Instagram takes action against Madonna over vaccine conspiracy theory

Instagram has taken action against Madonna for sharing a coronavirus conspiracy theory to her more than 15 million followers.

The pop star claimed in a post that a vaccine for COVID-19 had already been found – but that it was being kept from public distribution to “let the rich get richer”.

The post was blurred by Instagram, with a caption describing it as “false information”, before directing users to a page which debunked the claims.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Madonna speaks onstage during the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards New York at New York Hilton Midtown on May 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Image:The conspiracy theory shared by Madonna said the rich were keeping a coronavirus vaccine away from the public

While research teams around the world are hard at work to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, one does not yet exist.

The video shared by Madonna featured Dr Stella Immanuel, a doctor from Houston, who claims she has cured more than 300 people with the coronavirus using hydroxychloroquine.

Many studies have shown the anti-malarial drug is not an effective treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn an order allowing its use as an emergency treatment.

Dr Immanuel is the same doctor featured in another video shared by US President Donald Trump, where she again advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine.

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She is also said to believe women can be impregnated by witches and demons in their dreams.

Madonna has deleted the video, but not before fans and other stars criticised her sharing of the conspiracy theory, including Eurythmics star Annie Lennox, who said: “This is utter madness.”

Stella Immanuel
Image:Dr Stella Immanuel was featured in the video shared by Madonna

Lennox continued: “I can’t believe that you are endorsing this dangerous quackery.

“Hopefully your site has been hacked and you’re just about to explain it.”

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It isn’t the first time Madonna has come under fire for her social media posts during the pandemic.

In March, she posted a video while in the bath, where she described the virus as “the great equaliser”.

“What’s terrible about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways, and what’s wonderful about is, is that it’s made us all equal in many ways,” she said from her petal-filled tub.

And in May, she claimed she had antibodies that would allow her to “breathe in the COVID-19 air”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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