Dr. Stella Immanuel, the Texas physician whose claims about COVID-19 treatment were touted by then-President Trump has filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million from Anderson
Cooper and CNN, charging that they defamed her.
In addition to $100 million in compensatory damages, Immanuel’s suit seeks punitive damages to be determined by a jury, court costs and interest.
Dr. Immanuel came into the spotlight in July 2020 when former President Trump tweeted a video in which she promoted the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID patients.
Mercurynews.com reports that Dr. Immanuel filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming that, “in an effort to vilify, demonize and embarrass President Trump, Cooper and CNN published a series of statements of fact about Dr. Immanuel that injured her reputation and exposed her to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, and financial injury.”
The suit contends that hydroxychloroquine is “entirely effective” in the treatment of COVID. Immanuel says that CNN, in discrediting the drug, “effectively caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands whose lives would have been spared if they had been treated early with HCQ.”
The lawsuit says, CNN and Cooper “juxtaposed a series of facts relating to Dr. Immanuel’s professional medical experience and opinions and her personal religious beliefs so as to imply a connection and create the impression that she was unfit to perform the duties of a licensed medical doctor.”
The Immanuel video that Trump and Donald Trump Jr. shared was removed by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which said it violated policies on spreading medical misinformation.
In July 2020, then-President Trump tweeted a video of Immanuel speaking on the steps of the Supreme Court building, where she claimed, "You don't need masks, there is a cure...You don't need people to be locked down."
In the same filmed event, which Immanuel chronicles in the suit, she said, "All you fake doctors out there that tell me, 'Yeah. I want a double blinded study.' I just tell you, quit sounding like a computer, double blinded, double blinded. I don't know whether your chips are malfunctioning, but I'm a real doctor...we have neurosurgeons, like Sanjay Gupta saying, 'Yeah, it doesn't work and it causes heart disease.' Let me ask you Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Hear me. Have you ever seen a COVID patient?"
A double-blind study is widely considered in the medical community as the gold standard in proving the efficacy of a treatment. It is one of the only ways to remove physician and patient bias from the testing process, as neither knows if the patient is receiving the real treatment or a placebo.
After the video started to gain traction on social media, Anderson Cooper and CNN began making statements to debunk Immanuel's claims. One CNN video said Dr. Immanuel was "spreading conspiracy theories on COVID-19" and promoted an "unproven drug, hydroxychloroquine."
Newsweek reported Facebook eventually took down the video because it was "sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19," according to Andy Stone, a spokesman for the platform.
You can watch Dr. Immanuel through these four Twitter videos:
Dr. Stella Immanuel
lawsuit against CNN
Dr. Sanjay Gupta