Biden accuses social media platforms of ‘killing people’ with spreading false COVID news
President Biden brought an extraordinary charge against Facebook and other social media platforms on Friday, saying they are “killing people” by allowing disinformation about coronaviruses to spread. The accusation comes as health officials express concern over increasing cases of the virus and blocked vaccination rates.
“They’re killing people. I really mean it. Listen, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated and they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters, echoing comments from CDC director Rochelle Walensky, earlier Friday. During a briefing from the White House Coronavirus Response Team, Walensky reported a 36% increase in hospitalizations and 26% in deaths from COVID-19 over the past week.
âWe are seeing outbreaks of cases in areas of the country that have low immunization coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk and fully immunized communities are generally doing well,â Walensky said. âOur biggest concern is that we will continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, unfortunately, deaths, among the unvaccinated. “
Facebook rebuffed Mr Biden’s comments, saying he was “helping to save lives” by doing everything possible to tackle COVID misinformation.
Officials warn that the pandemic has reached a very dangerous stage, just weeks after the president declared his independence from the virus. New cases are rising in all 50 states for the first time since January. Nationally, the average daily case rate has more than doubled in the past two weeks, with new cases highest in states where less than half of people are fully vaccinated: Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and Nevada.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, blamed the Delta variant.
“99.5% of all deaths from COVID are in unvaccinated people. This is a very, very striking statistic that should make people understand why it is so important to get vaccinated,” he said. told CBS News.
In Los Angeles County, new cases more than doubled last week. This is what leads, which begins on Saturday regardless of vaccination status. It is an order that some believe can have unintended consequences.
âThe mixed message of saying you have to mask yourself when you are vaccinated will say to the unvaccinated, oh, actually vaccines don’t work,â said Dr. Monica Gandhi, University of California-San Francisco.
Fauci said he is not concerned that the mask’s mandate erodes confidence in the vaccine’s effectiveness.
“There are situations where you may want to go the extra mile to get the extra level of protection,” he said.
Health officials have said vaccines receiving full approval from the Food and Drug Administration could boost confidence. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said on Friday that approval could come in the coming months.