YouTube removed a video where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis questioned whether kids should wear masks

  • YouTube removed a video in which Ron DeSantis questions masks for kids. 
  • The video violated policies on debunked coronavirus claims, the platform told The Wrap.
  • DeSantis opposes many anti-COVID-19 measures, and has clashed with the Biden administration.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

YouTube removed a video in which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and a group who have opposed measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 questioned whether it’s necessary for children children to wear masks. 

A spokesman for YouTube told The Wrap the video had been removed because it “included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities” on whether masks work.

The video shows a roundtable meeting between DeSantis and a group of public health experts who’ve questioned the effectiveness of lockdown restrictions and other measures to slow the coronavirus.

The group outlined their views in a debunked document last year called The Great Barrington Declaration.

The video in question remains live on the site of The American Institute for Economic Research, which organized the declaration.

Among the people in the video is former Trump advisor Scott Atlas, Oxford epidemiologist Dr Sunetra Gupta, Harvard professor Dr Martin Kulldorff, and Stanford University’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya. All are prominent lockdown skeptics. 

DeSantis in the video asked if it was necessary for kids to wear masks to slow the spread of infections. Members of the roundtable said it was not. 

“There’s no scientific rationale or logic to have children wear masks in schools,” Atlas said at one point. 

DeSantis and the panel then go on to question the necessity of masks, and mask mandates, more broadly.

YouTube and other social media sites have introduced new policies during the pandemic to limit the spread of misinformation about the disease and measures required to counter it. 

The World Health Organization says that children under 5 should not have to wear masks. It says that those between 6 and 11 should wear them if there are high transmission rates in the local area, and that children aged 12 and over should wear them in the same conditions as adults. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that children can get infected with COVID-19 and transmit it to others, hence the need for masks in schools. It says that the risk of them getting seriously ill is smaller. 

DeSantis has opposed many of the restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, which has made him a rising star among the pro-Trump wing of the GOP and led to be him being tipped as a possible presidential candidate.

DeSantis has clashed repeatedly with Biden administration officials over Florida’s unlocking.

In March he described statements by President Joe Biden that lockdowns may have to return if the pandemic worsened “insane,” concluding that “I am not going to let him lock down Florida.”

On Thursday he said he would sue the CDC in the hope of ending its pause on cruise ships operating from the US.

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