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Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky lashed out at the “leftwing cretins” at YouTube after he was suspended on the platform over videos he published about the coronavirus.
“A badge of honor,” Paul tweeted on Tuesday from his official social media account.
“Leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer-reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work,” he added.
YouTube had previously removed a video Paul had posted of an interview of him on Newsmax. He excoriated the video website while speaking to reporters about his weeklong suspension.
“They are now banning all my speech, including speech that is given on the Senate floor, which is protected constitutional,” said Paul. “YouTube now thinks they are smart enough and godly enough that they can oversee speech, even constitutionally protected speech.”
The second video that was taken down included Paul’s criticism of YouTube and a defense of his comments questioning the efficacy of masks.
“Saying cloth masks work, when they don’t, actually risks lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask. This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly misinformation,” Paul reportedly said in the video.
YouTube said the videos violated their community guidelines.
Paul has been an outspoken critic of mask mandates and pandemic lockdowns. He has called for Americans to resist and ignore the social distancing guidelines suggested by the CDC and implemented by some states.
“We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children?” asked Paul.
Others have criticized Paul’s comments at a time when coronavirus infections are spiking among those who are unvaccinated. In Kentucky, new infections spiked to a seven-day average of 2,000 on Tuesday after having dropped to 125 new cases in June.