YouTube pulled a video of a discussion between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and four medical experts, including one former White House adviser, because the experts questioned the efficacy of masks for children.
YouTube pulled the video on Wednesday and replaced it with a message saying, “this video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines,” as well as a link to the platform’s guidelines. The video and transcript of the deleted post may be viewed in their entirety at the American Institute for Economic Research.
Last month, DeSantis held a roundtable discussion with Harvard University professor Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Oxford University epidemiologist Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Stanford University physician and epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and Stanford professor Dr. Scott Atlas. DeSantis moderated a discussion evaluating the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
YouTube pulled the video, originally posted by AIER, over the experts’ claims made about the efficacy of children wearing masks in schools to combat COVID-19.
“YouTube has clear policies around COVID-19 medical misinformation to support the health and safety of our users. We removed AIER’s video because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” YouTube spokeswoman Elena Hernandez told The Daily Wire in a statement. “We allow videos that otherwise violate our policies to remain on the platform if they contain sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context. Our policies apply to everyone, and focus on content regardless of the speaker or channel.”
According to YouTube, the doctors and DeSantis violated the platform’s guidelines when they said that masks should not be mandated for children and questioned claims that such measures are necessary to reopen schools.
“Children should not wear face masks, no. They don’t need it for their own protection and they don’t need it for protecting other people, either,” Kulldorff said in one exchange highlighted by YouTube.
In another highlighted clip, Bhattacharya said, “Children develop by watching other people, and I think it is developmentally inappropriate and it just doesn’t help on the disease spread. I think it’s absolutely not the right thing to do.”
Atlas said, “I think that the masks in schools, there’s no scientific rationale or logic to have children wear masks in schools.”
According to WHO guidance, children ages 5 and under do not need to wear a mask “based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.” Children ages 6 to 11 may be required to wear a mask in certain conditions, such as if the child is in an area of “widespread transmission” and if the child can be properly supervised by an adult.
According to the WHO, “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.”
Related: CDC: Schools Can Reopen Safely Without Vaccinating Teachers Against COVID-19