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August 12, 2021

Around the nation: YouTube temporarily suspends US senator for spreading Covid-19 misinformation

Daily Briefing

    YouTube temporarily suspended Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) after he posted a video claiming masks "don't prevent infection" from the coronavirus, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Florida, and Maine.

    • California: YouTube on Tuesday removed a video from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and suspended him from its platform for a week. In the video, Paul claimed that cloth masks "don't work" and "don't prevent infection" from the coronavirus. According to a YouTube representative, the video violated the company's policy on Covid-19 misinformation, which bans videos that spread misinformation such as "claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of Covid-19." This is the second video YouTube has removed from the senator's channel due to Covid-19 misinformation surrounding masking, the New York Times reports, with the first being a Newsmax interview from the week before in which he said "there's no value" in wearing masks. (Victor, New York Times, 8/11)
    • Florida: The Broward County School Board on Tuesday voted in favor of enacting a mask mandate for its staff and students. Broward County joins several other school districts in the state pushing back against Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) recent executive order banning mask mandates. In response to the school board’s decision, the Florida Department of Education said it would launch an investigation, saying that any school masking policies "must allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask." In addition, DeSantis has indicated that school districts that do not comply with the plan may face "financial consequences," including withheld pay from superintendents and school board members who choose to enact mask mandates in their schools. (Falconer, Axios, 8/11; Saric, Axios, 8/9)
    • Maine: CDC officials in Maine are investigating Covid-19 outbreaks among staff members at two hospitals, Maine Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital. Nine health care workers—some of whom were fully vaccinated—at Maine Medical Center's ED and eight workers at Waldo County General Hospital have tested positive for the coronavirus since last week. Jenifer Harris, a spokesperson for Waldo County General Hospital, said "It is believed that the cases are an indication of community spread in Waldo County, which is considered a high transmission county by the CDC." (Masson, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/10)

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