Facebook has eliminated a post the place President Donald Trump falsely claimed the novel coronavirus was less deadly than an peculiar flu. Earlier right this moment, Trump wrote on Facebook and Twitter that America had “learned to live with” the upcoming flu season, “just like we are learning to live with” COVID-19 — which, Trump incorrectly asserted, is “in most populations far less lethal!!!” Facebook confirmed to CNN that the post was eliminated for breaking its guidelines towards COVID-19 misinformation.
Twitter didn’t take away a tweet with the similar message, but it surely added a warning label and restricted interactions with the post.
As CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan tweeted, Facebook has pledged to take away COVID-19 misinformation that may “contribute to imminent physical harm.” That consists of false claims about “the location and severity” of COVID-19 outbreaks. We don’t know the actual mortality fee of the novel coronavirus, however there’s substantial proof that it’s extra deadly than the flu, and it’s virtually definitely not “far less lethal” even for lower-risk populations. Trump additionally claimed that “sometimes over 100,000” folks die from the flu every year, whereas the actual quantity is between 24,000 and 62,000 American deaths lately. COVID-19 has killed over 210,000 Americans since March.
Trump was recognized with COVID-19 final week and spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier than being discharged yesterday. He introduced his departure by downplaying the severity of the virus. More typically, a current research means that Trump has been a serious driver of what misinformation consultants have known as the COVID-19 “infodemic” — a set of false claims about the results of the virus and the effectiveness of vaccines, mask-wearing, social distancing, and different measures.