Right now, the most recent post on Madonna's Instagram is a 30-second clip of her roller-skating through her "Sorry" video, but instead of the Confessions on a Dance Floor single, it has been re-soundtracked to ABBA's "Dancing Queen." In a caption, she wrote that the throwback footage "gives [her] hope" that she'll eventually be back to walking, dancing, and gliding through random roller-rinks after she recovers from a lingering knee injury.
But the reason why that's at the top of her feed right now is that her previous post was deleted after Instagram flagged it as "false information" about the coronavirus pandemic. "The truth will set us all free," the 61-year-old wrote of the video, which featured an already controversial speech from Texas physician Dr. Stella Immanuel.
Madge doubled down, writing, "Some people don't want to hear the truth. Especially the people in power who stand to make money from this long drawn out search for a vaccine, which has been proven and available for months. They would rather let fear control them and let the rich get richer and the poor get sicker."
Madonna called Immanuel “my hero”, despite the fact that the doctor’s pandemic-related claims have been both debunked and discredited in recent days. The recording of Immanuel, which has also been widely shared by right-wing websites, your dumbest cousin, and members of the Trump family, was filmed at an event organized by the ultra-conservative Tea Party Patriots.
In the rambling speech featured in Madonna’s post, Immanuel said that she has treated hundreds of coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine, she insisted that there is already a cure for the pandemic, and asserted that it's not necessary to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus. (According to the Daily Beast, she has previously claimed that some female reproductive issues are caused by having sleep-sex with witches and demons; she has alleged that alien DNA is used in some medical treatments; and she also reported that scientists plan to vaccinate people against becoming religious.)
After Madonna pressed 'Share' on that pro-Immanuel post, singer Annie Lennox was among those who shared their disbelief in the comments. "This is utter madness," she wrote. I can't believe that you are endorsing this dangerous quackery. Hopefully your site has been hacked, and you're just about to explain it."
Immanuel's video started appearing on social media on Monday and within a few hours, it had already been retweeted by both President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump, Jr. (The latter Trump's Twitter account was restricted for 12 hours after he called it a "must watch," while the elder Trump said that he thought she was "very impressive.")
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have tried to remove the video every time it's posted and re-re-posted, but some versions are still available. “We’ve removed this video for making false claims about cures and prevention methods for COVID-19,” a Facebook spokesperson told VICE in an email. “People who reacted to, commented on, or shared this video, will see messages directing them to authoritative information about the virus."
Immanuel has threatened Facebook, warning them to reinstate her repeatedly debunked videos. "Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with [sic] start crashing till you do," she tweeted. "You are not bigger that [sic] God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name."
Life is a mystery, Stella. Everyone must stand alone.