Despite claiming to hate fake news, Donald Trump has been penalised yet again by social media companies for sharing false information.
This week, the POTUS spoke via telephone on the morning show Fox and Friends about the widely discussed issue of reopening schools.
Coronavirus is still rife in the US, with nearly 50,000 new cases reported every day this week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Data from #COVIDNET show that after a period of decline, #COVID19 hospitalization rates have begun to increase in recent weeks. You can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay 6 feet apart; wear a mask and wash your hands often. More: https://t.co/qpYN3dSJL8. pic.twitter.com/pboxwJ4nMg
— CDC (@CDCgov) August 4, 2020
Health officials continue to urge people to wear face masks, keep their distance and stay at home when they can, but President Trump is insisting that it is safe for schools to open nationwide.
Sharing his thoughts on the matter, Trump said:
If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – 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’ve got much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this.
And they don’t have a problem, they just don’t have a problem.
OPEN THE SCHOOLS!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
It’s unclear where Trump got the idea that children are ‘almost immune’ from the virus, but it’s not true. Though they are at a low risk of becoming ill, they can still catch and transmit coronavirus, meaning it could quickly spread to teachers and families of students in the same school.
The president and his campaign shared clips of Trump’s comments on social media, but both Facebook and Twitter have taken a stand to ensure people would not be misled, BBC News reports.
Facebook deleted the clip from its site, with a spokesperson explaining:
This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation.
Similarly, Twitter froze the @TeamTrump account because it posted the same interview excerpt, which President Trump’s account shared.
A Twitter spokesperson said the tweet was ‘in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation’, adding: ‘The account owner will be required to remove the tweet before they can tweet again.’
The clip later appeared to have been deleted from the account.
Earlier this year, Trump threatened to shut down social media after Twitter posted a fact-checking notice underneath some of his tweets.
At another point in Wednesday’s interview, the president claimed that coronavirus is ‘going away’, adding: ‘It will go away like things go away.’ Trump didn’t explain exactly how the virus was simply going to ‘go away’, and as such his comments only prove further how scarily flippant he is about the seriousness of the outbreak.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.