Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lashed out at Twitter for temporarily suspending his account over concerns he expressed about the possible rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas due to the immigration crisis.
“If there is a covid surge in Texas the fault will not be Governor Abbott’s comon [sic] sense reforms,” Gingrich wrote in the now-deleted tweet. “The greatest threat of a covid surge comes from Biden’s untested illegal immigrants pouring across the border. We have no way of knowing how many of them are bringing covid with them.”
Twitter is becoming more aggressive in its censorship. The company locked Newt Gingrich out of his 2.2m-follower account for 'hateful conduct' unless he deleted the tweet seen below. After a week, Gingrich deleted it, sent (futile) protest to Twitter. https://t.co/BwQd4WmgE3 pic.twitter.com/oBgInjaprS— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 14, 2021
“Unbelievable,” Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo replied when Gingrich told her about what happened during an interview. “Who put these companies in charge of being the arbiter of truth? What you tweeted is absolutely true. We had a Covid threat because of all of those people who had Covid who came into the country illegally. So what’s untrue about what you said?”
Gingrich pointed out social media companies are setting themselves up for “a real populist backlash that will either make them liable to lawsuits, or have real controls over them, or break them up. I mean, Twitter’s behaving as though it’s a dictatorship and it’s not.”
Though the Biden administration has released more than 100 illegal immigrants who were COVID positive into Texas since late January, and some Texas Republicans have made claims similar to Gingrich's, others have argued the number released is not "contributing significantly to the epidemic in Texas."