Facebook And Twitter Remove Trump Campaign Video Of Trump Claiming Children Are 'Immune' To The Virus
Once again, President Donald Trump is trafficking in disinformation about the pandemic that's killed nearly 160 thousand Americans and left millions more suddenly unemployed.
Trump and his allies have been vocally campaigning for a full return to schools as early as this month in some counties, despite the risks posed to both students and staff. Their defense is that young people are practically immune to the virus.
Trump reiterated the false claim in a Fox News interview.
Twitter locked the Trump campaign's account over a video containing coronavirus, saying that the campaign will only be able to resume tweeting if it deletes the clip from Fox & Friends in which Trump claims that children are "almost immune" from the virus. pic.twitter.com/2cvpqn7F1o
— ✨KAL ..the🎯riginal 🏹 (@RightWingLawMan) August 6, 2020
The President said:
"My view is the schools should open. This things going away. It will go away like things go away...If you look at children, children are almost—I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease. So few, they've got stronger—hard to believe, I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow."
The President shared the clip on his Facebook account and the video was also shared by the Trump campaign on Twitter, but both platforms have since removed it on the basis of spreading false information.
Twitter temporarily blocked the campaign from tweeting until the post was removed.
While Twitter has flagged multiple Trump tweets in the past for their misinformation, this marked the first time Facebook—which has expressed greater hesitation in combatting fake news—removed one of Trump's posts.
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told NBC News:
"This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from [the virus] which is a violation of our policies around harmful...misinformation."
Trump Campaign deputy press secretary Courtney Parella said:
"The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the [virus]. Another day, another display of Silicon Valley's flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth."
Children are definitely not "totally immune" to the virus, as Trump said, and some areas are learning that in the most painful way imaginable.
At the end of June, a virus outbreak occurred at a Georgia overnight camp that had taken limited precautions in slowing the spread. The camp held 600 campers and counselors, 344 of whom were tested for the virus. Of those 344, 76 percent tested positive. The majority of the positive results were in children between six and 17 years old.
The President's false claims are dangerous.
Let. This. Sink. In.
This mornin' the "President" of the United States declared "children are immune" to COVID-19.
Trump will kill us all.
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) August 5, 2020
Trump made a ludicrous claim today about Covid-19 and children. Facebook had to take it down because it was a lie. Is anyone in the GOP willing to say anything about his disgraceful management of this pandemic? https://t.co/dhS5oLRJZ6
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 6, 2020
As long as Trump has Fox, and Fox has Trump, lies will be told. Lies will be spread. Even when Twitter and Facebook pull Trump's video where he says “the fact is children are “virtually immune" to #coronavirus - Fox gives him a pass. Trump is a danger to kids, parents, everyone.
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) August 6, 2020
Doctors and scientists do not believe children are immune. Moreover, they believe children can spread the disease to others (like their teachers, parents, grandparents, etc). Trump's comments, which many people believe, are prolonging the health and economic crisis we are facing. https://t.co/x7WUCFyr3f
— Mike Collier (@CollierForTexas) August 5, 2020
People were relieved to see social media outlets pushing back against the false claims.
Twitter, and Facebook thank God, had to Block Trumps accounts because he actually put children in danger by saying they are almost immune from Covid. Good. The Freak doesn't even care about kids lives. Is he still the greatest President Lou Dobbs??? You stupid sycophant.
— tim russ (@timruss2) August 6, 2020
BREAKING: Facebook just removed Trump's post of a video where he claimed children are immune from COVID. Facebook cites “false claims" and “harmful COVID misinformation," as the reason.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) August 5, 2020
Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview in which Trump urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are "almost immune from this disease."https://t.co/ZNmFKx850H
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) August 6, 2020
Twitter blocked Trump until he deletes tweet containing covid misinformation: specifically this insanity: "If you look at children, children are almost —and I would almost say definitely — but, almost immune from this disease."
Fact: Children are not immune to the coronavirus.
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 6, 2020
Twitter suspends Trump. Facebook removes his post.
We love to see it.
Ban him for life.
Lying that Children are immune from #coronavirus is criminal & he should be criminally prosecuted for this vile misinformation & outright lie.#Trump is a Failure, Fraud & should be Fired.
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) August 6, 2020
Nevertheless, Trump doubled down on the claim in his Wednesday press conference.