Dr Stella Immanuel touts hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure, while some of her more outlandish beliefs include demonic sex, witchcraft, and that the government is run by ‘reptilians’.
It appears that US President Donald Trump has found a doctor more aligned with his views on Covid-19 than White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci, whom he has repeatedly clashed with.
On Monday, Trump retweeted a video of a group of doctors that included Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based paediatrician, who praised hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19 and insisted that masks do not help reduce transmission.
Trump called Immanuel a “fearless warrior for the truth” and US media is dubbing her Trump's "Covid doctor."
The video, published by right-wing media outlet Breitbart, gained massive traction with conspiracy theorists and Covid-19 deniers before being removed by social media platforms.
During Tuesday’s press briefing, Trump called Immanuel “very impressive.”
“Nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure – it is called hydroxychloroquine,” Immanuel declared in the video on Monday, as she stood on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington DC at a so-called “White Coat Summit” of like-minded doctors.
The press conference was organised by “Tea Party Patriots”, a right-wing political group backed by wealthy Republican donors.
Immanuel’s speech drew attention to an otherwise unknown group called “America’s Frontline Doctors” that seek to promote the antimalarial drug to fight Covid-19.
Big Tech is censoring Experts and suppressing the CURE.— Stella Immanuel MD (@stella_immanuel) July 28, 2020
I will not be silenced. #HCQWorks pic.twitter.com/fenaM9FDHV
The Cameroonian-American doctor said 350 patients she had treated with the antimalarial medicine had survived, and claimed it was so effective that it rendered mask wearing and lockdowns unnecessary.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube took down Immanuel’s videos for promoting misinformation, after they accumulated over 13 million views on Facebook. Donald Trump Jr was suspended by Twitter on Tuesday for posting her video on his feed.
Predictably, removal of the content was denounced as the latest example of Big Tech’s bias against conservatives.
Immanuel, who is also a religious minister, warned that Facebook’s servers would start crashing until her clips were restored.
Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do. You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.— Stella Immanuel MD (@stella_immanuel) July 28, 2020
Debate over hydroxychloroquine is politically charged in the US, with Trump and many conservatives heavily in favour of the drug – flying in the face of major clinical trials that have found it to be of no benefit in treating or preventing Covid-19.
Despite claiming that facemasks aren’t necessary, two videos shot at Immanuel’s Texas clinic show her wearing what appears to be an N95 mask.
In a Facebook advert for her clinic, she said anyone seeking treatment should wear a face mask before entering the premises.
“Wear a mask, or a scarf, or anything to cover your face,” she said.
Apart from forwarding ‘alternative facts’ about Covid-19, the paediatrician has a history of promoting controversial theories and making outlandish claims, as reported by the Daily Beast.
Here are some of them:
In a video from 2013, Immanuel attributes infertility, impotence and gynecological conditions like endometriosis to “evil deposits” from “spirit husbands” – essentially a phenomenon where demons and witches have sex with people while they sleep.
Immanuel claims that ailments such as cysts and fibroid tumors stem from the “demonic sperm” after demon dream sex, an activity she claims affects “many women.”
In an article titled ‘Deliverance from Spirit Wives and Spirit Husbands’ on her website, she offered guidance on how to combat the spirits.
In a 2015 sermon, Immanuel, who leads a religious group called Fire Power Ministries, said: “There are people ruling this nation that are not even human,” describing them as “reptilian spirits” who are “half-human, half-ET.”
In the same video, she laid out a supposed Illuminati plan hatched by a “witch” to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage and a variety of children’s toys, books, and TV shows like Pokemon and Harry Potter.
“How long are we going to allow the enemy to take over our beloved nation. How long are we going to allow the gay agenda, secular humanism, Illuminati and the demonic New World Order to destroy our homes, families, and the social fiber of America,” she said.
Immanuel alleges that “alien DNA” is being used in medical treatments, causing human beings to mix with demons.
In another sermon, she warns that scientists had plans to install microchips in people, and are preparing a “vaccine” to prevent them from being religious.
As a paediatrician, Immanuel has encouraged corporal punishment for children.
In a 2015 sermon, she said that “children need to be whipped,” before adding that she didn’t believe they should be “abused.”