Trump backs doctor who believes in COVID-19 cure and 'demon sperm'

U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his praise for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which is unproven to treat COVID-19, telling reporters “I happen to believe in it” and adding that “many doctors” think it is successful in treating COVID-19. Trump said he’s “read a lot” on the drug and believes It can have an impact in the early stages of the disease.

Dr. Stella Immanuel, one of the “very respected doctors” who backed U.S. President Donald Trump‘s disproven theory about hydroxychloroquine, also believes that dream sex with demons will make you sick.

Immanuel was one of the main speakers in a misinformation-filled viral video from America’s Frontline Doctors, a coronavirus skeptic group that caught the president’s eye earlier this week. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube banned the video under their misinformation policies after it racked up millions of views, in part thanks to a retweet from Trump on Monday.

The video shows Immanuel and other doctors pushing misinformation about the virus, including false claims that masks do nothing and that hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19. Immanuel claims in the video that she successfully treated 350 patients with the drug.

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Trump doubled down on his support for the video on Tuesday when questioned about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration no longer approves as a COVID-19 treatment.

“I think they’re very respected doctors,” Trump said of the group in the video, before appearing to applaud Immanuel in particular.

“There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about (hydroxychloroquine), and that she’s had tremendous success with it,” Trump said at a briefing on Tuesday. “And they took her — they took her voice — I don’t know why they took her off but they took her off.”

Hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat lupus and malaria, but Trump has spent months touting it as a potential early treatment for COVID-19. He has continued to support the drug even after his own administration warned against using it.

Scientific studies have shown hydroxychloroquine can do more harm than good when used to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

Trump on Tuesday claimed that opposition to the drug is really all about him.

“Politically, it doesn’t seem to be too popular because I recommended it,” he said, after touting Immanuel’s endorsement.

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CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins pressed Trump on some of Immanuel’s fringe beliefs, including her theories about medicine made from alien DNA.

“I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her,” Trump said. He then abruptly walked out of the press conference amid the follow-up questions.

Immanuel presents herself as a doctor/minister and she has pushed a variety of unscientific, magical and religiously-tinged medical conspiracy theories over the years, the Daily Beast reports. Her outlandish claims include the belief that alien DNA is used in medical treatments, and that some medical issues are caused by demons who have sex with sleeping humans.

One video from 2013 shows Immanuel preaching about so-called “incubus and succubus,” which she describes as male and female sex demons. She claims these creatures’ demon semen is to blame for various gynecological issues like cysts or endometriosis.

Her YouTube channel also shows her pushing false conspiracy theories about alien DNA, curses and microchips in vaccines.

Immanuel’s website, FirePowerMinistries.org, was offline Wednesday morning. Yet she continued to push her false claims about the virus on Twitter in the wake of Trump’s retweet.

“Big Tech is censoring Experts and suppressing the CURE,” she wrote in a tweet featuring part of the video on Tuesday. “I will not be silenced.”

Immanuel later shared the Daily Beast article about her theory on demons, calling it a “great” summary.

“Awesome job exposing these demons,” she wrote in a tweet to the story’s author. “Do you want to do a piece on witchcraft. And while we are at it I could cast some demons out of you.”

She later thanked various news outlets for giving her “free commercials” with their coverage of her fringe views.

“Yes America!” she wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “Some need deliverance from demon sperm.”

There is absolutely no scientific evidence — past or present — to support Immanuel’s claims about aliens or demons.

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Immanuel says in the video that she went to medical school in Nigeria and is now a general practitioner in Houston, one of the hardest-hit cities by the coronavirus in the United States.

“I came here to Washington, D.C., to tell America nobody needs to get sick,” she said in the video. “This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax. I know you people want to talk about a mask. Hello? You don’t need mask. There is a cure. I know they don’t want to open schools. No, you don’t need people to be locked down. There is prevention and there is a cure.”

There is not a cure, according to medical experts around the world.

“There is no evidence done in a rigorous study that shows hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin or zinc or whatever combination you use that has any benefit in the treatment of coronavirus to date,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar who specializes in infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Simone Gold, who also appears in the America’s Frontline Doctors video, accused social media platforms of “censorship” for taking down the clip.

“There are always opposing views in medicine,” she tweeted. “Treatment options for COVID-19 should be debated, and spoken about among our colleagues in the medical field. They should never, however, be censored and silenced.”

Gold, Immanuel and their colleagues do not present real scientific evidence alongside their beliefs in the banned video. They also go after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, who has also become a frequent target for conservatives in recent months.

Twitter has removed the president’s tweets about the video. It also temporarily blocked Donald Trump Jr. from tweeting in an effort to slow the spread of the video, which the president’s son described as a “must watch.”

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Facebook said the video is “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” spokesperson Andy Stone told the Associated Press.

The social media company has blocked the video on several high-profile Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Facebook also blurred the video after pop star Madonna shared it with her 15.4 million Instagram followers, Forbes reports. The video is no longer visible on her account.

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Viral ‘Plandemic’ clip pushes wild claims about coronavirus, masks and vaccines

This is the second time social media companies have come down hard on a super-viral video filled with far-right conspiracy theories about the virus. The last one was Plandemic, a 26-minute video featuring discredited scientist Judy Mitkovits.

The Plandemic video pushed a wide range of baseless conspiracy theories about Bill Gates, vaccines, Fauci and masks, without evidence.

It was watched more than 8 million times before it was removed.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

—With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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