A recent letter by Gerhard Bedding and others (“Drug should be taken seriously,” Aug. 17) claims that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is effective against COVID-19 and complains that a group of American doctors, the self-labeled “America’s Frontline Doctors,” was censored by Google, Facebook and the mainstream media.

The video of “America’s Frontline Doctors” posted by the ultra-right Breitbart News was removed, and with good reason! Their video promoted a treatment that has been shown by multiple medical studies to be ineffective against COVID-19 and in many cases has resulted in serious cardiac complications.

It is interesting that Bedding’s letter does not identify who these “Frontline Doctors” are, nor the identity of the organization backing them, the right-wing Tea Party Patriots. One of the doctors in the video, Dr. Simone Gold, fought against stay-at-home restrictions and opposed mask requirements because she didn’t think the average American needed to be concerned about contracting COVID-19. Really? Already, more than 190,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, many of them without known risk factors.

Another “Frontline Doctor” in the video, Dr. Stella Immanuel, also insists that masks won’t protect you, contrary to numerous scientific studies that show they are effective for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Dr. Stella Immanuel has also received considerable media attention for promoting the “Demon-Semen” idea that women having sex with harmful spirits during sleep is responsible for many female health problems. (Google her. I’m not making this up!)

The advice of “America’s Frontline Doctors” is even opposed by President Trump’s own medical team. Dr. Anthony Fauci stated: “I go along with the FDA. The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”

I agree with the writer that fighting COVID-19 has become far too politicized. Unfortunately, his letter fuels yet another unfounded conspiracy theory and undermines public health advice that is truly helpful.

Please follow the advice of the CDC, WHO and other legitimate public health experts. They tell us wearing masks does help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing does prevent spread of the disease.

Stay well,

DAVID HOITT

19 Spring St.

Swanzey