Baseless claims by an anti-lockdown activist that nobody under 19 had died of the coronavirus have been blocked by YouTube

Baseless claims by an anti-lockdown activist that nobody under 19 had died of the coronavirus have been blocked by YouTube
Protesters gather outside the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio on April 20, 2020.Gene J. Puskar/AP Photos
  • The video featured Thomas Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, setting out a 35 minute legislative testimony.
  • It was filmed during a hearing on a bill that would allow legislators to vote against public health orders.
  • Renz makes many baseless claims including that nobody under 19 died of COVID-19 in Ohio despite the data.

YouTube has removed a video of an Ohio committee hearing which it said contained COVID-19 misinformation.

The video featured Thomas Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, a group that aims to challenge the State of Emergency originally implemented by state Governor Mike DeWine on March 9, 2020.

In it, he set out a 35-minute legislative testimony during a hearing on a bill that would allow legislators to vote against public health orders amid the pandemic, according to the Associated Press.
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Renz made several baseless claims, including that nobody from Ohio aged under 19 has died from COVID-19. Data from the Ohio Department of Health shows 10 children in the age group did indeed die of coronavirus, the Cleveland Scene reported.

He also said lockdown orders were "the most drastic curtailment of rights ever taken in American history," the Cleveland Scene added.

YouTube, which Google has owned since 2006, said that it had removed the video which was uploaded to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel this week, the Associated Press noted.
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Google spokesperson Ivy Choi told the Associated Press: "We removed this video in accordance with our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that claims a certain age group cannot transmit the virus."

It came after an Ohio Senate bill, introduced by Republican lawmakers last month, limiting DeWine's ability to issue and maintain executive action during emergencies, AP reported. Supporters of the new bill argue that the restrictions have unnecessarily harmed small businesses and Ohio's economy.
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Opponents say it is unconstitutional and potentially could cost lives.

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