Madonna's Instagram post featuring a doctor falsely claiming that hydroxychloroquine "cures COVID" was flagged as "false information" by the social media platform after parent company Facebook took steps to wipe the video from its platform. The singer posted a segment of a viral video from a group identifying as "America’s Frontline Doctors" also shared on Breitbart’s Facebook page. The video features Houston-based doctor Stella Immanuel claiming she treated 350 coronavirus patients using the anti-malarial drug and that “none of them had died," despite warnings from the Food and Drug administration and National Institutes of Health that the drug should not be used as a coronavirus treatment, as it can cause dangerous heart issues.
Madonna posted a version of the video to her 15.4 million Instagram followers, captioning it, "The truth will set us all Free! But some people don’t want to hear the truth." Instagram quickly blurred the post, now deleted from her page, writing that the information had been "reviewed by independent fact-checkers" and determined to be inaccurate.
Immanuel's video has spread wildly across social media since it was first posted, even being retweeted by President Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr., before being taken down by Facebook Monday for "sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19." YouTube and Twitter have also tried to take down versions of the video. Immanuel, who describes herself as a "Deliverance Minister," and has a history of making bizarre claims, including that sex dreams involving demons cause illness and that alien DNA is used in medicine, as first reported by The Daily Beast.
Madonna has been criticized in the past for making questionable comments about the coronavirus, including a post in March in which she called the pandemic "the great equalizer." She wrote alongside a video from her bathtub. "That's the thing about COVID-19, it doesn't care about how rich you are or how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell," she wrote. "It's the great equalizer, and what's terrible about it is what's great about it. What's terrible about it is it's made us all equal in many ways – and what's wonderful about it is it's made us all equal in many ways." She ended the caption, "No discrimination," but soon took the video down amid widespread backlash.