Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told his followers that the COVID-19 vaccine is a “vial of death,” a claim that was shared on Twitter despite its misinformation policies.
A video of Farrakhan’s remarks, recorded late last month during the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day convention, were still on the site as of Saturday night, according to Fox News.
The post was removed from Facebook for violating its policies Friday night. They included claims that the vaccine was a “vial of death.” He also compared the vaccine to the Kool-Aid from the Jonestown Massacre of 1978 in Guyana, when more than 900 members of a cult called the Peoples Temple died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader Jim Jones.
“It is death itself,” Farrakhan said.
— The Nation of Islam (@OfficialNOI) March 1, 2021
“By rushing so fast to get something out, bypassing normal steps in a true vaccine, now God is going to turn your vaccine into death in a hurry,” he said.
Last week, Twitter said it is using human reviewers to determine whether tweets violate its policy against COVID vaccine misinformation and users “may not use Twitter’s services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 which may lead to harm.”
A number of Twitter users questioned why such claims from Farrakhan have been allowed to stay on the platform. Several users called out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey directly asking “Hey @jack @Twitter, love how you selectively enforce your own misinformation rules. You allow this vile human being to spread lies and misinformation but block and delete conservative views….bravo.”
The vaccines issued by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are considered safe by medical experts.
Jerome Adams, the former U.S. surgeon general, in January said there are “real historical reasons for concern” about vaccines within the Black community because of experimentation on Black people by the U.S. government in the past.