to be false and misleading, the Arizona Republic reported.
The video was the same one for which Twitter also suspended the account of Donald Trump Jr. for 12 hours, a move that the president’s son told Tucker Carlson was among numerous tech-industry actions that he claimed “benefits the left” and “hurts conservatives.”
San Francisco-based Twitter decided the content of the video was “potentially harmful” to the public, the Republic reported.
Whether Ward’s suspension also was for 12 days was unclear. But in a statement, state GOP Executive Director Greg Safsten blasted the tech company’s action, questioning its timing.
“With one week to go until Arizona’s primary election, suspending the chairwoman’s account – thereby limiting our ability to reach her more than 80,000 Twitter followers – hinders our ability to communicate with voters, encourage Arizonans to get out [and] vote, and silences an important conservative voice in our state,” Safsten wrote, according to the Republic.
In a Twitter message, the Arizona Republican Party derided Twitter’s action as an example of “BIGTECH CENSORSHIP” and “Election interference!”
The video of the physicians was posted Monday by a group called the Tea Party Patriots. Facebook and YouTube have removed the video from their sites, the Republic reported.
It showed a group of physicians standing outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washingon, where one doctor – identified as Dr. Stella Immanuel – claimed she treated more than 350 coronavirus patients, some of them with pre-existing conditions, and not one of them died after taking hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax.
The treatment has been questioned by other sources, The New York Times reported.
Next week’s Arizona primary, which had been rescheduled from March because of the coronavirus outbreak, will determine, among other races, whether U.S. Sen. Martha McSally will win the state’s Republican nomination in a special election as she looks to retain her seat.
McSally’s Republican opponent is businessman Daniel McCarthy. The winner will face Democrat Mark Kelly – a retired astronaut and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords – in November.