On 7/27/2020, America’s Frontline Doctors released a video claiming that Hydroxychloroquine cures Covid-19 and that masks are not necessary. Conservative news outlet Breitbart published a story and the related video that went viral, reaching millions in only a few hours. On 7/28/2020, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube removed the video due to the “doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus.” Media Bias Fact Check was alerted to this new organization and was requested to review them. Below is their entire review.
Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate America’s Frontline Doctors a quackery level pseudoscience website based on the promotion of false or misleading information regarding Coronavirus that does not align with the consensus of science. We also rate them Low for factual reporting due to a lack of transparency as well as using known pseudoscience sources to draw their conclusions.
Factual Reporting: LOW
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded 0n 07/16/2020 by Simone Gold with the domain registered in Toronto Canada, America’s Frontline Doctors is a website that consists of a group of doctors that report information on COVID-19 from a conservative perspective. The website lacks transparency as they do not provide an about page or disclose ownership, however, they do provide a page that lists their leadership, which does not contain an Epidemiologist, Immunologist, or Infectious Disease expert. If they do have qualified physicians and researchers on staff they are not listed on the website.
On 7/27/2020, America’s Frontline Doctors released a video claiming that Hydroxychloroquine cures Covid-19 and that masks are not necessary. Conservative news outlet Breitbart published a story and the video that went viral, reaching millions. On 7/28/2020, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube removed the video due to the “doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus.”
Funded by / Ownership
America’s Frontline Doctors does not disclose ownership or sponsorship. While we are unable to find concrete evidence of ownership, there are indications they may be affiliated with the Tea Party Patriots as they broadcast their event live. Further, it appears the founder, Dr. Simone Gold is working directly with the Tea Party Patriots as evidenced here: “Many Americans are avoiding or delaying routine medical care out of fear of contracting the virus, Gold said. They’re working with Tea Party Patriots Action to get their message out, she said.”
Analysis / Bias
In review, the website consists of sections such as Summit, Media, and Blog. Under “summit” there are subsections “Summit Agenda, Leadership, Speakers, References, Testimonials” the subsection References include two pdf files “White Paper on Hydroxychloroquine” which includes an interview with Pseudoscience promoter Dr. Mehmet Oz. The White Paper research describes Hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective cure for Covid-19. According to the FDA and several other studies, Hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for Covid-19.
Under the “Compendium of HCQ Studies”, they reference Dr. Daniel Wohlgelernter whose name also appears under a letter to President Trump with other conservative activists that aligned with the Tea Party Patriots. You can view the letter here. The second PDF document lists Dr. Vladimir Zelenko as a source who was touted by the Tea Party PAC.
In the video of their press conference that aired on 7/27/2020, a Pediatrician and religious minister named Stella Immanuel claimed that with Hydroxychlorquine “You don’t need masks, there is a cure.” Both of these statements are false. As stated above Hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment/cure for Covid-19 and mask coverings are an effective way to limit transmission. According to Johns Hopkins University infectious disease expert Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H, “Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because it’s possible to have coronavirus without showing symptoms, it is best to wear a face covering even if you think you are healthy. A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough. If you have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others.” Stella Immanuel has also made questionable claims in the past such as “Endometriosis is caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches,” and that “alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are creating a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.” She also claims that the government is run by “reptilians.”
In general, America’s Frontline Doctors lack credibility as none of the Doctors are specialized in the field of infectious diseases. Further, much of the information they present is not supported by the scientific consensus regarding Covid-19. Lastly, the group appears to be connected to the Tea Party Patriots, which is owned by the Tea Party Patriots Fund that lobbies for small government and conservative causes.
Overall, we rate America’s Frontline Doctors a quackery level pseudoscience website based on the promotion of false or misleading information regarding Coronavirus that does not align with the consensus of science. We also rate them Low for factual reporting due to a lack of transparency as well as using known pseudoscience sources to draw their conclusions. (D. Van Zandt 7/28/2020)