One of the most notorious rabble-rousers in Congress, Representative Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), or “MTG,” has been suspended for a week on Twitter after posting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
MTG violated Twitter’s policy of misinformation when she tweeted the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should not give full authorization to the COVID-19 vaccines as they are “failing” and “do not reduce the spread of the virus.” She also falsely stated masks do not prevent the spread of COVID-19. Twitter, which has its own COVID-19 misinformation policy, marked the tweet as “misleading.”
Mask-wearing and vaccines are the most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe illness or death from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 616,000 Americans have died by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and more than 36 million cases have been reported in the U.S. in the last 30 days.
Misinformation about public health emergencies can have serious consequences, including death and severe illness, if individuals act on it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also dubbed this era an infodemic, filled with “an overabundance of information”–some accurate and some not.
“Though they aren’t new, in our digital age infodemics spread like wildfire,” WHO said. “They create a breeding ground for uncertainty. “Uncertainty in turn fuels skepticism and distrust, which is the perfect environment for fear, anxiety, finger-pointing, stigma, violent aggression and dismissal of proven public health measures—which can lead to loss of life.”
The temporary ban was the third Twitter suspension for MTG, who was elected to Congress in 2020 after spewing conspiracy theories for years. Among her beliefs, MTG has supported the execution of high-profile Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). She has previously supported QAnon conspiracies and Pizzagate, as well as denied the validity of mass shootings such as the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Click here to see a viral video of MTG yelling at teenage gun activist and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg in 2019).
She was also a supporter of Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 insurrection.
Twitter’s policy states that after five violations, users will be permanently banned from the platform. MTG was banned from Twitter for 12 hours in July after again tweeting misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Beyond misinformation about COVID-19, MTG also took to Twitter to rant anti-abortion views in the last few weeks, claiming abortion “is not women’s healthcare” on Aug. 6. Her extremist views add fuel to an ongoing war against women’s healthcare rights, as the Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that presents one of the biggest challenges to abortion rights.
Check out our Clip of the Week below for an explanation of the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, from the Kaiser Family Foundation.