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Twitter reportedly cracked down on a tweet made by Rudy Giuliani for an apparently false attack on Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Mediaite first reported that Giuliani made a tweet on Friday taking aim at Whitmer, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to have a 100% effective rate treating COVID-19. Yet Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is threatening doctors who prescribe it. If Trump is for something- Democrats are against it. They’re okay with people dying if it means opposing Trump,” Giuliani wrote, quoting a tweet from Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.
Both Giuliani and Kirk’s tweets were taken down and a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Fox News that their accounts had been temporarily locked due to their violations of its updated Twitter rules regarding the spreading of COVID-19 misinformation.
“Broadening our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information. Rather than reports, we will enforce this in close coordination with trusted partners, including public health authorities and governments, and continue to use and consult with information from those sources when reviewing content. Under this new guidance, we will require people to remove tweets that include… Specific and unverified claims that incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder,” the Twitter rules page in-part details.
President Trump renewed his attacks against Whitmer on Friday in a tweet of his own.
“I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic,” the president wrote. “Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA”
The Twitter message followed Whitmer’s accusations Friday that medical-supply vendors were being told “not to send stuff here to Michigan” – and her insinuation that the alleged orders were coming from the Trump administration.
It also followed the 48-year-old first-term governor’s previous complaint that Michigan wasn’t receiving “clear directives and guidance” from Washington for handling the outbreak.
Earlier Friday, Trump told reporters during a White House news briefing that he advised Vice President Mike Pence – leader of the president’s Coronavirus Task Force – against communicating with Whitmer, claiming she was among a small group of governors who weren’t being “appreciative” of the Trump administration’s virus response efforts.
“I say, Mike … don’t call the woman in Michigan. I say, if they don’t treat you right, don’t call,” Trump told reporters.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.