UPDATE: 10 a.m. ET July 23: A YouTube spokesperson told The Christian Post in an email Friday morning that upon further review, the company determined that the "video is not in violation of our Community Guidelines." The video interview with Children's Health Defense President Mary Holland on Tony Perkins' YouTube channel can now be viewed.
Google-owned video-sharing service YouTube has removed a video interview between conservative evangelical activist Tony Perkins and the head of an anti-vaccine organization suing the District of Columbia over a new law allowing minors as young as 11 to consent to get vaccinated without parental consent.
The social conservative activist group Family Research Council announced Thursday that YouTube removed a video interview with Children’s Health Defense President Mary Holland posted on the YouTube channel of FRC President Perkins.
The interview featuring Holland, Perkins and FRC's Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon aired initially on July 16 but was removed from Perkins' channel on Monday.
According to a statement shared by FRC, the activist organization promptly appealed the YouTube decision, but the appeal was rejected on Tuesday.
In the interview with Perkins, Holland warned of the dangers of removing parental protections from children's medical decisions. The video was centered on the context of COVID-19 vaccines, which have only received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and have not been fully approved.
"Big tech is teaming up with big government to crack down on speech that they dislike," Perkins said in a statement. "I am deeply troubled by the cabal that is being formed between big tech and big government. Big tech has shown itself hostile to conservative views, but now tech giants, like YouTube, are allowing social media to be weaponized by the Left to eliminate all counter views. This is indeed chilling."
YouTube claimed that the interview with Holland contained "medical misinformation." However, Perkins contends that there was "no discussion whatsoever of medical advice."
"The substance of the interview was focused on parental rights, consent, and notification," Perkins stressed. "These days, apparently anything is a target if it remotely mentions a vaccine and doesn't carry the registered trademark of the CDC. There are no open discussions allowed if Biden administration talking points are not followed."
YouTube's policy on medical misinformation states that the platform "doesn't allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19."
YouTube does not tolerate "claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or WHO."
Last week, the Children’s Health Defense and the Parental Rights Foundation filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Minor Consent to Vaccinations Act of 2020 passed by the District of Columbia Council last year. The law allows minors ages 11 and older to be vaccinated without parental permission under certain conditions.
These conditions include the minor being deemed “capable of meeting the informed consent standard" and "able to comprehend ... significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care."
In the interview with FRC, Holland criticized the act.
“This is dangerous for children because parents won't know what vaccines their children get,” said Holland. “It goes beyond just the parents don't know.”
“Whether it's the human papillomavirus vaccine or whether it's the COVID shot or whether it's a meningitis shot, the kids allegedly can consent to any federally recommended vaccine on their own and the parents won't even find out about it from their health insurer.”
Holland expressed confidence in the lawsuit filed against D.C., adding that “this is an incredibly important law to challenge because it is so potentially precedent-setting.”
“Let me just add that four cities have already sort of declared this mature minor act,” she continued. “Seattle and New York City and in Philadelphia, they have been inviting children without their parents’ knowledge to come and get COVID shots. This is tremendously concerning.”
Perkins agreed with Holland, citing as an example a child getting a COVID-19 vaccination without parental consideration and suffering health complications as a result.
“Every vaccine, like every drug, carries potential benefits and potential risks. That's why parents have to play a role in these decisions,” responded Holland.
“These are minors. It is inconceivable to me that an 11-year-old can adequately research and understand the potential benefits risks of a COVID shot. This is nonsense.”
The CHD lawsuit is on behalf of four parents who object to their children being given vaccinations for religious reasons, who argued that the law “subverts the right and duty of parents to make informed decisions about whether their children should receive vaccinations.”
“The Minor Consent Act does not hinge on any finding of parental unfitness. On the contrary, the Minor Consent Act permits healthcare providers to administer vaccines to minor children without any consideration of the parents’ fitness,” the lawsuit states.
“The Minor Consent Act does not identify any compelling interest that would justify overriding the decision of fit parents to decline childhood vaccines.”
Founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and based in Peachtree City, Georgia, the Children’s Health Defense has garnered controversy for its opposition vaccines. The organization claims on its website that there exists “a growing body of research that suggests vaccines may cause more injury and death than the diseases they were meant to protect us from.”
In February, Kennedy had his Instagram account removed for what Facebook, which owns the photo-sharing site, described as “repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.”